Friday, February 22, 2008

Industry Awards: What's Your Take

With the announcement of The 1st Annual eduStyle Higher-Ed Web Awards earlier in the week and a call yesterday from a client about a recent award, It got me thinking.....

What do these Industry Awards Mean and How are They Chosen?

I remember a post from DW a while back that caught my attention about these awards.

DW asked the question: Which audience would you rather win with?

I went over to HMR Publications Group to see if the 2008 Admissions Marketing Report awards were out.

They were even though they say the results will be announced on February 25th on their website.

Anyway, check them out if you like.

I took a look at the award recipients and immediately thought, hmmmm, these sure look like the same old folks, same old agencies that win year after year. Now I haven't seen many of these award winning pieces, and I am sure they are wonderful, BUT I still wonder who judges these competitions and why do these the same old agencies win almost every category? (I'm starting to sound like Obama's Stump Speech)

Anyway, as if I don't have anything better to do, I dug pretty deep into these awards to see if I found some trends and what kinds of numbers I could pull out them.

-Of the 1027 awards handed out 44.6% went to pieces handled by Agencies
-Of the 16 Best of Show winners only THREE were in-house productions

There were several categories for awards. I picked out nine that I think are pretty large in scale compared to others, here's what I found..

-Total Advertising Campaign - 64.71% Agency Win
-Total Recruitment Package - 64.00% Agency Win
-Video / CD ROM Viewbook (they still make those?) - 63.04% Agency Win
-Magazine Advertising - 62.50% Agency Win
-Viewbook - 54.24% Agency Win
-Websites - 48.89% Agency Win
-Brochure (pretty vague category) - 47.62% Agency Win
-Search Pieces - 42.11% Agency Win
-Annual Report - 35.56% Agency Win

There we NO In House golds for Total Recruitment Packae, I find that really hard to believe. I have seen some WONDERFUL work produced in-house.

Now, I am definitely not going to win any points with the Agencies out there, Oh Well..

Would love to hear some thoughts on this one.


Bradjward said...

Very timely post, I just got an email 3 hours ago that Butler University won:
* Gold award for transit/billboard for MBA campaign
* Merit award for new media for vodcast campaign
BOTH were done by local agencies.

For what it's worth, I am a judge for the eduStyle awards, so I'll be fair and honest. :)

Bradjward said...

PS - Deja vu?

Karlyn said...

I recently got a chance to judge in the CASE awards and am now convinced its all a sham LOL. Seriously though....the really cool stuff hardly ever gets rewarded with these things and its mostly about who is in the cool kids club and who's not. We're in higher ed for crying out loud....can you honestly say there isn't a little bit of politics involved? ;-) Judging CASE was also frustrating because most of the entries sucked...and I mean REALLY SUCKED. But of course, someone has to be the winner. It was actually one of the most depressing processes I've been through in a while in terms of my faith in higher ed web production.

(as an aside, I've been on teams that have won awards like this so I'm allowed to say that they are meaningless and lame ;-) )

chris potts said...

I work at Butler University (with Brad) and as part of my responsibilities work very closely with the College of Business Administration - who was the recipient of these awards.
I will say that on both (the MBA billboards around town AND the vodcast campaigns) - the initial ideas and nearly all the content were dreamt of using in-house designers and other staff members; heck, even I played a small part in the vodcast design and implemenation. While local agencies did produce the final products, at least in the vodcast situation, it was simply due to manpower and timing (you know - all that university red-tape). But we made certain that it was OUR ideas and designs that were used in the final product. After all - who knows best about an institution - the institution itself or an outside agency who spends little or no time on campus getting a sense of what they are advertising?

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Thanks for the comments Guys.

Karlyn: Why don't you tell us how you really feel??? Yikes!!!

Chris: Good point on that higher ed red tape..

Karlyn said...

You know me dear....I'm not afraid to speak my mind LOL. But that's why you love me ;-)

Kyle James said...

You know one of the things you didn't mention is that it's also the agencies who submit the most to these awards. A lot of in house projects are never submitted for awards... why? Well because for an agency it's good marketing where in house we usually don't have time to submit or don't know about it in the first place. I'd never heard of this Admissions Advertising Awards before?

If your an agency you know about every single one of these and submit as much as you can to every single one. We won a CASE award for our website this past week, but of the four categories I submitted us into this was probably the least deserving. I thought FOR SURE our E-Marketing campaign was worthy, but notta, zilch. Oh well what do you do? Guess I'm not in "the cool clug"?

D.W. said...

Coincidence about my post and yours -- I came up with my post completely independent. Most be that time of year ...

It's harder and harder now to find in-house teams winning. And I echo Chris's comments. The agency that won for our athletics TV spots was inspired by design and photography done in-house. And we helped to set up the shoot and write it, etc. So if anything, perhaps some of the "agency" winners should really be re-categorized as team efforts.

FJ Gaylor Photography said...

Kyle and D.W. thanks for the comments.

As always you both seem to add so much more to everything we write all over the BlogHighEd world.

It's great

Cody said...

As part of the group working on the eduStyle awards, those are some of the issuess we recognized and tried to address. We wanted the winners to be the best in their respective categories so we tried to avoid the traditional cumbersome entry requirements. Have a site you like (or many for that matter)? Submit it to the gallery, nominate it, and spread the word. If the community agrees, you're on to round two.

Crystal Corporate Awards said...

Well I just took into judging the RAS contest in the upcoming snow challenge this month. Im definitely excited well because it of course is going to be my first contest im judging but if anybody has any pointers to show me through my journey then by all means please help me out but I know just outta fun I will do very well! Ey! have fun no??? :)

Butler-University said...

We have a few college students online from college of Butler-University and we love your blog postings, so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen, Blog Manager Butler-University