First check out these screenshots captured this morning: (rotate on a mobile device to read well)
One of the phoniest and scam ridden facets of Corporate Life are ‘Awards’.
There are Companies that make serious money ‘inventing’ awards and then ‘awarding’ them to people, corporates and everyone under the Sun!
My views on Awards:
1. The need for Awards comes from massive ‘self pity’.
Take the advertising agency business (In India) for instance. They are a very under appreciated and constantly pressurised lot. Their clients seldom praise them and their fees and revenues and always under pressure and decline.
To get out of their misery and feel good about themselves, they have become the Father of AWARDS!
And sure, since the purpose of these awards is to party and escape, they are held on Beaches (like Goa, etc) and involve rain dances and massive booze sessions.
The tragedy is that many of the entries in these awards are PHONEY!! Agencies issue one ad in some local paper (think ‘The Tardeo Times’) and then claim that it was a GREAT AD for their CLIENT published in Media. Later their clients object, but since this was an escapism event, who cares!!
Some agencies ‘claim’ that awards make them win business. That’s Bull. Each campaign is about lower costs and deeper insights. Awards don’t guarantee those. Ask yourself – if you were launching a Brand, would you give business to an agency with lots of awards or to someone with the brightest and most cost effective idea?
Similarly, Bollywood is the greatness of ‘falseness’, and they “Take the Award “for having the most FAKE AWARDS in the world 🙂
2. Awards are massively incestuous.
Look at the juries of most awards. They are from the same industry that is being awarded and the ‘award givers’ have been usually been ‘award takers’.
It’s a nice merry-go-round of self praise and back thumping – almost like a kid’s birthday party where the hostess makes sure that at the end of the party everyone takes home some ‘return gift’.
3. Awards make nice Money making Corporate Events.
And nice Corporate Events make Nice Money!! There are Companies (folks like the Brand Congress, The Best Consumer Brand, x, y and z) who will contact you and NOMINATE you for an award!!
Check out the “Red Herring Scam” here
The concept is to have as many weird nominations as possible. Once there are some 20 silly nominations, AND you have accepted (which means you will show up at the event & sometimes even pay for it), this awards Company also contacts Corporates and Sponsors and they SPONSOR the prizes!!
So, I have been to an award ceremony where a Shoe Company was felicitating Sahara Airlines for BEST AIRLINE!!!
Funnily, today none of the 3 jokers – The Award Company, the Shoe Company nor Sahara Airlines EXIST!!
On a similar note, Ernst And Young have the Annual ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award. They market it like crazy and then end up rewarding the same people each and every year. Why do they do this? ‘Coz E&Y wants to remain relevant to Corporate Houses every year…
4. Awards make for good Marketing and Sign Off material.
Have you come across some men whose business cards read ‘Mr. Jack Ass’ ACA, ICAI, AMA, CCD, TPA, IAMMA, MBA (University of Haji Ali)???
Well, Corporate Sign Off’s are the same!!
Business owners sign off saying, Winner of the Peacock Festival, Bronze Winner of the Sand Dunes Storm Awards, Silver Runner of We All Slept With Each Other’s Wife Ceremony, etc. etc.
5. Awards are the best office decoration!
Hmmm… why invest in freshly cut flowers or expensive art or posters? Just sign up to all the award nominations you get, and then STUFF the office with all sorts of trophies, discs, medals and other scrap material you can get!
THE BEST DECORATION MATERIAL AVAILABLE (Actual Photo of MY OWN OFFICE – (didn’t know what to do with this stuff)!
Awards are for the weak and courage-less. Don’t even waste a minute on them. I am doing so in all earnest myself.
Also read my experience with Red Herring.