Gary vs Cannes

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Following up on from this apologetic, defensive, whiny bitch, blah blah advertising post. I’ve decided to change my view of the world. I’ve decided to stop being such a big twat about it and move along.

It doesn’t matter what you’re called, what kind of agency you’re from, or any of that crap. It’s about what you make. And whether it’s good or not.

I should have known better than to get drawn into a conversation about awards. It’s a trap. It’s a mugs’ game. But awards are addictive. It’s the closest most of us get to a pat on the head from mum and dad. Teacher’s not handing out gold stars any more. But the feeling of acceptance and recognition that creative people feel from awards isn’t far off. It’s hard to ignore their shiny allure. And of course we crow about them loudly when we win.

But we know that’s wrong. It should all be about the satisfaction that we get from making brilliant things. And the impact they have on real people. And clients.

Of the 6 projects I’ve been involved with over the last couple of days only 2 of them could be considered campaigns or in any way ‘advertising’. The others are about creating tools or services, or things that sit at the core of a business. Online systems that become the lifeblood of a company or brand.

Home - Manchester City FC

And right on cue: Poke just launched a new site yesterday. It’s for Manchester City Football Club. Go take a look. It’s very much the first stage of a massive journey. There have been a couple of minor glitches (and undoubtedly there will be a couple more. As we get nearer to the kick-off of the season the ‘Match Day Centre’ and new ticketing / seat-selector will launch and phase 2 will be complete. But the thing with a project like this is that the work will never be done. There will always be ways to make it better, more involving, more engagaing and more relevant to fans. That’s what makes it so bloody exciting.

This project has a huge cast of designers, project managers, many clients, photographers, developers, writers, content producers, etc. etc. etc. People who’ve dedicated months to defining, designing and building this beast. A big Poke team, but many from elsewhere too.

Interestingly it’s one of those projects that may never win awards. The innovation is subtle. The ‘big ideas’ and principles of the site are tucked away – and they’re things that have been decided, with the client, for the sake of the fans (no display advertising, no paid for video, integrated ticketing / shopping basket). But it works. For real people. In ways that they understand and will actually use.

And awards feel like a distant irrelevance when you see people like Gary make comments like this on fan sites:

We will certainly be the best in England when it comes to our website.

All the people involved in the making of the website should take a bow, you have done a fantastic job!

It makes you remember that the site will touch thousands and thousands of fans on a regular basis. And be a major vehicle in taking the club on their journey to becoming a global entertainment business (and hopefully a winning team). It will sell shirts, and tickets, build their brand, and become a destination for people from around the globe.

Lions schmions. It’s what Gary says that counts.

And perhaps the fact that we’re doing bigger, longer, more involved and complex projects like this is one of the reasosns why digital agencies are only taking home 12/83 Cyber Lions.

As a digital industry we need to make sure that the people who work on these massively important projects get their share of gold stars and pats on the back. They’re the winners in my book :-)

P.S. We will of course be whoring for awards at every possible opportunity.

14 thoughts on “Gary vs Cannes”

  1. “I’ve decided to change my view of the world. I’ve decided to stop being such a big twat about it and move along.”

    Welcome back mate, we’ve missed you

  2. ‘And perhaps the fact that we’re doing bigger, longer, more involved and complex projects like this is one of the reasosns why digital agencies are only taking home 12/83 Cyber Lions.’

    Exactly. Most of the agencies taking the other awards probably work more on a campaign basis; which take time, but digital, web, interactive (call it what you will) is now maturing. That (as you rightly pointed out) means that projects are now longer and more involved, which can only be a good thing; we could perhaps do with more money from ‘over there’ ;-)

  3. Dude, RE: Man City website. Don’t mean to be a git but…you gotta check to make sure the video’s work on all Browsers. Just checked them out in Safari. No joy. Worked on Firefox OK. Check into it. Thought you should know. If it’s a pluggin that I don’t have in Safari, then it should at least tell me that.

    Nice site though.

  4. It has been tested (a lot, properly) – but I’ll let the guys know – thanks for the feedback!

  5. What? A football site that doesn’t scream, “We are only interested in our fans as a revenue stream. We only want your money. Buy nylon and **uk off!”
    And where are the adverts for online gambling?

  6. There’s a new kind of ‘award’ emerging – the ‘reward’ … a subtle semantic shuffle … but relevant none-the-less. The dictionary sees little between these two, but awards are viewed as slightly more ‘official’ … and rewards (according to Oxford) seem to include the word ‘service’. So, let’s go for rewards from now on. And let’s call them things like ‘The Public Recognition Reward’, ‘The Personal Satisfaction Reward’ or the ‘Around and Valued for a long time Reward’. Advertising will catch up eventually. Things will add up and ten years from now … these big, too-complex-for-now, long-term, socially-engaging platforms that work will be given some prize with a big title like the ‘Pinnacle Diamond Titanium Ultra-gold Grand Prix’ or something equally ridiculous. And no, it will not be the same as getting a good old ‘effectivity’ award these days (the creative epitome of “Yeah, it worked, but we don’t really like it) … it’s beyond all that. Thank goodness.

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