The St. Louis ADDYs were held this past Thursday night at Plush.
Overall, I thought the quality of work was significantly better than last year’s show – at least what I could see.
And that’s my biggest gripe about the show.
Only the winning entries get shown at the show. So if you happen to have a finalist that earns a Certificate of Excellence – congratulations – your name will be printed in the ADDY book but no one will be able to see your entry.
As for the winning entries? Well good luck, there, too.
Plush is a great place to host a party. It’s not a great place to show work. So if you come to the party hoping to see the work, grab yourself a beer and enjoy the party. Because about 50% of the work on display is not exactly easy viewing, if it can be viewed at all.
Some of the winning entries were placed at shin level. Others were so poorly lit that the question, “Who reads copy, anyway?” had the answer of nobody.
Digital Advertising has about eight or nine categories. In the program book, the winners and finalists take up 15 pages. It’s up to the entrant to display the work, generally showing the home page and maybe one or two sample interior pages. Some don’t even do that, just showing a nice screen grab of the home page leaving you to wonder what magic this winning entry had because a screen grab of a home page doesn’t exactly do justice to a fully-integrated, brilliantly designed website.
Here’s a thought … why not have a few nearby laptops that could actually showcase the websites?
Granted, there’s no guarantee that people wouldn’t spill beer all over the laptop or begin surfing X-rated sites but I think generally, you could count on this audience to actually want to explore the work to see what the winners looked like.
If that’s not feasible, here’s another thought … why not give each finalist and winning entry a QR code that people could scan on their smart phones to at least view the work that way? Most of these sites have been optimized for mobile so why not allow us to see what they look like?
The ADDY invite could even tell people that they could bring their own smartpads or Ipads or whatever device they might choose and they could then scan the codes and view the work the same way the judges got to see it.
That same idea of using QR codes could be applied to all of the video and broadcast entries.
It used to be they would at least show the winning entries on a large screen. Now, in the rush to get through the 80 or so ADDY categories, you get 5-15 second snippets of the winning work, played onstage before the crowd that just wants you to get on with the show.
True, the bulk of those in attendance don’t want to watch every single entry and they don’t want to watch the same entry win in five different categories which sometimes happens. Still, I’d have a tough time telling you what the winning broadcast entries were this year – I never saw more than 15 seconds worth of any of them.
If the event is held again at Plush, there’s a big empty room when you initially come up the second floor steps. That would be a great place to have a big screen and maybe showcase the video and broadcast categories that didn’t win and then after the awards were handed out, you could show a winner’s reel.
Continuing to stick with that QR code idea … what if the same QR code that allowed you to see the work while at the show was included in the printing of the book?
I’m not saying they need to show every single finalist. But it would be nice if the book became a little more user-friendly. Think of it – technology being used to advance the art of advertising by allowing those of us who create the work and who bothered to come to the show to actually be able to see the work after the show has come and gone.
At the very least, it would be nice if the Ad Club considered making entrants provide the link to the work in the entry information. Right now, you have to google the winning entry and hope that the site is still live while trying to figure out if it’s a .com, .org, .gov or some other domain.
I’m all for the party and it was great seeing a lot of people that it seems that I only see at the ADDYs.
But it sure would be nice if the work, which is the reason for the party in the first place, were just a little more viewer-friendly.
I would drink to that.