Creative awards to scrap metal: Saying goodbye to a shit-ton of Addy’s.

July 30, 2012

Putting my ego in its place…

In preparation for my family’s move from Chicago to San Francisco, I threw out six boxes of advertising awards I’d amassed during my 20+ years in the business. Among the discards were countless certificates of merit and honorable mentions. Basically booby prizes. I was tempted to keep my first place trophies and Best-in-Shows but for the most part even those I chucked. Made of metal, they lasted ten minutes in the alley before the garbage pickers got them. They took the framed certificates, too, no doubt for the generic black frames. Zero chance some local picker will have use for a 1997 merit award from the Chicago Addy’s. On the other hand those bronze and silver One Show Pencils weigh a ton. Scrap prices are sky high these days. I wonder how many cents each of them netted at the smelter, or wherever it is metal gets bought.

A pair of old-school, badass Lions

I did keep my first two Cannes Lions, a gold and bronze awarded for a TV campaign I wrote on behalf of Heinz Ketchup. The gold was for a spot featuring a teen-aged Matt LeBlanc (Joey from Friends). It’s shown from time to time on nostalgic TV specials. A grainy version can be seen HERE. Back then there were far less categories at Cannes. And broadcast was the king. Ergo, I’m keeping my kitties.

I also kept three Andy Awards and two Clio statues, mostly because they look cool, as well as the Kelly Award given to me by the Magazine Publishers of America for best print campaign in North America: for Altoids. With only one winner, the Kelly was once highly coveted. I should mention it came with a check for $100,000 dollars. Ah, the days when magazine publishers were flush! Win a Kelly now you get a handshake and a photo in Adweek.

Whatever.

Advertising awards seemed so important then. I kept every certificate of merit, every clipping in AdAge. Oh, how I coveted those accolades! I was like a Roman conqueror collecting statues. I was a God of Advertising! Now, as I look upon the heap of paper, plastic and metal in my alley I feel anything but.

Author’s note: I realize this post probably qualifies as a humblebrag, which, according to the Urban Dictionary is where “one, usually consciously, tries to get away with bragging by couching it in a phony show of humility.” I’m pleading ‘No Contest.’

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5 Responses to “Creative awards to scrap metal: Saying goodbye to a shit-ton of Addy’s.”

  1. Christine Bock said

    Very thoughtful, actually. When you die, it’s all just stuff your family has to sort through. Not thinking it will happen any time soon…but none of us really know that, do we? Having gone through boxes and closets full of items belonging to others lately, I am becoming much more practical about “things”.

  2. This is probably way more shocking to someone like me, who is just entering into advertising and would really like just one of those golden pencils! Although, if we didn’t all purge once in a while, there would be a lot of people with lots and lots of boxes containing certificates for “best smile in 3rd grade” or “the bubbly and enthusiastic award.” Still, glad you kept the kitties. :)

  3. I think saving the badass old school lions was wise, the new ones aren’t retro. Everything retro is cool. ;)

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