The show must not go on

Treefort? Uprooted.

Cannes? Canned.*

Boise Music Festival? Silenced.

The list goes on and on…

To my friends at the Idaho and Boise Advertising Federations, it’s time to make the call.

It’s time to either postpone or cancel The Rockies as an in-person event this year.

As much as everyone loves a party and an excuse to dress up, get together and celebrate, it seems foolish to hold an event like this a handful of weeks from now, even if social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions are relaxed before then.

I want to be as optimistic about this as anyone else, but it’s also time to face reality. Now is not the time to put a large group of people in close contact to one another, mix in alcohol and questionable decisions, and then hope for the best.

Besides, I suspect there will be a lot of belt-tightening at agencies around the state in the weeks and months to come, and the expense of tickets and tables may be among the first to go.

As hard as it is to say it — because I, for one, look forward to seeing the work and the people every year — right now, the show must not go on.

* All credit for that line goes to Dan Goldgeier, who posted it on Twitter a few days ago.

Back to basics

UPDATE

Friends from both the Boise Advertising Federation and the Idaho Advertising Federation have reached out to provide additional clarification and context around the awards and the event:

The official name is “The Rockies,” which dates back to 1983.

The annual IAF Creative Awards Competition first launched in 1978 as a statewide competition (previously it was a local only competition of the Boise Ad Club), but it was rejuvenated in 1983 as The Rockies after a judging fiasco in the prior year.

IAF as ‘creator’ of its awards competition is sole authority as to ‘naming conventions’ cited below. Hence, The Rockies Award Ceremony is correct, and may be alternatively stated as The Rockies Award Show, despite assertion to the contrary.

BAF, has made herculean efforts for more than 40 years in hosting the success of the statewide competition on behalf of IAF.

While this is not the first time–nor will it likely be the last–that I’ve drawn the ire of BAF, that doesn’t mean my opinions or observations are necessarily correct. I appreciate those who have taken the time to set the record straight, and always welcome comments and discussion – either here on the blog or via email.

I have been, and always will be, a vocal supporter of agencies throughout the state of Idaho as well as the ad clubs and other organizations, and will continue to promote events, recognize good work, highlight job openings and other relevant information as time allows without obligation or expectation of anything in return.


Original post:

It’s awards season all over the place.

Unfortunately, our friends at the Boise Advertising Federation have gotten lax — dare I even say lazy — with their naming conventions for the state’s creative awards show.

So, to help get things back on track, or for those who may be new to the game, here’s a little cheat sheet for reference:

Rockie Award (Singular)
An individual award for creative excellence. Can be Silver or Gold.
Shorthand: Rockie
See also, for reference/comparison: Academy Award/Oscar, Golden Globe Award/Golden Globe

In context: Against won a Gold Rockie Award in Sales Promotion for the Auya Co. Tradeshow Booth
–or–
Brad Pitt won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Once upon a Time…In Hollywood.

Rockie Awards (Plural)
Two or more awards for creative excellence.
Shorthand: Rockies
For reference/comparison: Emmy Awards/Emmys, Academy Awards/Oscars

In context: Drake Cooper won 4 Gold and 18 Silver Rockies in 2017.
–or–
PARASITE won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, International Film, and Writing (Original Screenplay).

Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. Stay with me here.

Rockie Awards Show (Event)
The annual awards show where multiple Rockie Awards are presented
Shorthand: the Rockies
For reference/comparison: Emmy Awards Show/Emmys, Golden Globe Awards Show/Golden Globes

In context: Drake Cooper’s 18 Summers campaign for the Idaho Travel Council won Best of Show at the 2019 Rockie Awards Show.
–or–
2020 marked Ricky Gervais’ 5th time hosting the Golden Globes.

The annual event is NOT the Rockies Award Show (there’s no such thing as a Rockies Award – see singular above), nor is it the Rockies Awards Show (also no such thing as Rockies Awards – see plural above), as it has been referred to in recent years.

You’d never see the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences refer to their event as the Oscars Award Show or Oscars Awards Show, would you?

It may seem minor to some, but details matter. And lack of attention to those details makes the entire organizing body look bad.

Let’s do better Boise Ad Fed.

The well-crafted brief

If you haven’t seen it by now, you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes and watch Close to Home, the latest in the It Can Wait campaign from AT&T.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

As good as this piece is, for those of us in the ad world, the story behind it is even better.

Recently, Ad Age published The Story Behind AT&T’s Disturbing Phone-Safety Ad, Ann-Christine Diaz goes inside baseball on the film, how it was made, and the thinking behind it.

A few notable nuggets from the article:

AT&T research found that while the general audience, namely, consumers in their 30s, had agreed with messages from the previous ads, they were “rationalizing, giving reasons why they could [use their phones and drive] safely, whether it’s because they’re an experienced driver, or doing it at a stop sign,” among other things, said Ms. Kuckelman. Moreover, it showed that not just texting or email, but social media and other phone activities were contributing to accidents.

And this:

“The agency brief started with, ‘think of this not as an advertising campaign but an opportunity to save lives,'” Mr. Planchon said. “They wanted the tone to be raw and emotional.”

Take a few minutes and read the entire article. It’s worth it.

In the end, however, this a fact that we’ve seen over and over — in the right hands, a well-crafted creative brief provides the framework, and the opportunity, to do some amazing work.

If you’re on the creative side, insist on them. If you’re on the account side, write them. Then rewrite them. Make them better. Your client — and your agency — with thank you for it.