Contributed by Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific Limited

Rohit Dadwal

An awards ceremony is a special occasion, a night of glitz and glamour, where members of the industry get to rub shoulders with luminaries and feel special for a change. Of course, these ceremonies exist to honour the winners of industry awards.

And there are very many more than there used to be. The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4As) has just given out this year’s Singapore Media Awards. Spikes Asia is just around the corner, with the Spike Asia Awards being awarded for the 25th year. Asia’s first ever Festival of Media is also coming up, offering the Festival of Media Asia Awards. And this year, once again, it is awards season here at the Mobile Marketing Association. Nominations are now open for the MMA Awards, offering global recognition for the very best in mobile advertising and marketing in several categories.

The main change with awards being given out this year is the inclusion of digital media and mobile campaign categories. While the MMA Awards have always focused on the convergence between the digital and mobile space, the other awards mentioned are beginning to recognise the sterling work being done in these non-traditional media. While traditional marketing remains important, including rich media content in the form of digital media and accessing users through the mobile channel are new developments in the marketing and advertising industry, yet to gain widespread acceptance.

Awards go a long way towards making these alternative channels more mainstream, as these campaigns (or campaigns that include these as components) are held up for scrutiny by a jury of industry peers and hold their own against the best that the industry has to offer. Creativity and innovation will win out no matter what the format, and the creative use of non-traditional media can add a much-needed edge to even the most traditional campaign.

In any case, industry awards exist to recognise work that succeeds, often by playing against the norm. Obviously, campaigns have to be successful in order to be eligible for awards, but once past that hurdle, campaigns are judged according to criteria that surpasses traditional measurement and ROI, and instead attempt to find the intangible, that magic something extra that distinguishes the extraordinary from the mundane.

The next time you find yourself attending an industry awards gala dinner, consider what lessons you can learn from the winning campaigns. Whether it is an innovative way of doing something old-fashioned, or a traditional approach taken using new media, there is bound to be something there for everyone. Consumers and their tastes evolve, and finding ways to appeal to those consumers is also an endeavour that requires constant evolution and change. Naturally, winning an award brings industry recognition and prestige, which a savvy agency can parley into even more during the year to come.

The best advice I have to give anyone in the industry is to try out for awards. Pick up the best work done in the past year, work that you are really proud of, and bring it to the attention of the judging committees. Naturally, that work will be held up for scrutiny by the best in the industry, but against that final judging, if your submission wins , then you can be certain that your work contains that X factor that lifts it above the rest – and if it doesn’t, you can learn from the winners and come back fighting for the next year.