What Does Award-Winning Work Mean to Us?

Creative advertising awards come around every year—they’re a big part of our industry. But why do we care about awards?

Brands want to work with agencies with track records of success and evidence of creative work that gets noticed. Awards can show that, but they’re not the only way to identify great work. With that in mind, let’s step back and take a look at what awards mean to us at GS&F.

A Year in Review

The awards season means looking back at our year as we submit our work. It gives us a chance to appreciate what we went through, laugh at those moments we thought we’d never launch the campaign, and relive the late nights we spent tweaking headline after headline.

When we see our work laid out together, we can also measure our success against our toughest critics—ourselves. Now that we’re more removed from the creation process, we can ask ourselves what represents our best and riskiest work. What stretched us the most? Where is there room for improvement? And what did we learn that we can bring into future work?

What Makes a Win

 As we decide what might rise to the top for creative awards, we’re reminded of our process—and why we work the way we do.

Always audience-first, we believe the best way to reach a brand’s audience is not just to understand who they are and what they do—but also to understand the “why” behind their actions. Once we connect with that “why,” we can create truly impactful work with the audience serving as the great equalizer for any discussion. We bring our opinions and our clients may have biases, but when we go back to the audience we unite under their point of view.

We’re also data-driven, looking to incorporate proven research into our approach so we can help our clients reach their most dramatic business potential. And we always bring a “best idea wins” mindset to every brainstorm session, meeting, and review. Because we’re fully integrated, we bring in teams from all across the agency to deliver our best.

Taking Chances

 Advertising awards are a way we stick to our values. We take chances, go out on a limb, and see where the chips fall. We’re confident that we’ve got something great to add to the conversation, and we’re comfortable saying our work made moves for our clients and stood out in comparison to the industry as a whole. We can never be sure we’ll win, but we’ve got a good sense of our best—even when we see so much great work done right alongside us.

And when we do win? Hell yeah, we celebrate! Wins light a fire under us when the work gets tough. They’re a chance to high-five our Friends and salute our efforts. Win or lose, awards push us to raise the bar, do better, and keep our finger on the pulse of the industry around us.

Building Community

We think of advertising awards as a chance to join the conversation and celebrate what our industry does as a whole. We’re part of a group of people across the world trying to connect people to brands in meaningful ways—and that’s important work. We’re part of getting great ideas out into the world, so a win for good work is a win for all of us.

And there’s certainly value in the friendly competition awards create. Knowing our work will be up against other great minds is enough to push us—as an agency and as individuals—to think smarter and more creatively. Occasionally, there may even be more value in a loss than a win. Getting beat out by the competition drives us to work harder, challenge ourselves, and raise our own measures of success. And for many, acknowledging great work fuels their drive to create something even better.

Our Ultimate Win

 So what does a win for GS&F mean to us? Well, we can’t say we don’t like to win. We’ll get fancy for creative awards shows and celebrate our Friends alongside the work we made possible. But wins aren’t the goal for us. They’re not the singular way we measure our success.

For us, recognition is great—but wins for the client really get us excited. Ideally, work that moves the needle for our clients also gets noticed among the industry. But even if it doesn’t, work that reaches their business goals is work that we count in our win column.

We love partnering with ambitious brands that share our passion for taking their business to the next level. Ready to get started? Let us introduce ourselves.

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