Now is When Creatives Deserve Our Support The Most, Great Work Still Deserves to Be Recognized

The One Club

Apr 23, 2020

(The following article appeared in Campaign US.)

By Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club for Creativity.

Campaign’s recent article “Adland execs share feelings about industry awards shows amid COVID-19” raises legitimate points.  But it also merits clarification as to what’s actually happening with industry awards this year, and gives a short shrift to why recognizing and elevating great work on a global stage is more important than ever in 2020.

A main point made by many of the quoted agency leaders is that in light of the severity of the health threat, economic downturn and industry-wide furloughs and layoffs, now is not the time for them to devote scarce resources and budgets on entering awards shows.  

We agree 100% with that sentiment.  

The One Club is moving ahead with virtual versions of The One Show 2020 and ADC 99th Annual Awards because we started receiving entries last summer and fall through our quarterly entry system, with the remainder coming in by the early February 2020 extended deadline.  All work we’ll award this year was submitted and paid for before the full onset of COVID-19 and its impact on the industry.  

We owe it to the thousands of agencies, studios, production companies, brands and freelancers worldwide — who already submitted and paid for their entries — to honor the best work of the past year.

That leads to the bigger point: in hard times, it’s more important than ever to uphold our nonprofit mission to support the creative community and recognize the people who worked so hard to create the world’s best work in the past year.  

It’s not just us who feel this way, it’s a notion reinforced by the creative community.  Case in point: we recently announced our ADC Awards finalists and One Show shortlist, and the response was overwhelmingly positive with many creatives on social media offering shout outs and congratulations to colleagues and competitions alike, and thanking us for bringing some good news at a time when things are rough.

There’s no reason why creatives should not be recognized for their great work.  Some of those same creatives will undoubtedly now or soon find themselves furloughed or laid off, and what better way to turbocharge their book and job prospects (as well as lift their spirits) than to have their peers recognize them for doing the best work in the world.

We’re holding free online versions of our awards shows because the cancellation of other major awards this year makes us the only forum for creatives to get their great work seen and recognized as it deserves to be on the global stage.  

That same thinking — support of the creative community — went into the recent launch of our free COVID-19 Jobs Board and Online Student Portfolio Review programs to help those at all levels in their careers.

It may not be a time to celebrate as usual, but the industry can use some good news right now.  Elevating and honoring the best work in the world from the past year is the ideal way to do that because it inspires the creative community.  It can also potentially serve as a game-charger for many talented out-of-work Pencil and Cube winners as they pursue their next career move.


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