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Michael Lee: why is the New York One Show asking “what’s the ROI on winning a pencil?”

It’s open season for 2015 award entries.

In the very week that Ad Age in the US announces its 2014 agencies of the year (R/GA, adam&eveDDB won the international award), the adventure begins for the awards, laurels, gongs and trophies of 2015.

Two of the early shows out to grab a slice of the diminishing pie of agency award show budgets are the Cannes Lions and The One Show.

Both pitching in quite different ways.

Cannes is making itself more attractive to entries by expanding and adding more categories, more events and more awards spread over a sprawling eight days. They are integrating clients into the week more than ever; Wendy Clark, the leading marketer at Coke (evidently, now trying to put some fizz into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign) is president of the Creative Effectiveness jury, and Cannes has introduced some new categories, one is ‘exploiting the links between technology, data and creativity’ by brings us a new award that of ‘Creativity Data’.

OK then.

The One Club in the US is bringing a touch of creativity to the call for entries and working on a different tack. A rather ingenious idea demonstrating the value of a One Show pencil.

The ROI of a One Club award. What’s the Return on Pencil, basically.

Sounds like a very sound and effective idea especially if you need to get the agency CFO on your side.

CCO of The Martin Agency and One Club board member Joe Alexander explains “Enter the One Show, get your money back. That’s the whole idea behind our ROI. Every cent of your entry fee goes right back into the industry through diversity initiatives, boot camps, mentoring programs, etc. So in a way, there’s no way to lose. Even if you don’t win a pencil.”

So they gathered together some Ad Luminaries and asked them to offer their own thoughts on One Show ROI. Then turned those thoughts into some delightful little animated films.

Ted Royer of Droga5 told an amusing tale of ‘swagger’ as his pencil ROI.

David Lubars of BBDO demonstrated ‘fast results’ after winning his first pencil

John Jay of W&K generously spoke of the need to inspire the next generation as his ROI

Nick Law of R/GA offered up ‘street cred’ among the natives.

Jose Molla of La Comunidad created an algorithm of words where everyone wins whether you win or not.

Pum Lefebure of Design Army offered good old fashioned, undisputed, peer envy and jealousy as her ROI.

A nice idea. Actually bringing some creativity to the call for entry.

Of course, it will be fascinating to get the ROI on this campaign in a few months’ time.

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About Michael Lee

Michael Lee
Michael Lee is a former ECD of Euro RSCG New York handling Volvo Worldwide. Born in England, he spent 20 years working on integrated accounts including Intel, JP Morgan, ExxonMobil and Jaguar. In 2012 he set up agency search consultancy Madam.
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