D&AD and Advertising Week team to launch new global ‘awards for good’

Britain’s D&AD is teaming with the Advertising Week organisers to launch what they call a “global award show that recognizes companies and brands that are making the world a better place.”

Maybe it should be called the loaves and fishes awards. D&AD Impact will be held at Advertising Week in New York on September 27. Categories will be: community; diversity and equality, education, environmental sustainability, financial empowerment, humanitarian aid, health and wellness, industry evolution, government engagement, responsible production and consumption and urban living. David Droga and Jamie Oliver (inevitably) are among the jury chairs.

D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay Below) says: “Impact will be a place where great, transformative, creative ideas get true applause and ever wider recognition. We are extremely excited to be partnering with Advertising Week on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elevate the use of creativity as a powerful force for good.”

Advertising Week executive director Matt Scheckner says: “We have been looking for the right point of entry into the crowded awards space for quite some time and were determined to break new ground. All of us have an opportunity, indeed, an obligation to leave the world in better shape for our children and future generations. That’s why we are doing this and we are delighted to partner with Tim and D&AD.”

He’s certainly right that the awards space is crowded and it will be interesting to see if D&AD Impact can persuade agencies and others to dip into their pockets yet again. Good works advertising is the flavour du jour at the moment, certainly as far as awards are concerned, with campaigns like Unilever’s Dove and P&G’s Always plus corporate efforts hogging the limelight.

Awards do’s have traditionally been famous (or notorious) for unruly behaviour of various kinds although that was probably then. And not so much in New York. This one looks as though it will have the industry on its best behaviour.

More importantly, are we in danger of overrating such campaigns and their impact on the world (and advertisers’ fortunes)? Unilever seems to have gained from its ‘good’ positioning, it’s harder to see such an impact at P&G but that company has bigger issues with its own sprawling portfolio.

Goodness knows what Don Draper and his cynical pal Roger Sterling would have made of it all. But that was then, too.

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