A Few Words About the YAFA Show (Plus: AdLibs!)

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I received my London International Awards Annual today. It is a lovely book filled with some of the greatest work from around the world. What I enjoy most about the LIAAs are the people who run it. They are some of the nicest I have met. Being honored in London is a big deal.

Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
That said, I often wonder if there are too many awards out there. The AD&Ds, Clios, Emmys, Andys, One Show, FAB Awards, Mobius, Greater Yakima County Rotary Creative Guild Award and the 4H AgCreative Jamboree and Root Beer Tasting Awards are just a few of the prime opportunities to boost the profile of an agency or a creative.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Portland Advertising Federation's Rosey Awards. (Portland is known as the Rose City, thus the name) I'm not a fan. The judging is limiting, the same people/agencies usually win. The idea of winning a Rosey doesn't nearly have the cache it did even just five years ago.

Every June, I attend the Radio Mercury Awards in New York. I'm not saying this just because radio is my main thing, but it is a killer award. For goodness sake, the grand prize is $100,000 . . . for ONE spot. Entrants also get a crack at an array of $5,000 prizes. Plus, when people find out you have won a Merc, it means something. Again, my career has been pretty much in radio, so I am speaking from personal experience. Believe me, I would LOVE to win a Clio.

Some questions: Is one award better than the other? Is a One Show award "sticky" while another is a "YAFA?" (yet another f***ing award) How many awards are enough? Which awards really matter?

Let the fur fly.

And now, the results of Ad Lib 1: How I Ended Up in Advertising

Thanks to Suzanne Magrowski from Thomas Advertising Communications in Exton, Pa for the AdLib words. We're working on a prize. In the meantime, she can take satisfaction in knowing that her handiwork will live on adage.com forever . . . or until Ken Wheaton pulls it off the site.

Her responses are in bold.

When I was in college, I chose to study International Studies. I wanted to infest my mind with what was going on in the world and I enjoyed the poems that made up the curriculum. After spending 24 years in my major, I was working like a yak to figure out where this path would take me. One day, I was on a ranch in Colorado. I was enjoying watching the cattle and mules walking around when it hit me. I liked storytelling and always enjoyed the industry. I did a short internship at DDB Needham in Denver and thought it would be fun to be like Luke Sullivan. I decided to pack up my futon and chapstick and head to Portland where, upon my arrival, I became a vegetarian. I enjoyed a steady diet of beets and other fruits and vegetables. As I floundered trying to find a gig (including an EPIC interview failure at Wieden & Kennedy), I figured that my luck would change if I started eating meat again . . . and I really missed Salisbury Steak anyway. I went nuts eating beef, pork and chicken, but I balanced it with kiwi. I also eschewed my usual patchouli for hibiscus. I was on my way. I wrote and voiced a commercial for a winery tour business one day. After the session, the production director said "Sacre Bleu! You should be on the air." Two weeks later, I was anchoring the midnight to 6 a.m. shift on an adult contemporary station. A brick would have done a better job. I was awful. I could barely get through a break without messing up. So, I gravitated to the advertising side, where I have been ever since. It's been nice and it has also allowed me to continue to feed my love of music, where I have become a fairly proficient snare drum player.
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