Last Month, I had the privilege and opportunity to serve as a member of the Awards Jury for the Inaugural In-House Excellence Awards. Launched by the Association of National Advertisers, this awards program honors the most creative, strategic, and growth-driving marketing and advertising in the industry.
The ANA boasts a membership that includes such titans as Disney, Ford, McDonalds, LEGO, Nestle, Wal-Mart and many others. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program.
My entire career has been spent in service of in-house teams. This awards program serves as public recognition that in-house teams are capable of far more than quick and inexpensive work. Today, many in-house teams have taken on the responsibility of leading creative and media strategy, producing broadcast-quality commercials, and driving business results for their brands (among many other capabilities). The industry has come to recognize that their in-house marketers, creatives, strategists and other subject matter experts, when properly equipped, can be the best possible advocates for their brand and message.
My experience serving on this team of qualified professionals was transformative. I am grateful to the ANA for allowing me to be a part of this process, as it provides motivation and inspiration to teams that might otherwise go unrecognized. But the process also exposed me to a wider breadth of work across the industry and taught me as well. Along with the recognition of talent, I gained an all-new appreciation for the necessity of teamwork, communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration that might otherwise go unnoticed. While Creative Agencies have their awards programs, dedicated to their individualistic contributions, the In-House Excellence Awards stand for something unique to in-house teams. Highly creative work may not necessarily win. High performing work may not win. Well planned strategies may not necessarily win. Entrants were judged equally on input, execution, and performance. The result was a restored faith and admiration in the challenges of working in-house, and an aspiration of what we can all become.
Preliminary winners for the In-House Excellence Awards have been selected, and are available online at this link.