Thursday, 28 October 2010

Awards season

Firth - Clutching the winners trophy for the inaugural 'ambivalence award' at the recent GQ Men's awards. Readers professed to not understanding why he is popular.

It's award season! And I don't mean the Oscars, BAFTAS and all that. These awards aren't ones that anyone cares about (including most of the recipients). November signals the start of the party season, with awards dos, more lunches, parties and eventually the Christmas wind down (running from November 25th to January 11th).

I'm sure I'll manage a few more posts on the subject of party season anyway as my first year of blogging draws to a close. I'm aiming for 100 posts. Can I do it?

n.b. If I can't fill 100 posts with quality content, I will simply upload nonsense for the final few posts.

Firstly I realise that it is both ungrateful and bitter to moan about awards dos. A colleague professed to being annoyed and bored when a taxi driver mentioned that he worked three jobs and thought people worked in an office and got to go to posh awards events were extremely lucky.

In many industries you are lucky to get a few free drinks at the Christmas party held in a disused School Gymnasium complete with cheap wedding DJ Playing Slade, Wizard et al.

So working in media has some benefits. Or does it? Let's look at the positives and Negatives of awards dos:

n.b. This executive has been NFI'd (Not Fucking Invited) to all awards events this year. Please read the following as a completely object insight into the world of advertising awards as the analysis has nothing to do with being NFI'd. For this executive, industry experience seems to breed ambivalence from colleagues and peers, a bit like Mr Firth.

As an executive, the drinks reception is awkward from the off. You won't know many of the people their to talk to, but you'll know of them. They will all be terribly important and good people to network with. Networking sucks, this executive doesn't want to caught in a net with anybody, especially a bunch of haggard media wankers with diseased livers.

Speaking of the 'key players', they will make up around 30% of attendees. These media battle axes pop along to any crumby award event that their PAs can get them a ticket to. KPs know the layout of the Grosvenor House Hotel like the back of their hand. They have to network too you know! The other 70% are made up of shy mid level managers on a well deserved night out, and even more confused and timid executives making a bee line for the bar.

Networking can be pretty painful anyway as the keen mid managers try and allow their little executive chicks to fly the nest by introducing them to the key players. You can feel the grease virtually dripping from these slimy characters' hands. Key players can can smell an executive a mile off an will look through you as it you were a transparent steaming infected turd.

Some sights can make an executive angry, plain and simple. An example - the sight of media wankers with undone bow ties draped around their necks . . . before dinner. Honestly!

The menu always consists of the following:
Starter - Chunk of Goats cheese as big as a fist, with salad swimming in balsamic vinegar.
Main - Huge chunk of Chicken Breast with non decrypt white sauce and microwaved vegetables. The chicken is so dry you think that the Sahara desert has managed to climb into you mouth and leave behind the taste of corrugated cardboard.
Pudding - Large chocolate mouse that is too rich to sit properly with the 8 glasses of wine that you have already consumed.

So what about the awards?
Well, TV personalities and rent-a-joke comedians have to make their money somehow. I can't blame them. Writing jokes for the Dyson vacuum cleaner convention one night and the Travel Lodge budget Hotel awards the next ain't easy. But it doesn't mean we have to laugh at their crummy excuses at links between the never ending stream of awards.

I won't go into the awards themselves too much. Just the thought of how long they go on for makes me want to fall into a week-long slumber. Needless to say all of the 'accolades' are fixed / pointless / ridiculous / for sponsors only / pointless/ badly judged / confusing / pointless / and not real awards (delete as appropriate). The name of each award seems to get longer as the night goes on too:

"And now the award for Outstanding Excelling of Creative imagination concept under £100k for clients in the home furnishings category. Sponsored by Harvey's the furniture store in conjunction with and News International. There will be two highly commended and a bronze, silver, platinum and diamond winner for the category."

n.b. this award was won by for their outstanding creative concept on Harvey's where they putt an advertisement showing a family on a sofa in the Times.

Going to these events justifies the expense of buying a Dinner Jacket outright for men, or a trip to the shops for a new dress for girls.

It's not water in that glass

All of the negatives drive people to hitting the booze hard. One thing is for certain, booze cures all in the media industry. Three champagne's slip down easily, followed by Red, White, then it's anybody's guess. You know the saying - 'Beer then wine is fine, wine then beer . . . oh dear!'

The night may end in embarrassing dancing, £80 cab rides and a recipe for getting little to no work done the next day, but at least you have the stories of debauchery, someone getting lost, losing money or more likely their dignity to look forward to the next day.

So in summary there are a lot more negatives than positives, and the lucky executives who manage to get a few crumbs from the awards table have every right to moan about how terribly inconvenient these things are.

Take that Taxi drivers!