Meet Advertising’s Most Self-Serving Award Show


By thelaegotist / / Forget One Show. Give yourself a Handy Award. From Cannes to the Andy’s, there’s certainly no shortage of advertising award shows. But with an increasing number of categories and juries comprised of the same old faces, many of whom have entered their agency’s own work, how much do they matter? The industry’s newest show, the Handy Awards, intends to shine a light on just how self-serving advertising awards can be. From their site, “The Handys are the world’s first advertising award show where you can give yourself an award in the comfort of your studio apartment or at your desk within your agency’s open office. All without entering any work or sitting through someone else’s boring case study video.” To give yourself a Handy (try saying that out loud in the office), just go to on your phone, shake it like no one’s watching and voilà, award! The concept, created by a couple industry creatives who for now would prefer to remain anonymous, is a gag that isn’t pulling any punches. One of the co-founders and self-proclaimed Lifetime Achievement Winner explains, “Clio Sports. One Show Automotive. It’s pretty clear award shows have gotten out of hand, so we wanted to take the piss out of them. But the Handys also signify how male-dominated advertising is. The fact that only three percent of creative directors are women should be a wake-up call to everyone in the industry.” The idea that award shows are losing their relevance has picked up steam lately. The Handys echo similar thoughts from Amir Kassaei’s op-ed in Campaign, “The End Of False Recognitions” published earlier this year. Is the whole thing a bit crass? Sure. But, lest we forget, we’re in a service industry. This stunt makes a salient point for us to spend more time focusing on our clients’ needs and less time servicing ourselves.