Award winning designers… So what?

Award Winning Designers

I realize the title of this blog is somewhat inflammatory. I mean, how could I not like getting an award, right? I think it started back in 7th grade, I went out for the wrestling team. What a horrible sport. Little did I know the humiliation that was awaiting me.  In my first (and only) tournament, I was pinned in 11 seconds, and that was the end of my wrestling career. However they did give me, what could possibly be, the most meaningless award known to man…

A Certificate of Participation

Yes, the Certificate of Participation. “You participated, that’s about it, you can pin this to your cork board.” I kept it only to remind myself never to participate in wrestling again.

The level of an award is always equated to a precious metal of some sort. Platinum, gold, silver and bronze. And then there’s the throw away award that no one wants… the Honorable Mention. It’s almost an oxymoron. The word “mention” indicates that this award almost deserves no attention whatsoever. But we attach “honorable” to it and, somehow, it raises the insignificance to plaque-worthy status. “This guy did great- we give him GOLD! These two guys did pretty good too- so we give them SILVER and BRONZE! Oh- and this last guy made an attempt to do a good job- so we might as well MENTION him.”

The other part of winning awards that bugs me is that no one cares except others in your industry. Industry contests such as these are  expensive to enter, and then IF you win, no one gives a damn except your competition. The return on investment just doesn’t pencil out for me. Years ago they had the Pizazz Awards here in Bakersfield, later they would become the Kern County Addy Awards. Kevin McAtee, owner of McAtee and Associates would take out a second on his house just so he could enter tons of stuff. I’d scrape together a few bucks enter a couple of things. I will admit that when I won, and beat one of their shotgun blast entries, it felt pretty good. But none of my customers cared. In fact, I finally took all the plaques down because I got tired of explaining that they weren’t PIZZA awards but PIZAZZ awards. I think clients were always a little disappointed to find out that they didn’t have anything to do with food.

Box of old awards I won

My box of worthless Pizazz awards.

So that being said- I hypocritically want to share with you some recent awards that we won that I am a bit proud of… only for the fact that they were a team effort. The team being the marketing folks at San Joaquin Community Hospital; Jarrod McNaughton, Suzanne Satterfield, Jimmy Phillips, Teresa Adamo and Marsha Kennedy and my team; Jen Williams and Alan Urquhart.

The Aster Awards

The Aster Awards is a medical marketing awards program allowing healthcare organizations and advertising agencies to compete against similarly sized competitors from across the nation and world.

We won 2 golds and a bronze.

100 Year SJCH logo

San Joaquin Community Hospital — Bakersfield, CA
Agency: Willis Design Studio — Bakersfield, CA
Award: Bronze
Entry Name: 100-Year Logo
Category: Logo Design/Letterhead

Living Our Values Campaign

San Joaquin Community Hospital — Bakersfield, CA
Agency: Willis Design Studio — Bakersfield, CA
Award: Gold
Entry Name: Living Our Values Campaign
Category: Internal Advertising Campaign

San Joaquin Community Hospital — Bakersfield, CA
Agency: Willis Design Studio — Bakersfield, CA
Award: Gold
Entry Name: Baby Love
Category: Service Line – Women’s

The Twenty-Eighth Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards

The oldest, largest and most widely respected healthcare advertising awards. Nearly 4,000 entries were received in this years competition, making the awards the largest healthcare advertising awards competition.

We won 1 gold and 2 Merits (The equivalent of the “Honorable Mention”)

Living Our Values Campaign

San Joaquin Community Hospital — Bakersfield, CA
Agency: Willis Design Studio — Bakersfield, CA
Award: Gold
Entry Name: Living Our Values Campaign
Category: Total PR Program

San Joaquin Community Hospital — Bakersfield, CA
Agency: Willis Design Studio — Bakersfield, CA
Award: Merit
Entry Name: Baby Love
Category: Other

San Joaquin Community Hospital — Bakersfield, CA
Agency: Willis Design Studio — Bakersfield, CA
Award: Merit
Entry Name: Project LOV
Category: Poster

Jimmy Phillips - July 5, 2011 - 4:49 pm

When I first started reading your post — I immediately thought of our awards, which basically give us bragging rights amongst ourselves at team meetings. In all seriousness, you’re right, the redeeming value of it all is seeing a team of people work together and create something bigger and better than any individual on their own. They call that synergy, right?

Marina - July 5, 2011 - 6:26 pm

I once won five dollars for a dance contest that I didn’t even know I was in. I was just dancing to Miss You by the Rolling Stones. The 15 minute version of course. If I tried to dance to that now I would have a stroke. I have not lived a life where there have been potential for alot of awards. However I have received alot of rewards. The smile on my childs face, the bond of family, the blessings of friendships, past and future. So at the end of my days they may not say she was so good at xyz, look at all her awards. I just hope they’ll say she was a good person and lived a good life. If they don’t who cares I’ll be dead.

willisdesign - July 5, 2011 - 6:26 pm

We have great synergy at SJCH.

Don Mason - July 5, 2011 - 9:04 pm

Wow! Been a long time since I thought of the Pizza awards.

Years ago, a rep from the AD club stopped by studio to pick up a proof, and I had a Pizza Award propping the screen door open.

Now that I’m older, I know that was a mistake.

Just glue a small angle iron on the back, and they’re far better to use as book ends.

JULIANE - July 5, 2011 - 10:16 pm

a synergy, I apparently, am not apart of or at least worth a (honorable) mention?? ha ha

willisdesign - July 6, 2011 - 4:24 pm

That WAS an oversight Juliane- you are the “j” in “team”!

willisdesign - July 6, 2011 - 4:25 pm

Well put Marina! Made me all warm and fuzzy.

willisdesign - July 6, 2011 - 4:39 pm

Don- I am dusting mine off as we speak- going to use as trivets.

Ronald Marvin - April 26, 2012 - 4:52 pm

I don’t know if anyone has contacted Kevin McAtee regarding the passing of Don Mason, but they were friends and I think he would want to know. Do you know Kevin’s email, or could you let him know?
Thanks,
Ron Marvin

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