A&E Asks: Zooming Out on the Awards Show Season

With awards show season in full effect, we talked with Mark Avenson, vice president of marketing at R.S. Owens, about how such shows and the awards themselves impact the industry.

The average person may only think about awards when at a company luncheon or when watching mainstream awards shows, like the Grammys. With the awards show season in full effect, we talked with Mark Avenson, the vice president of marketing at R.S. Owens, about how such shows and the awards themselves impact the industry.

How do you think mainstream awards shows impact the awards industry?

Mainstream awards shows make a large contribution to the awards industry. They show the importance of recognition, the importance of branding, and the importance of good design. Seeing the recipients receive their awards helps corporations and small businesses understand the value of a rewarding performance. Televised and published mainstream events also give distributors an opportunity to show a company that rewarding performance has value in any type of business.

How do you, as someone in the awards industry, view mainstream awards?

Showing mainstream awards and understanding their importance illustrates… the value of recognition. Once you convince them of the importance of recognition; the awards sale follows. Often a company has been trying to institute a culture of recognition but does not know how to begin. The symbolic value of mainstream awards helps visualize how using custom or stock awards can build employee loyalty, motivation, increased performance, and employee retention.

There are many opportunities for recognition. When a distributor can reference a successful mainstream award (to our clients), it will help their customers see the value of recognition.  They can talk about other ways to recognize employees such as on-the-spot recognition, milestone recognition, and event recognition. All these pieces play a part in making employees feel valued and an important part of the brand’s success. 

What is the value of keeping an award?

The more beautiful a design is, the more likely it will be that the recipient will display it in a place of prominence. This gives two benefits. First, it builds upon the goodwill that the giver intended for the recipient. Second, whatever the award is, the hope is that it will show the value of recognition so that not only the recipient but anyone else who sees the award will understand that recognizing stellar performance is worthy of creating a special award for their individual company, non-profit or special project. The whole idea is to use the publicity from well-known awards (and shows) to sell other awards.

What is your opinion on the declining viewership of awards shows?

Declining viewership may hurt some of the awards shows that are purely marketing-driven events, but the ones with organizations and membership behind them will continue to be strong regardless of television viewership. Those awards were started and given prior to being televised to reward exceptional performance, and they will continue to do so with or without a TV show to back them. I am talking about organizations like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the different Hollywood guild awards including SAG, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Hollywood Foreign Press, the Recording Academy, CMA, BAFTA, and the like.

Shifting gears, one of the awards R.S. Owens creates is the Golden Globe. This year, your company was tasked with an update to the iconic award. What was the reason behind redesigning the trophy? 

The Golden Globes wanted to update its design with a more sleek, contemporary look without losing its iconic globe topper. The new award is easier to hold than the past square shape and the ergonomic shape ensures that the Globe icon will not be obstructed while the winner holds the award. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association also wanted to add a digital component as proof of authenticity which will make it nearly impossible to counterfeit. 

How far in advance do you start the production the trophies before awards shows?

We worked closely with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s design firm, R/GA, to design this new version of the Golden Globe Award and give a powerful new look to one of Hollywood’s most famous icons. Our top designer took several months to fine tune every aspect of the design with R/GA. It took about two months for production to create the quality award required for this legendary Hollywood award.

Allee Bruce

Alexandria Bruce

Alexandria Bruce is the former managing editor of GRAPHICS PRO magazine.

View all articles by Alexandria Bruce  

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