On Wednesday evening, Boston’s top advertising talent will converge on the House of Blues to partake in the the Hatch Awards, the Ad Club’s celebration of the city’s most creative campaigns. This annual event reunites creative directors, copywriters and designers, all of whom gladly take the time to recognize other agencies’ innovations and reconnect.
The latter purpose in particular points to a major differentiator within the realm of advertising on a national level. While some may interpret the size of the city’s advertising scene as a fallibility, the reality is that the fewer numbers inspire a tight-knit community of agencies that mutually motivate and appreciate one another’s work. And rest assured that the smaller volume of firms translates into neither a less competitive, nor a less gifted, pool of executives. Over the years, Boston’s agencies have pumped out a lengthy list of award-winning campaigns for popular brands–and they show no signs of relenting.
To spark the collaborative spirit early, BostInno has rounded up a number of reflections on, and expectations for, the Hatch Awards from a handful of leading industry veterans.
SapientNitro Director of Design Chad Portas summed this Wednesday’s awards in a single word: community.
“Agencies duke it out on stage and then buy each other drinks afterwards, said Portas. “It’s a celebration of Boston, the creative people that make it great and the advertising industry that has been thriving here for decades.”
Gary Greenberg, Executive VP and Chief Creative Officer at allen+gerritsen, echoed the intimacy of Boston’s advertising community.
“We’re all very close, and we’ve mostly all worked together at some point…I think we’re far more interconnected [than other cities],” explained Greenberg. “It’s amazing when you stop and think about your journey and your career, and how many people you’ve connected with and worked with who have impacted your career and your life. We’re all kind of that one family.”
Though the city’s ad scene may be amicable, it is also, without a doubt, competitive. By shining the spotlight on a number of cutting-edge campaigns, the Hatch Awards incites a fire in the bellies of Boston’s driven executives, pointed out Arnold Worldwide VP Creative Director and Copywriter Greg Almeida.
“We’re small, but we’re really good,” shared Almeida of the city’s creative sector. “I think [the Hatch Awards] motivates other agencies. While you watch people walk up on stage, you’re saying, “Well, next year it’s going to be our turn!’ Everyone goes to the big shows as well, but it’s nice to compete against each other locally.”
Greenberg also pointed to the toughness of the Awards’ selection process. “It’s a very difficult show. It’s not just that because it’s a regional show, it means it’s an easy show,” he stated. “The bar is set extremely high. When you walk up out and you win something, you can feel extremely proud. It’s certainly not a cakewalk for any creative.”