In February we, along with our client Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, had bestowed upon us a very prestigious award. It’s the most prestigious a marketer can get in the state of Georgia. To win it, we had to beat Georgia-based marketing heavyweights like Chick-fil-A, Delta Airlines, Arby’s and The Home Depot.

The award was MAX Award (Marketing Award for Excellence), presented by the Department of Marketing at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It recognizes innovation, marketing support and marketplace success. We won the Grand Prize recognition from among seven finalists for our work on Georgia-Pacific Gypsum’s DensElement Barrier System:

We’re sharing this not to brag about our award (though we are quite proud of it,) but because we think it demonstrates what can happen when you have a collaborative effort between an agency and multiple departments within a client organization. It shows what can happen when product, marketing and sales are aligned.

Celebrating the Agency-Client Relationship

Agencies love awards, and we’re no exception. We suppose it’s because so many among our ranks secretly wish they were screenwriters or film directors, winning Oscars or Golden Globes.

To feed this need for shiny trophies, there are a ton of awards in the marketing industry, recognizing creativity, PR, video, interactive and even strategy.

These awards are nice. They represent agencies’ capabilities, they put feathers in the caps of creative, hardworking people, and they look great in the lobby and conference room.

But, what do they do for the clients?

Some awards, and the MAX Award is one of them, recognize not just the agency, or the work, or an ad. They encompass a complete journey. They tell a story of collaboration. They celebrate the agency-client relationship.

In our case, it started with our client, Georgia-Pacific, developing an innovative product. Countless hours of work by engineers, product managers, plant managers, production workers and more went into developing a product that met an unfilled need and delivered on a consumer promise.

The directive then came to GP’s marketing department and, by extension K&A, to create a compelling message and creative approach. It had to reach the right customers, inform them, persuade them, inspire them.

Most important, it had to offer a seamless customer buying experience, which is where GP’s sales department came in. They collaborated with us to ensure the message would offer that seamless customer experience, then they executed upon that message in the field.

The point is that everyone worked together, doing what they did best, to accomplish a common goal. If any aspect of the project would have been off target, it would not have worked.

A Great Journey

Naturally, we are happy to be associated with such a fine group of people who collaborated so well. For us, the MAX Award tells the story of a great shared journey, and we’re so proud to have been a part of it.

Awards for individual achievements are great, and we have several of those, too. In fact, this same campaign won “Best in Class”  in Architectural Record’s Excellence in Advertising competition. The winners were selected by a jury of architects… the very influencers that the campaign was designed to, well, influence.

But the relationship we have with our clients is honestly the best part of our business. And to be recognized for a group effort in pursuit of a challenging goal is very special indeed.