The One Show is introducing a new award celebrating work that not only taps into the zeitgeist but pushes it forward. The Cultural Driver Award will recognize influential marketing that has had a noticeable impact on pop culture, beyond even the marked effect of traditional advertising and design.
"Does the work lead and drive culture, instead of reflecting or following it?" said Jimmy Smith, a One Club Board member and chairman, CEO and CCO at Amusement Park Entertainment who was instrumental in creating the new award. "Does the work warp the preconceived notions of what advertising should be?" It may have contributed to a social movement or inspired a dance, created new slang or a fashion trend.
The winner will be determined by a select group of judge chosen from the ad industry, as well as music, sports and art. "By bringing in different groups than are traditionally on judging panels, we'll be more capable of recognizing new ideas that are important cultural drivers," Smith said. He cited ads from years past that were impactful and culturally relevant but didn't get much buzz at industry awards shows, like Wieden + Kennedy's 2015 Powerade spot featuring a poem by Tupac Shakur.
"Those who could connect with Tupac weren't on the jury," Smith said. He noted that while that kind of work has traditionally not done well at awards shows, "if you look at the market and sales and those types of data, they killed."
The addition of the Cultural Driver Award is an attempt to rectify the bias in awards shows that has recently come to mainstream attention with campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite.
"The One Show's categories are an accurate gauge of what's happening in the industry. We're very much a part of, and interact with, the industry through our awards shows as well as our diversity, education and mentorship programs," said Kevin Swanepoel, chief executive officer of The One Club. "We have our finger on the pulse and aim to have our categories reflect that pulse."
The Cultural Driver Award will be presented for the first time at the 44th Annual One Show Awards, which will take place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Friday, May 12.