On the true importance of awards in times of digital transformation

This story begins with a big smile and a pat on the back: we have won another award for our work. Hooray! A few weeks ago, we were informed that our collaboration with the DO Jerez-Xeres-Sherry, and in particular, the rejuvenating effects that the International Sherry Week has had on the wines of the region, has been recognised by the Digiday Awards Europe as the best collaboration of the year 2024.

This award, in particular, is in recognition of our collaboration with a legacy client, thus highlighting how important relationships are to our agency and is, in fact, what the ‘Co’ in Chelsea & Collaborators stands for. This European award – the Digiday Awards recognise the work of companies, campaigns, and technologies that modernise media and marketing – adds to our agency’s list of four other awards: a Drinks Business Award (2020), an International Wine Challenge Merchant Award (2020), and two The Drinks International Marketing Challenge Awards (2016 and 2020), which is not bad at all!

What is measurable gives you freedom

However, the article does not end with the mere enthusiasm that we naturally feel when an organisation as important as the one mentioned above tells us that we are doing our job very well. We all have our egos, and feeding them, to a certain extent, is positive because it provides authority and security. However, I never founded this agency with the sole aim of winning awards.

Unlike other trophies for which an agency is eligible, ones that quite legitimately reward the beauty of an art direction or the brilliance of a creative idea, Chelsea&Co. has always aimed for those awards in which, objectively, the effectiveness of a strategy and the communication campaign in which it materialises is measured.

Fortunately, in the digital world, almost everything is measurable (and what isn’t yet will be in the very near future, I’m sure). For marketing and communication professionals, the ability to calculate the impact of each of our actions provides us—although it may seem otherwise—tremendous freedom to experiment and create new perspectives through the interpretation of the data we obtain almost in real time.

Of course, this requires us to be more agile—mentally and in terms of production—than was necessary in previous decades. It’s almost like working live, i.e., it’s exciting because it forces us to constantly learn and improve. And perhaps, in addition to feeding our vanity, the true value of all these awards is that they give visibility to a way of understanding communication that involves establishing solid strategies which are then executed and reformulated at great speed.

The concept of speed, in an age-old industry such as the wine and spirits industry, which has always valued slow processes—so necessary to produce delicious libations—is revolutionary in the sector, but it is only the beginning…

Transformation is a must

In the very near future – really, very, very near; we at Chelsea&Co. will soon be able to demonstrate – we will witness the impact of AI accelerating all this even further. The companies that will benefit the most are those that have begun their training ahead of time.

I know, I know… all of this might sound like an omen, and perhaps there’s a bit of truth to that. However, I’m certain someone harboured similar thoughts when, in 2013, I launched World Sherry Day with the goal of modernising the centuries-old tradition of Sherry to align with contemporary consumer tastes.

Some might have considered it an almost impossible endeavour, yet now, the awards acknowledge the journey we embarked on 11 years ago.

Perhaps that is the true significance of these awards: they affirm that transforming the wine and spirits industry by utilising the digital world’s tools is not only feasible but also advantageous and necessary.

It reaffirms our mission to assist wines and spirits in reaching a global audience, marrying tradition with digital innovation.



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