Fiction addictionJanuary 31, 2024
Lots of messages for small businesses who are entering awards can be found scattered among the bright outfits and sequins of the Hollywood awards season. We’ve searched through the glitter to find them so you don’t have to.
Lesson 1 – Size doesn’t matter
One of the most important lessons from the Hollywood film awards is that being a smaller company doesn’t guarantee failure.
As evidence – The Boy and the Heron from Studio Ghibli won Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globes, beating Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
According to LinkedIn, Studio Ghibli operates on a staff of 190 people, as compared to Sony Pictures’ 9000 and Universal’s 10,000+.
We can take inspiration from a company 10 times smaller than a titan in the field of animation who took home the award. In our experience, a smaller team can be more passionate about a project because of the collaboration needed to make it work and because they can be closer to the detail than a large team working for a corporation.
Lesson 2 – No guarantees
You might be tempted to enter every category you can, but is that the right use of your resources? And will it definitely result in more trophies? Not necessarily.
The Crown is a good example. The Netflix series collected 23 separate nominations at the Golden Globes, but only won eight awards overall. The number of awards you’re nominated for doesn’t equate to how many you are guaranteed to win.
Just because your competitors have been nominated for five awards while you have been nominated for one, doesn’t mean they will come out on top.
Sure, you have to be in it to win it. But it’s possible to have a clutch of nominations and come home empty-handed, or just one place on the shortlist and still bring home the award. (We would still argue that’s been a worthwhile exercise, as for businesses, 90% of the benefit is being on the shortlist, as we wrote about here.)
Lesson 3 – Commercial success isn’t everything
Not every film we expected to perform well did so. Barbie was nominated for nine awards at the Golden Globes this season but only came out with two wins (Best Original Song and Cinematic and Box Office Achievement). Fittingly enough for this lesson, Barbie won the award for commercial success.
Barbie was a blockbuster this summer, selling 41 million tickets. Around 9 million of these are suspected to be people who went to see it again. Barbie has made history for saving the cinema and will be forever known for the cultural phenomenon #Barbenheimer, yet still only won two awards.
And let’s not forget the irony of the Oscars nominations, which saw Ryan Gosling get a nomination for best supporting male actor, but no accolades for lead actress Margot Robbie or creative genius Greta Gerwig.
(As a sideline, if you’re a fan of a gif, check out Gosling’s face when “I’m just Ken” was announced as best original song at the Critics’ Choice Awards. His other half Eva Mendes has shared the clip extensively on her social media).
This all goes to show that just because another brand or business is on paper more commercially successful than yours, doesn’t always mean it’ll do better in awards. It’s about the story you tell, the data you support it with, and how you get the judges to connect with your entry.
There are lessons in every awards ceremony, if you know where to look. At Awards Writers, we strive to help small businesses achieve their award-winning potential. Be sure to get in touch if we could help you.