The rising era of fake awards

Donald Trump hit the headlines again earlier this year by revealing the winners of his own, highly anticipated, Fake News Awards on Twitter — but it turns out these are not the only awards you probably don’t want to win. 

Just like April Fools jokes, spoof awards have become increasingly popular in recent years and a range of parody accolades are now almost as well recognised as their more serious counterparts. 

By Chelsea Heard, account executive and awards specialist at Stone Junction. 

The Golden Raspberry Awards
Better known as the Razzies, a spray painted golden raspberry is awarded for failure in cinematic achievements, with categories including Worst Actor and Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie. Traditionally held the night before the Oscars in Los Angeles, the 38th annual ceremony took place just a few weeks ago on March 3, 2018.

Contradicting awards have been known to occur, with three people winning both a Razzie and an Oscar over the same weekend. However, Wall Street (1987) remains the only film to date to pick up a gong in both.

Ig Nobel Prize
As a scientific and technical PR agency, the prize for our favourite spoof award has to go to the Ig Nobel Prize. Ran since 1991 as a parody of, you guessed it, the Nobel Prize, it celebrates ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research each year.

A few of our favourite winners include:
  • James Heathcote for his medical research study, Why do old men have big ears? Winner of the Anatomy Prize, 2017.
  • Milo Puhan et al for demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring. Winner of the Peace Prize, 2017.
  • Christoph Helmchen et al for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa). Winner of the Medicine Prize, 2016.

Turnip Prize
The Turnip Prize is an annual prize for spoof art — not strictly a fake award in itself, it rather gives honours for the worst fake art. Ran from a Somerset pub, the awards are a fun take on the Turner Prize and encourages entries which take the least amount of effort possible to create.

Artist Chris P Bacon won the 2017 award for his entry entitled Pulled Pork, which consisted of a toy tractor pulling a plastic pig. The 2017 awards attracted a wide range of media attention, although not quite as much as President Trump’s Twitter prizes. Perhaps running your own fake awards could be the next PR tactic?

Even if you don’t fancy setting up your own spoof prizes, many awards are an excellent way of standing out from your competition, as well as securing some excellent media coverage. For help on deciphering the worthwhile awards for your industry and business, contact me on chelsea@stonejunction.co.uk or call 01785 225416.

Chelsea Heard

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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