The Telly Awards Gets A Sprucing Up

Well, here’s an unusually honest self-assessment: The Telly Awards says it has lost some relevance in recent years given that it has not kept up with the fast pace of change in the video world. 

And now the group is doing something about it. Today it unveiled new branding and leadership, the first steps in a series of changes aimed at revitalizing the 38-year-old award for the multi-screen era. The awards were founded in 1979 to honor commercials made for cable and local TV. 

As part of what the organization is calling a “new chapter,” The Telly Awards has tapped Sabrina Dridje to be its new managing director. She’s the former director of Made In NY Media Center. The group also has a new mission statement: “Honoring excellence in video and television across all screens,” admittedly something the group has struggled to do in recent years. 

Still, the Award is coveted within the industry, having attracted more than 12,000 video entries last year from industry blue chippers like Conde Nast, Showtime, Refinery29, Radical Media, and Ogilvy & Mather. 



Dridje, who’s been in the post a few months (while the wraps are just being pulled off efforts to shape the “new chapter” now) has been busy chatting up the industry in a bid to better understand the rapidly evolving video world, and how best to recognize the best work in the field within the context of the marketing and advertising community. 

Here’s what Dridje has to say about her new mission: “The heritage and community involved with The Telly Awards over nearly 40 years is unparalleled. But we quickly realized the Tellys were not evolving quickly enough. The changes to our visual identity and expanded mission are the result of months of engagement with the Telly community and video industry. They are just the first in a series of changes we will be launching to bring the Tellys more in-step with the rapidly changing industry it honors.” 

The group enlisted noted designer Rob Trostle—who has created designs for such clients as Nike, Sony, Target, and NBC—to develop a dynamic new visual identity.   

There’s also a new website, and a new editorial platform where industry leaders can share best practices, analyses, and opinions on trends and news shaping the video industry such as virtual reality. 

Dridje is also developing new collaborations with groups like the National Association of Broadcasters and the School of Visual Arts. 

The next call for entries for the Annual Telly Awards will open in October 2017 and winners will be announced in May 2018.

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