The Cream Awards
November the fifth certainly went off with a hell of a bang for The English Group. The Bath-based design agency exploded onto the Cream scene at Birmingham’s International Conference Centre by collecting this year’s coveted Grand Prix award. Added to this, it elicited plenty more “oohhhs” and “aahhhs” from the 400-strong audience, with an inspiring display that saw the team collect a further two golds and silvers. By the time the end of the evening rolled round, the agency’s creative standing had clearly rocketed up into the firmament to join their moods and champagne corks.
Although The English Group made arguably the biggest bang of the 2003 Cream Awards, they weren’t the only Guys to light up the night with their burning talent and ambition. The new-look ceremony, the first since the merger of Adline with The Marketeer, changed its focus slightly to zoom in exclusively on the creative heartlands of the Midlands, East, South West and Wales, picking up some of the very best advertising and design produced in the UK.
It was the job of the judicious Ben Casey (of The Chase fame) and his jurors to sift through this creative gold, searching for the nuggets that shone that little bit brighter than the rest. From the results, they certainly seemed to find that The English Group was amongst the alchemists with the most persuasive formulas for success.
The team collected the top prize, along with their two other golds, for their exquisitely crafted “Printed Matter No1” piece for Park Lane Press. Demonstrating that the team clearly isn’t a one-trick pony, they also trotted up into the limelight to net two silvers, the first for their own stationery and the second for client Haiku (Fine Art) Ltd in the Promotional Literature category.
After The English Group, there were a number of other big winners eager to cash in their chips for industry kudos. Leicester’s Big Communications stepped up to spin the awards wheel with a wedge of the smart money riding on its work for high-profile drinks brand WKD. The gamble certainly paid off, with Big collecting its winnings in numerous categories, including Art Direction, Copywriting and Outdoor Advertising. In all, the team ambulated off from the top table laden down with one gold, four silvers and two bronzes for their wicked work.
They also proved they could hit the target with pieces for other clients, as two more bronze awards passed through their creative crosshairs for Howes Percival and RMD Europe (the latter secured by new media division Fuse Digital).
As with all awards ceremonies, there was the odd dark horse or two or, in the case of Specsavers Optical Group, a bit of a black beauty. The high-street optometrist’s in-house ad department swept the board across the TV/Cinema Commercial and Campaign categories, as well as in the Low Budget arena, with some clearly thoroughbred creativity. Overall, its beautifully simple, effective and undeniably amusing executions secured three golds at a canter, as well as taking one silver and a bronze back to their Guernsey-based stable. On the night, everyone agreed that the accolades “should have gone to Specsavers” ... groan.
From a feeble line to a beautifully executed campaign – BCLO’s striking work for Yamaha Motorcycles impressed everyone on the awards circuit. It eventually revved past the chequered flag with a silver in Photography and Press Advertising, before taking pole position in the race for Retail/Leisure/Food & Drink Sector with a well-deserved gold. The team’s marketing mechanics also turned their hands wonderfully well to the Duco-Lax brief, creating work that communicated to consumers in a refreshingly candid and humorous manner, securing gold in the 6,4 or Smaller Sheet Poster stakes. A bronze in Financial/Trade/Professional provided the icing for BCLO’s Cream cake.
Other creative cats that got the cream included Nick Galanides and Martin Parkes, who were popular (from the rapturous reception they received) winners of two golden gongs for their “Get Juiced – Fist” piece for WT. Chrysalis Radio Creative Midlands joined this elite “double gold” coterie with hard-hitting work that slapped some sense into listeners regarding the very serious issues of drug use and sexual health. Good work: well done, Chrysalis. In the radio arena McCann-Erickson Birmingham was the only other firm to tune into awards success, taking bronze for Chiltern Railways and the No-Stopping Us execution. All in all, it was a good night for McCann’s Birmingham, which collected two silvers for client Sodastream and a further bronze for Robert Horne Paper. McCann’s Bristol also raised eyebrows, smirks and their spirits with a playful take on Puppy Training for client Golden Valley Veterinary Hospital. They fetched a bronze for their trouble.
And that was that. A fun November 5th, with a lot of smiling Guys and not too many “Oh, for Fawkes sakes”. The winners, all of whom you can see in this month’s special Cream supplement, were well worthy of their accolades in a competition that, as chair of the judges Ben Casey commented, “set the standard” for the new, revised format. If you think you can reach this standard, and maybe even raise the bar, we’ll see you next year for another conflagration of creativity. Expect fireworks, folks.