Creativity unleashed: John Jessup reveals his favourite Chip Shop Awards nominees for 2015

As we ready ourselves for the unveiling of 2015’s Chip Shop Awards winners, chairman of the judges John Jessup talks us through some of the entries that most impressed him this year, and we take a look at everyone’s favourite category, Best Use of a Shop Window Postcard.

A veteran of the Chip Shops jury and chairman of this year’s judges, John Jessup has watched the awards grow up of late, with entries through the years ranging from clever to cocky to downright crass.

Praising the class of 2015 for being “less trashy” than previous years, he says a change in tone was evident during the judging process.

“There’s been a step change in the Chip Shops and not just in the people entering ads but with the judges too. The judges this year were looking for quality ads that made a bit more sense, they weren’t just outrageous for the sake of it or had a swear word or a controversial point for no reason,” says Jessup.

“Yes there are still laughs to be had, that’s the nature of the Chip Shop Awards, but it’s a quality laugh now,” he says, pointing to a “very funny but very un-PC” entry for Cadbury Crème Eggs featuring Jesus (‘Resurreggtion’) as a prime example of this.

Surveying the overall quality of entries, Jessup is full of praise for the creatives taking a punt on winning a Chip or Vinegar, deeming the scamps and films being submitted as “very professional”, adding that for young creatives winning a Chip can make all the difference.

“I can’t speak for those hiring but I would imagine seeing a young creative who has been judged by an elite group of creatives and had their work judged to be of a high enough quality to win an award has got to mean something. It shows you’re the kind of person who’s daring and has that raw creativity.”

Ahead of the awards, which take place on Wednesday 17 June, we asked Jessup to share a few of his favourite entries from this year’s more grown up affair.

Virgin Active Gym ‘It Sucks To Be Last’ by Falmouth University

The Virgin Active entry ‘It sucks to be last’ from Falmouth University with the guys running away from a bear really stood out for me. It was so simple and funny and it made its point beautifully. No one wants to be last in a race, especially against a bear or a shark. I could see it running as a proper campaign. It’s a bit cheeky as it takes the mick out of fat people, but it reminded me of the Ikea ‘Snowman’ from a few years back – it was so simple and the kind of humour you could get straight away.

'Hornby Posters' by The Agency

The Hornby campaign from The Agency, with the posters in train stations that looked as if they were real delays, was beautifully written and very nicely art directed. Like the Virgin Active one I can see this one running too. It’s getting more and more important to the Chips that those entering are aware you can be funny or outrageous or controversial but still relevant. The copy, ‘Unfortunately, the 22:05 service to Bracknell has been cancelled by the driver’s Mum... it seems he has school in the morning’, really made me laugh.

‘Matt & Dave Celebrity Testimonials’ by Matt & Dave @ akaCreatives

A lot of work went into the Best Shameless Self-Promotion entry from Matt & Dave. They’d cleverly found all these celebrities talking about Matt and Dave and cut it together, but one of them is clearly mates with Freddie Flintoff and they got him to do a big up for them at the end which was brilliant. It’s a great way for two young creatives to make their mark. It’ll go out to all the creative directors and I’d be staggered if those two don’t pick up a job really soon.

‘Paranoia Support Group’ by Big Dog Agency

The Best Use of a Shop Window Postcard category really sums up what the Chip Shop Awards are all about. It’s a real test of creative thinking and that’s what real creativity is – doing what you can with as little as possible, challenging your imagination to come up with these brilliant simple thoughts. That’s the beauty of the Chip Shops, it’s all about the idea. It’s hard to choose, but the paranoid one with the great big lumps of blu-tack and sellotape really stood out for me. It was just fantastic work from Big Dog Agency.

Take a look below to see some more of the great Best Use of a Shop Window Postcard entries.

Harley Medical Group ‘Boob Tack’ by Big Dog Agency

Frank 'Note in Window’ by School of Communication Arts

‘Lawn Mower For Sale’ by CAB Studios

‘Stripped’ by RY

This feature was first published in the The Drum's 10 June issue.

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