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Agencies The Drum Chip Shop Awards Ad of the Day

'Do your research, be smart about what you're saying,' Toufic Beyhum talks Chip Shop shockvertising


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 12, 2016 | 5 min read

The Chip Shop Awards are back for another year to recognise the most out-there, cheeky and creative ads the rogues of the advertising world can muster.


The deadline to enter is fast approaching (Wednesday 13 April) so make sure you've got your entries in.

The Drum has tapped the minds of our judges, creative directors from Mr. President, Innocent Drinks, Edelman, Sunshine, Arc London and One Minute Briefs, to find out about their most outrageous advertising experiences and get to the bottom of what makes the perfect Chip Shop ad.

Freelance art director Toufic Beyhum who has worked with the likes of Leo Burnett, McCann, BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, Iris, Inferno, Getty Images, Naked, Y&R, in addition to serving the School of Communication Arts as an art director tutor shares his views on how to seal the deal with a hallowed Chip.

The Drum: How can Chip Shop entrants make sure their work gets your attention and doesn't get relegated to the bottom drawer forever?

Toufic Beyhum: I am looking for intelligent work. It's easy to Google a shocking image and stick a logo on it with a funny line.

I know lots of students who work on it treat the Chip Shop as a bit of a laugh and sure it is lots of fun to come up with ideas with no restrictions but it could trigger a huge idea that can be campaignable and could end up in your book and I don't mean the last page in your book where you show it for a laugh.

TD: What's the best idea for an ad you've ever had that never ran?

TB: The best idea i had got killed internally but DID actually run six years later by the same agency in a different country and it won gold at Cannes! Won't mention any names. B (cough) B (cough) D (cough) O (cough).

TD: Can you tell us about the most daring pitch you've been involved in - or heard about? (You don't need to name names.)

TB: All the pitches I have been involved in have been pretty serious and I believe the strategy and the creative work should speak for itself and shouldn't need bells and whistles but having said that I loved Allen Brady and Marsh's pitch tactics for British Rail in the late 70s when they got their future clients waiting in a dirty reception for half an hour and then told them this is how British Rail customers feel.

The exact words which I just looked up were: "That, gentlemen, is what confronts your customers every day. Let me now show you how you can rectify your image."

TD: Where is the line between being provocative and going too far in advertising?

TB: I will use Charlie Hebdo as an example, there is a thin line between "freedom of speech" and just being racist and ignorant and I think with their latest cartoons of the dead Syrian boy and the Syrian refugees crossed that line. It's not clever.

It’s the same with advertising, shocking doesn't have to be shocking for the sake of it. It can be very intelligent. As long as you do your research, be smart about what you are saying and who you are saying it to then it can be very effective and powerful.

TD: Is advertising more or less outrageous than it used to be? And is this a good or bad thing?

TB: Outrageous can mean shockingly bad/excessive but it can also mean bold and unusual. I think it depends on what people now days think outrageous is.

These days with all the weird shit on the internet we have become immune to shocking images, you need to work really hard to shock this generation. In the 50s you just had to show a bikini and that was outrageous.

But then again in the 50's it wasn't shocking to do ads of a man hitting his wife and people smoking but it would be outrageous if they ran today.

Last week we teased some of the finest work submitted to us so far. Remember, the deadline has been extended to the 13 April for the more sluggish creatives out there. Get entering.

For some inspiration, check out our Chip Shop Awards Hall Of Fame. Or for more information on how to enter, deadlines and more, visit the Chip Shop Awards website.

Agencies The Drum Chip Shop Awards Ad of the Day

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