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McCann London CCO Laurence Thomson on winning advertising awards to 'get global-tongues-a-wagging'

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By Dani Gibson | Senior Writer

September 17, 2018 | 5 min read

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According to McCann London co president and chief creative officer, Laurence Thomson, everyone is playing in the same paddling pool and vying for that share of shiny trophies to call their own. He calls advertising "pretty incestuous" and adds: "There aren’t that many award shows that can hold a candle to the industry’s crème-de-la-crème – Cannes Lions.

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Advertising is 'pretty incestuous' says McCann London CCO Laurence Thomson

"But The Drum, as a publication, is one of the best industry trade publications out there, with a global footprint that’s growing exponentially. It’s now one of the largest marketing platforms in the world, so in my view, if you enter The Drum Advertising Awards and you win, you’re going to get global-tongues-a-wagging – and fast."

Thomson, along with an all star panel of creative experts, is set to judge The Drum Advertising Awards 2018. The deadline has passed but you can still enter by applying for an extension.

Thomson wants to see new and interesting campaigns that go beyond just your good old, run-of-the-mill. "If the entries evoke emotion, help to shift products and make people think, then they deserve a chance at taking home some metal."

Ogilvy and Mather's, chief creative officer, Mick Mahoney would love to see ambition, risk and something that is fresh and exciting. "Something that makes the whole industry jump up and shout ‘bollocks’ I should have done that. Something that makes everything the industry has done for the last 10 years look a bit rubbish. As a CCO I’d rather see a one or a two out of 10, as long as it was in the honest pursuit of a nine or a 10. It’s the five’s and the six’s that I can’t stand."

In a climate where a lot of the focus has been on AdTech, much of the craft of great advertising might have been overlooked explained Talenthouse's co-founder, Maya Bogle. "Great advertising has always been about the work - we just need a lot more of it now and these awards are celebrating the craft that is at the very heart of advertising.

"I want to see great work that's provocative, moving and demonstrates the craft of great advertising. The kind of standout work that provokes a reaction - whatever that may be and authentically weaves the brand into the creative."

The industry is on the verge of fundamental root and branch change, claimed Mahoney. However, it is creating uncertainty which is reflected in the quality of the work at the moment. He concluded: "The upshot will be a much greater choice of agency models and approaches. Not just networks versus indie’s, but whatever their shape, those driven by creativity, and the belief that all roads lead to the work will stand out. As they always have."

The Drum Advertising Awards deadline has passed but you can still enter by applying for an extension. Contact Katy Thomson for more details.

Sponsor of the awards are Talenthouse.

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