There is plenty of life outside the advertising industry in London and this year, The Drum Roses Awards nominees represents exactly how well those outside the M25 are punching above the weight of the large agencies.
A judging panel of industry experts from Wunderman, Iris, Amaze Realise, Jolly Rebellion, Together Design, Magpie Studio and Jack Renwich Studio got together to find the trend setters of the advertising industry.
There were as many themes and topics as there were entries, said Roberto Kilciauskas, a freelance creative director and member of the judging panel.
“It was a pleasure to go through such an array of work. What stood out for me was the strength of work, creatively and craft-wise, coming from the client side as well. Without a doubt that made the competition even tougher.
“It’s also important to test the limits of the boundaries of an idea and stretch it in unpredictable ways. Just like a fishing net, the wider they stretch, the more they can catch.”
Kilciauskas said that people should forget about the size of the budget and the length of the film. He explained: “The good old TV/Cinema category always brings stories that are entertaining, worth sharing and, are still selling their brands and products. The devices we use to watch them might be in constant change every year, but the emotions they stir in us when we watch a good story remain the same of back when we were still scribbling in caves. That's priceless.”
The nominees for TV/Cinema Campaign are: BBC Creative for BBC Sport, Cheetham Bell for John West, Golley Slater Cardiff for the Welsh Government and McCann Manchester for Aldi.
As a designer, Lisa Campana, chair of the judging panel and director of design at Wunderman UK is always excited to a brand identity or typography project. “That said,” she adds, “if something uses humour in a creative way, I’m always drawn to it. There were a lot of strong contenders in the advertising categories and a radio campaign that totally smashed it.”
The finalists for Radio Campaign are: BBC Creative for BBC Sport, The Leith Agency for Irn Bru and One Black bear for National Express.
Following two days of staring that the screen and shortlisting each of the 50 categories, the judges locked themselves in a room with red and yellow stickers. Red sticker for award, yellow sticker for debating. “There was lot of debate which means we weren’t an easy jury,” said Cathy Hutton, co-founder and creative director of Jolly Rebellion. “So if you’ve bagged an award, I’d be pretty stoked.
A favourite category of Hutton’s was exhibition. “There were a few entries in this category that just wowed the jury. Designing temporary exhibitions isn’t easy. From the overarching idea, to design that makes you want to go, to each and every touchpoint. The work we saw was incredibly considered.”
For Rob Steeles, executive creative director at AmazeRealise, the quality of execution and thinking coming from some of the internal agencies made an impact with the judges.
He said: “While the debate carries on that in-housing leads to restrictive thinking on brands, it's good to see talented people getting on and doing great work, thus proving the nay-sayers wrong.”
“Some think entering a regional creative award means a higher likelihood of winning an award,” he added. “On the contrary. Standards were as high here as any other award. In some categories, big budget entries were beaten by small budgets proving that the strength of the idea and the finesse in the execution will always be the deciding factor.”
The film entries were the most hotly contested and debated and Steeles suggested that there were some great ones in this year's awards. “They ranged from exquisite craft and storytelling,” he noted. “To thought-provoking narratives, to laugh out loud scriptwriting and acting.
The finalists for TV/ Cinema Commercial Produced for 20k or less are: BBC Creative for BBC Sport, Mighty Giant for Chester Zoo and SBW Advertising for Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government.
Sponsors of the awards are Become, Bank of Creativity and Winmo.