Marketing Awards Case Studies The Drum Chip Shop Awards

9 Chip Shop Awards entries that could get us into trouble...


By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

May 26, 2022 | 11 min read

The creative freedom that underpins The Drum’s Chip Shop Awards always makes for a unique showcase of unfiltered brilliance that inspires the rest of the ad industry, but it almost always gets The Drum into some trouble. This year ups the ante once more. Be afraid, be inspired...

Chip Shop Awards

Check out nine of this year’s entries to the Chip Shop Awards

The Chip Shop Awards celebrates creativity without limits and serves as an unruly playground where mocked-up ads that (mostly) could never run speak louder than any real work could. Our entrants are not shy of courting controversy with their parodies and political commentary.

We enable students and newcomers to go toe-to-toe with the giants of the industry. This is what The Drum co-founder and editor-in-chief Gordon Young believes makes it such a unique event.

“There are big names in the competition, but anyone can enter and compete on a level playing field,” he explains. “It doesn’t have a student category – they enter the whole thing and compete with professional creatives... and sometimes come out on top. It’s the only competition where that happens.“

Many of the submissions are hypothetical campaign ideas with absolutely no affiliation to the brands and IPs they purport to promote. It’s important to say that bit. But this allows the ad industry to discover untapped potential and redefine the boundaries of what is acceptable – even if it raises a few eyebrows.

The 2022 entries impressed and delighted the judges, and Young believes the creativity on display is more impactful than any year previous. “The judges said it was a very strong year with a lot of good ideas coming through. Many look at real-life problems.

“When we first started the Chip Shop Awards, there was a trend where everyone just wanted to do the most shocking ad they could possibly think of. Now they may be contentious and funny, but they all have a purpose to them. The spoof ads could run and the real ads could be spoofs.

“The other interesting thing is we are getting more real campaigns – but they too fit the ethos of the event. Some are real ads, but feature spoof products. Others are so brave it comes as a surprise the clients actually signed off the work, so fair play to them. Perhaps you know something is good when it gives you cause for worry.”

Ahead of the Chip Shop Awards on June 23 at The Drum Labs in London, on location in Cannes and on The Drum’s website, here are nine of the most controversial and outstanding submissions.

BrewDog Molotovs

Category: Ad Most Likely To Cause a Riot

Entrant: Merkle


The submission from Merkle is one of many touching on the crisis in Ukraine and leans into BrewDog’s tendency to thrust itself into current cultural discussions, as it has done with its carbon-negative brewery and the production of its hand sanitizer to battle shortages in the NHS.

This parody ad sees the brand producing yet another alternative product to help civilians in Ukraine, with a BrewDog beer bottle repurposed as a molotov cocktail with the label name ‘Fuck Off’ and, underneath, a brief product description that simply reads ‘Removes C***s.’

“It’s one of those ones that takes it very close to the line,” says Young when looking over the submission. “Whether it crosses it or not is hard to say, but it’s certainly either on the line or almost across it. That’s what the Chip Shop Awards does – it helps people work out how far they can push it.”

This search could be history

Category: Best Ad Which Really Should Run (That Hasn’t)

Entrant: Phai Dip


This category exists for ideas that clients actually could run, but never have.

This ad is simple yet poignant. It aims to remind us of the future that awaits the planet if we fail to protect the species endangered by the destructive and selfish actions of humans. Entrant Phai Dip is putting across the message that these animals are endangered, and if nothing is done to save them we won’t even be able to find them in search engines.

“The WWF idea was great. It’s very impactful and shows an internet search for orangutan and the return saying, ‘sorry, no results for orangutan, did you mean orange tan? Organic tan? Orgasms?’ It has humor to it, but it also serves as a serious reminder that we need to do more to protect the planet and endangered species.”

Never Wait In Line Again

Category: Best Use of Celebrity

Entrant: M&C Saatchi London


Having M&C Saatchi London taking part in the competition is exactly what the Chip Shop Awards is all about, in that the biggest names in the industry are competing on a level playing field with newcomers and students. The spoof Burger King submission advertises the company’s app, which allows users to order ahead of time so they can skip the queues. It features 73-year-old Prince Charles, next in line to the British throne, as an analogy of how long some people have to wait in line.

“The good thing about that was it’s so simple and funny,” says Young. “You couldn’t ever use the royal family in ads. It’s very hard to do that, but this could run if it was allowed.”

Behind Closed Doors

Category: Best Corporate Identity

Entrant: Raw London

World Cup

Raw London’s entry is another example of the evolving trend Young has noticed over the years of the Chip Shop Awards, where brands’ submissions are shocking but have an important message behind them.

This ad, which he describes as “hard-hitting,” is for the upcoming World Cup and aims to turn the spotlight on the controversy behind Fifa’s decision to allow Qatar to host the tournament when it has been reported that around 6,500 migrant workers have died since the country was named host.

It shows a bandage in the shape of the World Cup trophy dripping with blood alongside ‘Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022,’ which, naturally, is also dripping in blood.

Bag for life

Category: Best Retail

Entrant: Ogilvy Health

Bag for Life

Another submission that stood out is Ogilvy Health’s Bag for Life. It is one of many submissions that focuses on health subjects.

The theoretical idea is for Testicular Cancer Awareness Month and would see all bag purchases donated to the cause. The image shows an illustration of testicles on the bag and reads ‘your bag for life.’ It is a play on a shopping bag for life, as well as a ‘ballbag’ for life.

“This ad works. People are challenging health taboos now. This one deals with a serious topic but, by putting it on an everyday object like a shopping bag, it normalizes the discussion and is a really good metaphor.”

Not Coming Home

Category: Ad Most Likely To Cause a Riot

Entrant: Electric House Creative


Another hard-hitting submission around the World Cup is Electric House Creative’s spoof of an Amnesty International ad. The graphic image shows a football boot standing on a ball that is covered in blood while the text reads ‘They’re not coming home,’ a play on the ‘Football’s coming home’ lyrics in the famous Three Lions song created for England’s Euro 96 campaign.

The ad was inspired by (not approved by) Amnesty International, which has campaigned relentlessly to raise awareness of migrant worker deaths in Qatar.

“This is another ad aiming to cut through the excitement of the upcoming World Cup and instead turn the attention to human rights issues associated with Qatar’s preparation for the tournament.”

No-Fly Zone

Category: Ad Most Likely To Cause a Riot

Entrant: Aaron McCarthy

No Fly

One of the standout individual submissions was from Aaron McCarthy, who chose to comment on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The spoof ad is for Raid Fly Spray and shows the text ‘No Fly Zone’ overlaying the Ukrainian flag. The idea leans into Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s calls to Nato to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which the organization has been reluctant to do for fear it would place it in direct conflict with Russia and initiate a more widespread war.

“The Raid brand is a regular in the Chip Shop Awards. There is no doubt this is punchy and uses humor in a way that will be bound to encourage debate, even if many people believe the issue is no laughing matter.”

Where are we going?

Category: Best Stunt or Experience

Entrant: Merkle


Another submission from Merkle is a theoretical concept for Alzheimer’s Research UK. It shows London Underground station maps and signs blanked out. Instead of a list of station names, the maps are left blank with only some key statistics about Alzheimer’s. The creative behind the campaign looks to emphasize the feeling of confusion and memory loss to generate empathy among commuters and help generate more donations to the charity.

“I quite liked this Alzheimer’s ad because it’s a great idea,” says Young. “It leaves you feeling really confused, which is brilliant because it puts you in the shoes of someone with Alzheimer’s. It’s great to see submissions like this that would make for a great stunt and get people talking.”

Where’s our award?

Category: Ad Most Likely To Cause a Riot

Entrant: Rockstar

Chip Shop

And finally, coming in with a lot of shock value is Rockstar, a group tired of brands exploiting identity politics to sell more wares. The work shows an anonymized person described as a “Black, non-binary, Downs, disabled, visually-impaired, refugee, dwarf* prostitute with Parkinson’s.” It points a finger at shallow efforts to drive representation in advertising.

“Many will find this shocking,” says Young. “But the point it makes is interesting. It basically says the industry has become too woke and should refocus on doing what it does best – selling stuff.”

Check out the rest of the entries on our dedicated site. The live award show will run on Thursday June 23 2022 at The Drum Labs, simultaneously at our Cannes pub and on The Drum’s digital channels.

Marketing Awards Case Studies The Drum Chip Shop Awards

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