The Drum Chip Shop Awards: Where creativity goes to fry
Disclaimer: This isn’t your grandma’s awards show. Please don’t open this on your company computer. Oh, you’re doing it anyway? Nice. You’ve passed the first test. We like rule-breakers.
The Drum Chip Shop Awards 2023
In a world where cancel culture reigns supreme and political correctness is the norm, The Drum Chip Shop Awards say ‘fuck right off!’ We have no boundaries, no limits, no rules. We’re gnarlier than Fight Club because even those guys had rules.
So, I bet you wondering how it came to this. Well, let’s rewind to adman Andy Cheetham’s mum’s fish and chip shop, Barnacles (no joke).
After Andy lost his job as a junior creative, he returned home to help his mum. That’s when he and his friend Tony Veasey decided to create tongue-in-cheek ads for the business. To help build their profile, they entered these ads into awards shows, causing a huge stir. These guys were taking home gold and silver awards with lines such as ‘Other Chip Shops Don’t Give a Fork.’
The big boys were furious. How could a dinky little chippie stop them from winning the big awards? Some shows tightened their rules to outlaw work like Andy and Tony’s. ‘Chip shop advertising’ even became an industry term for scam work. But The Drum decided rather than outlaw this work, we would celebrate it and provide a platform for new talent and ideas to break through. Rules only benefit rulers. We’ve been giving the lil guys a chance for 18 years.
Today, the annual Chip Shop Awards are a beacon of pure, unadulterated, disruptive fun. They are where inhibition and limitations come to die. So, if you often find yourself saying ‘the client won’t approve this’ or ‘this is too crazy’ or ‘I’m about to get fired’, then you’ll find yourself at home here.
Now that we’ve talked a big game, here’s the work that sometimes gets us battered.
Last year, Gusto brought to life the unsavory (and, if you ask me, offensive) ‘Perfect 365 Days of the Year’ campaign for Heinz. Shockingly, it promoted the idea of putting ketchup on your Christmas dinner (scandalous). It took home ‘The Grand Prix’ as well as ‘ad most likely to cause a riot’, ‘best use of bad taste’ and ‘best video’. And did it cause a riot? Sort of. A brawl broke out at the Chip Shop Awards afterparty and we’re pretty sure Gordon Young ended up in the accident and emergency room with a nosebleed. Or was it ketchup? Memory is an unreliable thing.
Another favorite was ‘The Stalking’, by Umault, which took home ‘best parody’. It was a modern-day horror story, bringing to life every marketer’s (no, every human’s) worst nightmare of being spammed every day for the rest of their lives asking if they want a free demo. It’s all too terrifyingly familiar and I’m still talking to my therapist about it today.
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As you can see, The Drum Chip Shop Awards is about pushing boundaries of what’s considered palatable in our industry. When everyone’s too scared of being canceled, The Chip Shop Awards is a not-so-gentle reminder that when it comes to creativity, there’s no such thing as too much grease. If you can’t push your ideas here, then where can you?
Categories have ranged from ‘best parody’ and ‘best political’ to ‘most likely to cause a riot’ and ‘Covid awareness’. And each year, we like to add extra salt and vinegar with brand spanking new categories, which is why this year we’re very excited for (and very creeped out by) the ‘best work created by a non-human’. There is now also a ‘most woke’ category.
The 2023 event will take place on Wednesday May 24 at The Drum Labs in Shoreditch. And, if it lives up to its prior years, it will be the most outrageous yet. If you think you’ve got what it takes to enter, find out more and get involved here.