Now that the hangover has cleared and the penguin suit is back in
its case for a few months more, I can reflect on the Campaign Press
It was a top night at the Grosvenor House, but I’m left with a feeling
of having been slightly cheated.
This was the first time I’d attended the bash, so I was looking forward
to what is billed as one of the industry’s biggest nights of the
I was sure that the award-nominated ads would be some of the most
exciting and cutting-edge stuff produced by the industry.
Now I don’t get involved in creative work, but like most account
managers, I think I keep tabs on the creative side of our industry, so I
couldn’t understand why I didn’t recognise any of it. Normally, I would
have thought it was outside my specialist area, but would have expected
to see something that I knew sooner or later.
But no! As the evening progressed, things became even more
Just how many different sectors can Volkswagen enter? Best motor
advertisement - no problem. Best ad in a business magazine - fine. Best
ad in a consumer magazine - hmm. Best ad in a national newspaper - well,
perhaps. Best ad in regional newspaper - might be a few regional
companies upset by that. Best use of illustration - careful now, don’t
get carried away.
Best use of photography - ’cor blimey guv, it’s a fair cop’. Best use of
the electronic press - now hold on a minute. Best financial and
corporate advertisement - aaagh! Now you’re taking the piss. Best press
campaign and best individual advertisement gold awards - make mine a
double, I’m off to the bar ...
Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of what the Volkswagen team has done is
recognisably good work, but is this really a true reflection of the best
work in our industry? Many of these prize-winning ads were unknown to
everyone on my table - and this is supposed to be the most powerful
advertising in our industry. The rest of us might as well pack it all in
Clearly there is a problem with the entry system in that it limits the
entries to a selection from large agencies. My understanding is that
there is a charge for entry and competition forms are so complex that a
team of experts is required to collate the information.
Maybe I’ve been influenced by the Oscars, but wouldn’t it be more
representative for the judges to select the best work they see in the
market and then contact the companies concerned, inviting them to enter?
Maybe then it would look less like a load of self-congratulatory