The BTAA Awards 2006: Chairman's Foreword

A lot of very smart marketing types have been writing off television as a medium for the best part of a decade. Yet here we are in 2006 and it remains the most compelling and powerful brand-building tool of them all.

"Ah yes, but people can increasingly spin through the ads at 30 times normal speed," the gurus say. Yes, they can, but they don't have to. Just as they can choose to watch or not to watch a show.

Very cleverly, consumers choose to watch the good programmes and avoid the rest. The same compelling logic applies to ads. I believe our winners this evening would have had the fast-forwarders rewinding to watch (and probably watch again). Compelling messages, beautifully and simply told, with verve and wit. Seldom has the mantra of engagement as opposed to interruption been more amply demonstrated.

So I'd like to thank the wonderful jury for their intuitive grasp of this truth. It was a privilege to chair. Three days of watching, throwing out, calling back, arguing and delivering impassioned speeches - without a single cross word - resulted in very consistent decisions.

I don't think there will be many people arguing about the strengths of the three or four pieces of work that have risen to the top. As ever, it's just a little sad that the number isn't closer to 30.

Let's hope the winners inspire us, agencies and clients alike, to be a little more adventurous in 2006 than perhaps we were in 2005. That's my dream anyway and, over recent years, I've come to believe in the power of dreams.

THE JURY James Studholme, managing director, Blink Productions Robert Campbell, managing director, Outsider Will Awdry, creative partner, DDB London Graham Fink, creative director, M&C Saatchi Kate Elson, managing director, Bikini Films Mark Cranmer Mark Collier, managing director, Dare Catherine Woolfe, marketing communications manager, Volkswagen UK Adam Kean, creative director, Publicis John O'Keeffe, executive creative director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and chairman of the 2006 jury Claire Harrison-Church, marketing director, KFC Dawn Shadforth, RSA Films Jo Godman Nick Bampton, director, Thinkbox, and managing director, Viacom Brand Solutions Laura Gould, head of production, Red Bee Media Jo Moore, creative director, WCRS Phil Rumbol, marketing director, InBev