Close-Up: Live issue - 'Unsung heroes' shine at the BTA Craft Awards

Andy Gulliman praises the British Television Advertising Craft Awards for the insight they offer into groundbreaking work.

Monday's British Television Advertising Craft Awards celebrated the success of an individual's discipline. They continue to prove that craft is a significant element in a campaign's success.

While many in adland will look at the BTA Awards next winter as the "big one", I would argue this ode to craft offers a crucial insight into understanding what makes each element in the production process so special. To this end, the winners' list reads like an education in itself.

The reel of the winners beautifully displays the role of the producer, who is often the unsung hero on an ad. A producer delivers on time and for the money; and a key way of delivering a seamless shoot is by surrounding yourself with the most talented individuals for each script requirement. The BTA Craft Awards is a manifestation of the producer's ideal crew list, and is the only industry event to celebrate the achievements of the crew.

An example of this is the Sony Bravia "paint" ad. Understandably, the director, Jonathan Glazer, gets all the recognition, but it's great to see Mark Mason and Paul Dunn, from the special effects company Asylum get credit for being key crew on a monster production.

The work of music, once described by Sir John Hegarty as "at least 50 per cent of what makes a commercial great", enables a reward to be given to those who originated the music or those who sourced the right track. This category, jointly won by Ashley Pope and Vince Pope at Beetroot for Nivea "choir"; and Peter Raeburn and Nick Foster at Soundtree for Ford Focus "on the road again", acknowledges how agencies and labels should unite to think about the end result for the viewer.

If there's a trend in production this year, it's that almost without exception, the category winners have the sense of a live event captured in a totally natural manner.

To make great ads, you need to surround yourself with great people, and advertising, similar to other industries, is only as good as its people. The overall winner, Skoda Fabia's "baking of" by Fallon and directed by Chris Palmer, is a perfect example of bringing people to the fore, and shows that unsung heroes can become stars.

- Andy Gulliman is the executive broadcast director at Saatchi & Saatchi and a BTAA board member.

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