Feature

The picture: TV

Yes, I'm going to mention the gorilla. In fact, I'm starting with it.

There are no superlatives left in the cupboard and nothing left to say that its awards haven't, but, if you want to romp through the best of last year in TV advertising, the Keith Moon of the simian world has to be included no matter how fed up some are with hearing about him or her. So there.

But others - so many others - have drummed their way into our creative consciousness. There's not enough room here to mention them all or heap the merited praise, but shoulder to shoulder with chocolate's primate are the Carling boys in space, Sony's Play-Doh bunnies, Skoda's cake-car, Boots' girls coming, Brylcreem's "effortless", TfL's "do the test", VW Golf's "everyday", Brains dancing for Drench and Honda's remarkable live ad and subsequent campaign, which proved that ads can be as captivating as programmes.

Ads like these are part of the creative renaissance we're enjoying in TV advertising. They are why awards exist and they remind us what we're here for: world-beating, horizon-expanding creativity that doesn't just sit there looking pretty and clever but gets off its arse and makes a big impact on the bottom line, either directly or by making other media work harder. The evidence linking great creativity to ad effectiveness is growing.

These are genuinely great times to be using telly. People are buying gorgeous TV sets and associated technologies - such as DTRs - like the hottest of cakes. There's an explosion of new ways to watch - online, IPTV, on-the-move, catch-up, time-shifted - that are adding extra viewing to what we already have. And what we already have is an increasing level of commercial broadcast TV viewing (2.5 hours a day) and a record number of ads being watched - 2.25 billion a day.

TV is not the same beast it was yesterday and won't be the same tomorrow, but its clout is not being diluted through expansion; it is being sharpened and reinvigorated. Like the internet, commercial TV is a child of the second half of the 20th century. TV is now entering puberty; growing new bits that it isn't sure what to do with yet but that promise to be fun. And plenty of its audience is in puberty too; young people's broadcast viewing is undiminished and social networks are just one place they share their telly passions.

Spot remains the backbone of TV ad campaigns but over the past year we've seen the growth of other commercial creative opportunities such as advertiser-funded programmes, interactivity, pre-rolls and sponsorships. We look forward to these formats reaching the same creative heights as spots. TV proudly remains at the heart of advertising creativity and effectiveness. The most successful brands are those that recognise this and commit to it.

- Sponsor of TV advertising, Campaign Big Awards

The Big Awards presentation and dinner will take place on Wednesday 22 October 2008 at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London. Book now at www.campaignbigawards.com or call Steven Lewis on +44 (0)20 8267 4042.

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