I was going to call this post ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’, but as last night’s Creative Circle Awards didn’t seem to borrow anything, I’ll replace that category with ‘Something Incomprehensible’.
The ‘Old’ was the enormous number of ‘industry veterans’ winning awards last night. I would never refer to these people as old (middle-aged, maybe), but many of them were winning pencils when Major, or even Thatcher was in power: Graham Fink, Simon Dicketts, Tony Malcolm, Guy Moore, Steve Jones, Martin Lorraine, Mike Boles, Jerry Hollens, Ted Heath, Paul Angus…They all won golds, so hats off to them. I think their success showed that experience and craft skills that only improve with time are not to be discounted in a generally ageist industry.
The ‘New’ was new president Trevor Beattie. He certainly created a different CC awards with some unusual cabaret artistes and the welcome removal of the rundown of Silvers. The event was also the first-ever fancy dress awards, although, this being advertising, not many bothered to go nautical. Trevor did, though, giving us the full Richard Gere from An Officer and a Gentleman. I thought he should have carried one of the transvestities off to ‘Love Lift Us Up Where we Belong’. But no.
The Incomprehensible: for some reason, one of the big awards of the night went to Campaign magazine. Eh? No offence Campaign (I have met one or two of their journalists and they seemed very nice), but your magazine is one of the worst things about this industry. It is a lazy, complacent, divisive load of old crap that usually takes about three minutes to read and the only reason it holds the position it does is because there is no competition. I’ve heard so many people whine, ‘Why does Campaign hate us?’. But who cares? Really, being hated by Campaign is like being hated by The Beano. It comes off as a regurgitation of press releases and the results of being lunched all over town. Does it investigate anything? Take a real stand? Does it campaign? It might be naive of me to think that it should display some of the more admirable traits of journalism, but really. I picked it up in an agency reception last week and flicked through it for the first time in six months (are they still nicking parts of this blog to fill a few columns?). They seemed to have redesigned it by moving two or three of the columns around. Nice one. I wonder how many meetings that took to decide on. I’ve said it before, but Woodward and Bernstein it ain’t. Deserving of a Creative Circle award it ain’t either.
Also incomprehensible: I’ve seen some bullshit win awards in my time, but this one is the crapo di tutti crapi…
Aside from the question of why anyone would want to look like they were sort of half wearing a picture of a hat or half holding a picture of an umbrella, how did this really work? It would surely require a Macdonald’s/Agency representative standing by Eros explaining to passers-by that –Yes!– they could look as if they were sort of holding an umbrella in Piccadilly Circus! If only they were to stand there. No, not there, there. Yes, and the photographer, well she’ll have to stand…not there…no, left a bit, right a bit. There! No, hang on, the picture’s changed from an umbrella to a dumbell, and now we’ve got to move the other person. Hang on…Right, now you stand there…No, not there…
Ladies and gentlemen, it won a Gold.
‘Blue’ was the host, a delightful drag artiste called Johnny Woo. I think the evening began with him singing a song I seem to remember as ‘What you looking at, Faggot?’. It was fun. I think the more hosts of advertising awards who work the phrase ‘come shot’ into their routine, the better.
Oh, and I almost forgot that the nautical theme had changed the usually gold circle awards to slices of seaside rock. And that summed up CC 2010: irreverent, unusual and a welcome break from the norm.