Time For A Specious Theory About The UK Doing Badly In International Awards

So the UK is currently performing a big, fat belly flop at Cannes.

That’s all well and good, but before Campaign asks The Agency Head, The Creative Director and The Tea Lady why this is the case, I’ll have a go, and you can join in in the comments section should you be so inclined.

(Actually, this is my wife’s theory, but what the hey.)

The countries that are doing well are the ones that have emerged as international forces recently. They might have won awards before, but now seems to be the big time for South Africa, The Far East, Australasia and other parts of the world that didn’t exactly dominate the previous years.

This could be because of the ever-increasing globalisation of advertising. Those regions may well do the pan-world ads that are usually the remit of Europe and North America, but they don’t do nearly as many as we do. They get to work on more local business because, as international offices, they haven’t yet grabbed all the lucrative, often more homogenised, often duller work.

Look at the ad that’s won the PR and Direct Grand Prix:

Local business, innit? Cummins Nitro Brisbane? Who the fuck are they? Well, they are the agency that just scooped a couple of CGPs.

And look who’s just won the Outdoor GP. That’s right, SA agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris. For a Zimbabwean newspaper.

Network BBDO Jo’burg won the radio GP, admittedly for Virgin Atlantic, but it’s radio, so no one’s keeping the purse strings tight, and the client probably played it once in his car on the way to a golf tournament.

And Japan has won the Media Grand Prix.

That’s a 100% shut out for USA and Europe, the usual winners.

Let’s see what happens in the other categories.

That’s not to say it’s a viable excuse, after all, most UK agencies also handle local business. But you can see from the general output here that we’re not exactly producing our best work at the moment.

Unlike the ’emerging’ countries.