Advertising events are sort of like buses. You wait for ages, standing freezing by the side of the road, and a whole bunch rock up at once. Actually, considering the shenanigans that go on, it might be more accurate to liken them to the upstairs of a night bus.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been shaken out of hibernation – there’s been the Creative Circle Awards, PromaxBDA in Paris, Dubai Lynx, Adfest over in Thailand, where our glorious leader has been doing his back in, the British Arrows and Advertising Week London. I’ve been told before that the only industry which holds more award ceremonies for itself than advertising is hairdressing – and in months like this I’m inclined to believe it.
The debate surrounding the value of such events – particularly the awards shows – rages on as ever. Of course there’s the argument that they raise the bar and act as calling cards for talent and clients but, at the risk of giving you a sugar headache, I think the best thing about them is how they bring people together. Some of my longest standing industry friendships were forged during my first foray to Cannes, creating havoc at a Marshall Street Editors party and picking up strays on the pavement by the Gutter Bar (like literally, picking them up).
Last week that ‘coming togetherness’ was exemplified at the Creative Circles. By far the biggest winners of the evening were Callum Prior and Marc Rayson. They were among the students who had been invited to the event and had impressed host and awards president Ed Morris by putting together a book on the Megabus journey down from Sunderland. He invited them to the stage, where he sat with them and pleaded with the assembled creatives to give them a placement. The chaps at CP+B London, buoyed perhaps by their large stash of polished concrete trophies, were happy to oblige.
Imagine what a stagnant, boring old place advertising would be if we didn’t have these play dates to look forward to? Imagine the partnerships that would remain unformed, the successes unrewarded and ideas unspoken over a pile of empty wine bottles.
And with that in mind, I’m off to get ready for the British Arrows.