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Why The APA Show Says A Lot (of Lovely Things) About The Adland Community


LBB's Laura Swinton gets all emotional after APA Show 2015 - and she swears it's not the hangover speaking

Why The APA Show Says A Lot (of Lovely Things) About The Adland Community

Someone once told me that the advertising industry is second only to hairdressing in the number of award shows it has. Now, I’m not sure of the veracity of that statistic but it certainly sounds plausible. And while it’s easy to raise an arched eyebrow at the multitude of events crammed into adland’s social calendar, they’re also the glue that sticks together the industry’s community. And at last week’s APA Show in London’s Guildhall, that sense of community was plain to see.

It’s hard to think of any other industry where folks from ‘competing’ companies happily spend time with each other, let alone know each other. Last Thursday I saw mutual congratulations shared between production companies, most of which was giddily genuine (admittedly facilitated by the free-flowing bubbles and cocktails). Conversations veered from snark and silliness to earnest chats about struggles and successes. Whether sneaking off for strictly ‘no work chat allowed’ catch ups with old friends or becoming unexpectedly ensnared in deep-and-meaningfuls with new faces, the night was about the people as much as it was about the great work on show. 

Plus there was the pair dressed as a mime artist and a hotdog hanging out outside the venue, handing out flyers for their new production company – meaning that this year’s show had its own ‘do you remember when X happened at the APA show’ story. As anthropologists will tell you, these sorts of shared experiences that pass into oral history are an important part of community building.


The APA – and head honcho Steve Davies in particular – has done such a great job of fostering the feeling of togetherness in London’s production community. It might be one of the biggest advertising centres in the world, but at times it can feel like a village (in the best possible way). It goes without saying that that ‘village’ vibe can mean gossip and bitching, but most of the time it translates into supportiveness and comradeship.

Judging by the work on show, it’s been a vintage year for UK production companies – driven by creative talent, ingenuity and the dynamism that comes from being such a collaborative, approachable bunch of people.

Check out the full list of work that made it into the APA Show 2015:

ADOT – Lights

Arla Skyr – The Messenger

Channel 4 On Demand – Short Shorts

Channel 4 / Crabbie's Grand National – The Outsider 

Channel 4 / Stand Up To Cancer – It's Payback Time

CLIC Sargent – One of the Gang 

Department for Transport – Celebrate

Dulux – Human Dome Painter 

Finish – Dishes

Finlandia – 1000 Years of Less Ordinary Wisdom 

First Direct – Little Frill

Freeview – Left Behinds

Guinness – Made of Black 

Honda – Endless Road 

Honda – Keep Up 

Honda – The Other Side 

HSBC Business – Lift 

Ikea – Beds 

Ikea – The Joy of Storage

John Lewis – Monty's Christmas

John Smith's – Only Ordinary By Name

Kenco – Coffee vs Gangs

Kids Company – Give the Gift of Christmas

Kids Company – See The Child 

Leica – 100 

Lurpak – Freestyle 

Maille Mustard – Memorable Guest 

Marks & Spencer – Adventures In Imagination

Meningitis – The Fastest Hour 

Money Supermarket – Epic Strut

Mulberry – Win Christmas

Mumsnet – 999 For Kids

NSPCC – I Saw Your Willy

ORAL B – Merry Bleeping Christmas 

Pampers – Pooface

Peta – Angora

Rekorderlig – Silver Skaters

Sainsbury's – 1914

Save The Children – Den Day

Save The Children – It's Gotta Be Me

Shredded Wheat – Northern Soul 

Škoda – Attention Test

Sport England – This Girl Can 

St John's Ambulance – Chokeables

T–Mobile – José's Wifi Dogs

Tena Men – Control

The Guardian – Fun Run

The Guardian and Observer – Own Your Weekend

The Prince's Trust – Learn The Hard Way 

Thinkbox – Harvey & Harmony

Thomson – Discover Your Smile

Three – When stuff sucks, make it right 

Veterans For Peace – Battlefield Casualties 'Action Man PTSD' 

Vorwerk – Love Sucks

Weedol – I'm Weeding Right Now 

view more - Trends and Insight
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LBB Editorial, Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:31:37 GMT