David Ogilvy was 40 before he wrote an ad. Well, that’s one thing me and the Daddy have in common. Coming at copywriting from publishing rather than advertising, I’ve never made the transition from long copy to high-level concepts for big consumer campaigns – much as I’d like to.
To get some practice, I decided to enter the Chip Shop Awards. Here they are in their own words:
The Chips is all about ideas. Your work does not have to have been broadcast, printed or mailed. The client doesn’t have to be yours. You just need a brilliant idea.
The Chip Shops’ slogan is ‘Creativity With No Limits’. But they’re not really about liberating the creative process so much as as inverting it. Instead of starting with a brief and trying to answer it, you start with an answer and contrive a brief to suit.
So while Chip Shop entries are undoubtedly creative, success in the Chips doesn’t necessarily indicate an ability to develop great ideas on behalf of brands. It just means you can find the right brand for a great idea. (Or, more often, a staggeringly offensive idea.)
Anyway, here’s my stuff – all print ads (or maybe posters). I’ll leave you to judge whether I’ve got the ‘brilliant ideas’ I needed. If you like anything, please follow the links and vote. If you don’t, I expect nothing less than a scathing comment down below.
‘Grow A Pear’
This entry for ‘Best Use of Shocking Copy’ was very much a pun in search of a brand. The phrase popped into my head, and I tried to think of a context where I could use it. Alighting on Notcutts, I warmed to the idea of a mild, age-appropriate obscenity that would appeal to the grey pound.
It’s all in the execution, and this one took aeons. First, I had to find a shot of two pears with the desired scrotum-cupping aspect, then painstakingly isolate it, and finally impose it over a suitably immaculate suburban garden.
- Entered in ‘Best Use of Shocking Copy’. View and vote here
‘Can’t Keep Calm’
I know, I know, I know. In my defence, I have tried to do something with the original text, rather than doing ‘Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes’ or whatever. If there is a justification for this ad, it’s giving the original poster back some dignity by hijacking it in a marginally relevant way.
Although I have no direct experience, it seems to me that people probably do call Samaritans when their stiff upper lip is starting to wobble. It’s unlikely that such a serious brand would ever promote itself with a parody, but you never know.
Reviewing other versions online, I was amazed at how many people couldn’t be bothered to match the font or layout accurately, even for commercial merchandise. Five words and a crown on a red ground – how hard can it be?
- Entered in Best Charity Advert. View and vote here
‘Your Life In Songs’
The idea of songs as memories seems well suited to Spotify. Despite its name, which was derived from ‘spotting and identifying’ new music, it seems to me that it gets far more use as a nostalgic time machine.
My first challenge was to avoid stuffing this with Beatles titles and find some plausibly recent songs. (I may have failed.) I then spent some happy hours browsing weird and wonderful fonts. Believe it or not, many of these are close matches to the original sleeve designs of the singles, which in most cases have aged incredibly badly.
I’m concerned, but have not been able to confirm, that both concept and slogan are derivative. Obviously, I’m not letting those doubts hold me back…
- Entered in Best Work for any Brand you Haven’t a Hope of Winning. View and vote here
I’ve got a real fruit thing going on with these entries, haven’t I? I’m not sure why that is. This idea just popped into my head, fully formed – although it probably flowed from the Notcutts ‘pair of pears’ image.
It’s a bit of a gag mashup, with the ‘gooseberry’ concept overlaid with the play on ‘feeling green’ in the sense of envy. But the overall effect feels reasonably coherent to me, and I can just about imagine it running – a few years ago, perhaps.
- Entered in ‘Best Consumer Ad or Campaign’. View and vote here