Winning ways in award season
It's Cannes time, that celebration of creativity. And while it's the creative team that gets the trophy, the career bump and the chance to get wasted on the most marked-up booze on the planet, it's the team made up of the rest of the agency and the client that gets them there.
We originated the BloominGirls campaign for Sport England. It's done reasonably well in the awards (most recently a silver and bronze at the IPMs). Of all the gong-worthy stuff we have produced, this is the only project where we've felt like the work would be up for something as soon as we were briefed. It wasn't a something with the emotive power of a charity or the cool factor of a piece of tech. We were asking school age girls who had given up sport to worship at the shrines of One Direction and Taylor Swift to think again. And it definitely wasn't because the creative director said that the brief had awards written all over it. (They didn't and anyway, the only thing saying that guarantees is insomnia and ulcers for the team on the job.)
There are usually so many things can trip an idea up on its journey from brief to podium that it's a wonder anything decent gets entered into awards at all. This time Lady Luck decided not to fart in our faces. Everybody behaved like they would in the Ladybird Book Of Marketing: the planner had really done her homework and was filled with an infectious enthusiasm for the work; the person responsible for thinking up reasons for what every experiential and social media idea is implausible was not invited to the internal presentations; and the Sport England client, having commissioned the This Girl Can campaign, wanted to buy good work.
Our luck continued: budgets weren't cut, reallocated or made to vanish. All the usual icebergs that sink or compromise a lot of projects refused to appear and umpteenth months later the campaign started rolling out.
As a freelancer, getting good work out is a struggle. Sometimes that's because you're got in to work on the projects that nobody on staff wants to do, stuff that is never going to be up for anything. Often, freelance is seen as a distress purchase, usually when the creative department is stretched too thin. As such, however much you and the work are liked, the agency wants you off the premises as soon as it's practical. And when you go, often the passion and commitment to making the execution of the work faithful to your vision does too.
All of which mean you appreciate it when things go right. And you certainly don't take it for granted. So to all the folk who make it possible for good ideas to happen, thank you. Keep up the award-winning work.
24 June 2015