Pop the Champagne corks. We’ve been shortlisted for the Chip Shop Awards 2020 in the ‘Best Political’ category. 

The winners will be revealed on June 19th. Maybe it will be third time lucky, following previous nominations for The Drum Awards for our Visa Harrods Bear (Best OOH Poster) and Visa Checkout launch (B2B Awards). 

The Creative Brief You Always Wanted

If you’re not familiar with The Drum Chip Shop Awards, they’re an opportunity to create the ads you always wanted to make. You just have to pick a category. 

You don’t have to worry about client sign-off, KPIs, or even good taste. Heck, we even got to use ‘f*cking’ on a poster. There are no excuses for holding back, and it’s either liberating or terrifying. This is a global competition that attracts some ferocious talent.

We might not have a huge Creative department, but we brainstormed and mocked up an impressive number of ideas covering topics that mattered to us – from Gender Equality to the Workplace of the Future – before picking tax avoidance as our hill to die on.

We’re delighted and proud to be nominated, especially since we threw out a lot of other ideas to reach our final submission. Maybe that’s the point of the whole exercise, other than stimulating some creative juices. The work you’re proudest of is often the stuff that never sees daylight – the designs that came second in committee voting, the copy lines that were less safe than the final version, the concepts that you sketched out in a notebook but never found a brief. 

If you’re coming into the industry and putting together a portfolio or book, it’s also a reminder that ‘There’s no such thing as a bad idea’. The work you did that wasn’t signed off often says more about your creativity and talent than the designs or copy that have been through several rounds of amends. Clients know it too. We’re lucky to work with several brands that want to see everything at the start, even though they’re fully aware that the final choice will be a compromise. They just want to test and push our thinking. 

Once you’re working with clients, scrapping hours of sketches and drafts is part of the brief. But keep it all. Some of those ideas will sit and germinate for later use. Others will fester and perish and you’ll come back to them months or years later and understand why they didn’t work. 

I’m sure there’s a perception that creatives spend hours in rooms coming up with three-word taglines. But it’s the relentless whittling, stress-testing and self-editing that makes the best work. And it becomes addictive.