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Peter Brady: why chasing a Young Shark Award can help young creatives

We’ve just announced our Young Shark Award winner for 2020. Shauna Irani (left) is a (now senior?) copywriter at Ogilvy, Mumbai and has previously been a finalist at the AAAI Cannes Young Lions and Young Spikes India.

She tells us her love for copywriting is only trumped by her love for fishing, Bono and Bruce Springsteen, so we’re guessing a fishing trip with the two shouty anthem singing rockers would be her dream.

Her terrific and clever winning idea (below) was chosen by our judge Vishal Dheiman – VP, Head of Innovation at BBDO New York (we’re always grateful to our judges but particularly to Vishal at this time when everyone has one eye on the virus thing).

We were recently asked why we do a YOUNG Shark award which slightly stumped us because we thought the answer was quite obvious.

But in case it isn’t, this was our answer…

There’s a Young Shark Award brief/award each year because it’s encouragement, which is something we ALL need regularly (but particularly when we’re just starting out). 

Any industry can be tough in the early years and often in creative industries there’s a pecking order and it’s fairly common practice that the ‘more established’ members of the team will often get first dibs on the best briefs.

Younger creatives can often find that what they’re working on in an agency doesn’t always feel all that creative, so we always try to put out a brief JUST for them – a brief that’s all about rewarding great thinking (rather than, for example, great photoshop skills).

Our brief will never insist our logo takes up two thirds of the page or you must mention our phone number/web address at least 13 times.

Also it means being able to have a crack at something tangible early on. You can try to be as cool as you like but there’s something wonderful about being declared ‘the winner,’ receiving a gleaming award and being able to place it somewhere for the world to see,

The Young Shark Award also means the chance of forever being on a list of winners (you can’t whack a bit of immortality) and in a perfect world, winning it would be a brilliant start to a perfect creative career. It also provides encouragement to go on and win many many more awards, maybe even a Grand Prix at Kinsale.

And then in retirement, you’d be able to look back at a glittering career that saw you win loads of awards, make loads of money and then start writing articles declaring: “awards are a waste of time, I wouldn’t bother if I was you.”

That’s the dream!

Peter Brady is chairman of Shark Awards Kinsale.

The entry deadline for Advertising, Digital and Design is Tuesday 1st September and Thursday 31st December for Short Film and Music Video.

Enter Shark Awards 2020 here.

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