Ten minutes ‘til showtime and I’m nervous. I always am at these IPA Awards, even when I don’t have a dog in the fight.
They’re the advertising Olympics for me, you see, thanks to the extraordinary scrutiny of its client judges and its absolute insistence on proven payback. Two hurdles that only the very best agencies and campaigns can vault, and even then not without considerable effort: each paper is 4000 words of hard graft built on all the work that went before.
So I’m nervous for the authors (all of them, but especially my colleagues) who are about to find out whether they have won bronze, silver or gold..or indeed go home empty-handed (a potential outcome for the first time in what we hope is a last virtual edition.) The only consolation being that most of them are of course already at home.
Talking of which, let’s pray the tech works: for the IPA, that is, rather than me. We need this evening to work as well as it can; we need these stories more than ever.
We’re off, with Nigel Vaz and Stevie Spring playing Ernie and Sally Phillips appearing just in time as Eric.
The sizzle reel makes its annual appearance, albeit on a considerably smaller screen than in previous years. A reminder of the big dogs in the mix: Guinness, Tesco, John Lewis, Audi, Cadbury.
Plus, our first shock: only 25 of the 64 entries have been awarded, and the vast majority are bronze. That’s still a podium place at the Olympics, of course, which is good because..
“It’s bronze for MullenLowe” for our work for Wagamama, back when we were all just eating out to, er, eat out. Our wonderful client and much-missed colleague Ross Far-Qu-Har becomes a figure of fun, and not before time.
Sally quite rightly calls MullenLowe out for tweeting our delight with “our first award this evening.” (It wasn’t me, as anyone who knows me will testify.)
The first gold, and totally deserved, for Tesco (and ofc BBH).
6.41 to 6.44pm.
A good 3 minutes for MullenLowe: bronze for Truth Project and for NHS too. (You can leave that tweet up, Clemmie.) That’s a 12% share of tonight’s Awards according to my maths 🙂
Another gold for BBH (for Audi) and that Gore Vidal quote about something inside him dying when a friend succeeds springs to mind. Especially when adam&eveDDB and then AMV park their tanks on the lawns with John Lewis and Guinness.
Special prizes and a Grand Prix for Tesco (and BBH, and Mediacom.) Agency of the Year for the boys and girls from Kingly Street also. Well done all: winning agencies, winning clients, the IPA, Sally Phillips. But mainly: Ross Far-Qu-Har.
WTF? MullenLowe Group wins Effectiveness Network of the Year! I’m going for a lie down..
Laurence Green is executive partner of MullenLowe London.