Chairman of the judging panel 2009
"I think the purpose of The Chip Shop Awards is to take the piss.
To take the piss out of how seriously advertising takes itself. To take the piss out of advertising’s obsession with awards. To take the piss out of a little yellow wooden pencil elevated to the level of The Nobel Prize.
And the symbol of a chip with a dollop of ketchup on it does that very succinctly.
That’s why, for me, the best thing in this year’s Chip Shop Awards was The Sun posters. These ads take the piss out of The Economist campaign. The Economist posters that were simple witty headlines in white, reversed out of a solid red background.
Remember The Economist poster that said: “Would you like to sit next to you at a dinner party?” It's urbane, charming, witty. Here, The Sun poster says:
“Would you like to sit next to an Economist reader at a dinner party? Didn’t think so.” Not so urbane, witty and charming. More vulgar, crass and piss-taking. All the reasons we love The Sun.
Just for once I’m not being logical and objective about this. I know most consumers walking past it in the street wouldn’t actually remember The Economist campaign. I know Sun readers won’t even be looking at Economist posters anyway. Economist readers see themselves above mere mortals, whilst most people who buy The Sun struggle with words of more than one syllable.
I know it wouldn’t work for so many reasons in the real world. But this isn’t the real world. This is ads you wish had run, but they didn’t. Ads that prick the bubble of pomposity that surrounds and encapsulates advertising. Ads that take the piss.
And, nowadays more than ever, we badly need someone to take the piss."
Creative Director of JWT, London
"Our Industry needs these gongs. When was the last time you tore an ad out if the papers and stuck it to your wall? (There's a yellowing page from The Independent, dated March 19 '07 taped to mine. Two planes leave vapour trails that form a v-sign: BA's two-fingered attitude to climate change; well that's what Greenpeace think. A stopper.)
It seems that not only is the world chock-a-block with parity products it's awash with parity advertising too.
And that's why we need The Chip Shop Awards.
We need their energy, that no-hold attitude, the shocking images, the jaw dropping headlines you couldn't show your mum, and we even need the occasional Knob gag."
Michael Wolff and Company and Chairman of the Judges 2008
"Awards or being published have come to be the most important measure of the quality of a creative's work.
I was always excited to have my work and my name included with respect, and sometimes even envy, in any selection of excellence by my peers. But, and there’s always a ‘but’ for me, the chosen work always had flaws. Flaws that taunted me and always insisted on being noticed.
I don’t think flawless work exists any more than flawless people. In life – with a little humility – there’s always the possibility of addressing flaws and correcting them. With work, it’s usually too late. Occasionally a timeless piece of architecture, a fantastic ad or graphic design, a breath-taking product or a perfect piece of writing by a great copywriter appears. These iconic pieces are rare. Why so, when there are so many brilliant and talented people in our wide world of design and advertising?
I think there are two main reasons.
The first is vanity – a deadly state of mind that settles for less by substituting a craving for credit and recognition for simply doing a service. That’s a personal issue, most people can recognise when they’re drinking from the intoxicating chalice of recognition.
The second reason is more serious and profound. I think it’s a flaw in how the design industry has developed and expanded and how the activities of advertising and design have slid into the clothes of mediocre and conventional business. Wanting recognition and wealth was the basis for this evolution.
What happened then was that we were swept up into the world of process, deadlines and project management. Serious time for thought, reflection and criticism was eroded and creativity became a day rate affair.
We all know that creativity can take minutes; even seconds, and it can take weeks and months. A moment of insight turned into a creative idea can change the world. Months of mediocre process can produce the emperor’s new clothes – and it often does.
How can we reclaim the creative, artistic, expressive, original and intuitive initiatives that define us as designers, from the grinding, boring, greedy and uninspiring businesses that are subsuming so many of us? Just as with energy and how we use it, and architecture and how we live in it, and money and how we think of it and use it, we have to start all over again.
Although awards deserve congratulation, and in many ways Chip Shop reconnects us with recognizing wit and craft and great ideas just for what they are, don’t be seduced into thinking everything is fine and rosy. It isn’t. The world needs our insights, our imagination, our thinking and our inspiration to a higher purpose for our clients more that it ever did.
Too often, we’re still more pre-occupied with useful things for us – recognition, growing our companies and gaining material wealth – than useful things for the world we live in.
If Chip Shop, standing as it does for creative quality alone, expands its influence, then it can help us to draw back from what seems like a headlong plunge into plagiarism and mediocrity."
Scholz & Friends Berlin
“Many of the best ideas are those coming without a client's brief – and what’s even worse: never get a clients approval. The Chip Shop Awards is the only international competition which provides a stage for these fresh, weird and sometimes ingenious ideas.
Ok there is a saying that creativity needs limitations. That's right but in these days we have rather the problem of too many limitations than too few.”
Creative Director, Leo Burnett
"To me The Chip Shops is about raw talent. The other award schemes reward craft, and finished thinking, but the Chip Shops is the only showcase for the original concept.
It’s a chance for creatives to truly express themselves without the usual encumbrances.
I think, as you get older in this business, no matter how hard you try not to, your work is conditioned by the economic forces that surround every brief. The work entered for the Chips is a free expression of the raw idea. It encourages daring brave, and sometimes, outrageous solutions, and pokes two fat hairy fingers at the norm."
Navyblue, Head of Creative Strategy, Judge 2009
“I’ve never regarded the Chip Shop Awards as an ‘instead of’. I think they’re a fantastic ‘as well as’. They have, in fairly short order, become the place to celebrate exceptional ideas that might ordinarily stay in what is euphemistically referred to as ‘the bottom drawer’. Indeed, they are now as tough to win as any other shelf-wobbler. Long may they continue.”
The Big Won, London
"I'd love it if the Chip Shop Awards were better known and bigger - because they could help signpost new directions for the industry.
They have it within them to become a platform for bold and experimental work as well as offering creative people a showcase for their talents without having to resort to scamming. Which is simply lying and cheating by another name"
Creative Director, Lake.
Chairman’s Award 2008
“We had Cream with our chips"... In our reception area hangs a picture of Michael Wolff looking longingly into the eyes of our delighted Neil Masheder on the presentation night, wishing that he had thought of that window cleaner postcard ad idea that gave Lake the Chairman’s Award for 2008.
We have lived off that night since then and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Our web hits to site following that went through the roof generating various interests - from prospective employees to future clients.
Well worth the entry fee and definitely worth a go this year.
The Recession, Obama, Alex Ferguson or Vinnie Jones. Who know’s who'll get it this time. We simply know it’s time to get the beers in and do some free/free thinking.
And when we start on our ideas, it’s so exciting to think that nobody is going to tell us 'You can’'” or 'You must'. Instead, we live with the knowledge that 'We can' and 'You don’t have to'! (Unless you want to of course).
...We like Chips we do!! Especially with cream on top!!”
Mark Jones, Managing Director Workhouse marketing
2007 Chairman’s award winner
The awards give rural agencies like Workhouse Marketing, in (in agency terms) unfashionable locations like the Ribble Valley, an opportunity to show how creative they can be. The resulting PR from Workhouse Marketing’s Chip Shop wins has helped increase our reputation for creativity. It shows potential clients that you don’t necessarily have to go to the ‘usual suspects’ in the big cities, to get award winning creative. There is a growing, thriving creative sector in Lancashire and the Chip Shop Award wins help put us at the heart of it.
Cod and Chips has never tasted so sweet!
Chris O'Shea, Chairman of the Judges 2006
"Oh what fun we had!
I love The Chip Shop Awards, and it was obvious that all my fellow judges do too. Perhaps that's because the whole notion of them is deliciously subversive and daft, yet also deadly serious.
They, uniquely, honour pure creativity. They pay homage to the virgin idea, unsullied by the lottery of having to see it through the system.
It was great to see so many entries. Quite a few were brilliant. Most were pretty good. Curiously a fair number were, well, stinkers. I can only assume some creatives think that having work turned down by their Creative Director or client practically guarantees it a Chip Shop Award, what they fail to see is that it was turned down because it was crap.
Anyway, let's not carp. We saw some terrific work, we laughed at the mountain of knob-gag ads, had a lovely day and were home in time for tea. Vive la revolution. Long live the Chip Shop Awards."
Serial Chip Winner
“On the 7th of July, the number 30 bus had just been blown up, the streets of central London were in chaos and I had a voice message on my mobile - from Trevor Beattie, “Hello, I like your little postcard taking the piss out of shit ads…it’s on one of my ads, it’s brilliant.”
And that’s how my ambient postcard idea, 'Need a Copywriter' won 2 Chip Shop awards.
I try not to take advertising too seriously, from the jargon we invent to the 'po-faced photos by the stairwell' type of PR shots we take of ourselves. And that’s what I like about the Chip Shop awards. It’s not up its own arse.
The stuff that really makes us laugh, the kind of work that we’d really like to run for our clients. Why should such creativity be confined to the bottom drawer? It shouldn’t. The Chip Shop Awards allows us to see some of the best advertising ideas around. Ideas, which are the lifeblood of what we do.”
"The Chip Shop awards are silly, irreverent, puerile and often offensive.
Everything that's being stifled out of advertising.
In these austere times how refreshing to see such unfettered creativity.
The first rule of advertising is Get Noticed. Something the Chip Shop
Nigel Hunter, Managing Director of fuse8
"I set the team here an informal challenge to create winners for the Chip Shop awards as a motivational incentive - cash prizes for winners. The guys often get frustrated with the mundane attitudes of clients and client briefs.
We have had to endure numerous occasions where fresh-faced marketing managers have imposed their personal preferences over well thought out creative executions with clear business objectives and perfect customer targeting, so it was great to have the chance to really show what they can do when given the chance - thanks to your team for having the foresight to create awards with such a sense of freedom built in."
Chairman's Award winner 2010
“Since winning the Chairman’s Award my phone has been inundated with calls from head-hunters.”
Big Communications Group
"You always know when the chip shop awards are calling for entries because a real buzz is generated in the creative department.
That buzz is even bigger when the agency actually wins an award.
It’s great for the agency, and great for the teams and the chips are proudly displayed around the place. Looking forward to the 2011 awards already."