Hovis, Go On Lad TV spot from MCBD
The winners of this year’s British Television Advertising Awards were announced last night at a gala ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House. It was another good evening for Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, who picked up the Thinkbox Award for Best Television Commercial of the Year for its epic Hovis ‘Go On Lad’ spot.
This is the latest big win for the Hovis ad, which recently picked up the top gong at the Creative Circle Awards, another celebration of UK-only creativity. The spot, which is a sentimental trip through the last 122 years of British history, is the strongest example of the wave of nostalgic advertising that seems to be sweeping the UK at the moment. But with such an over-arching emphasis on ‘Britishness’, it remains to be seen how successful it will be within the international awards schemes.
PG Tips Breakfast ad, by Mother
Nostalgia was also on display in the spoof of Morecambe & Wise’s Breakfast sketch for PG Tips, which picked up a gold award for Mother, who also headed home with the Adstream Award for Most Successful Agency of the Year. Rattling Stick, the company behind the Hovis spot, won the Panalux Award for Most Successful Production Company. Directing team Traktor received the Chairman’s Award for an outstanding contribution to the commercials industry, while Joe & Co was awarded the BTAA Fellowship for an outstanding contribution to the production of commercials.
Comfort ‘Naturist’, by Ogilvy
Other gold winners were VCCP, which picked up two golds for its Binge Drinking Awareness ad, and CHI & Partners which also won a double gold for its Britvic Drench Water ‘Brains’ spot. Ogilvy scored a gold for its hilarious Comfort ‘Naturists’ spot, while AKQA won gold its PG Tips ‘Queen’ ad.
Binge Female for the Home Office Binge Drinking Awareness campaign by VCCP
While there are some worthy winners here, as a representation of the best UK television commercials of the last year the list of BTAA winners suggests a medium lacking in energy. There is nothing on a par with last year’s big award winner, Gorilla, which while proving a massive hit with viewers also stirred up debate about how TV commercials may compete in the face of ever-increasing competition from online and integrated advertising. An ad that crosses so firmly into popular culture may only ever come along every few years, but no signs of further evolution in the format are evident this year (T-Mobile Dance perhaps?). And with a deepening recession on the horizon, the question of where TV advertising might go next seems more pertinent than ever. Perhaps one solution may be for agencies to tear themselves away from looking misty-eyed into the past, and begin to look forward into the future again instead.
A list of all of this year’s BTAA winners can be viewed online here.