Thanksgiving, A Tiny Dancer and Appreciating the Good Stuff
Seen one advertising award show, seen them all… right? Not quite. How many ad awards have you been to where one of the winners has launched into a rhyming acceptance speech, after all? At this week’s British Arrows Craft Awards, the eight-year-old star of the John Lewis ‘Tiny Dancer’ ad took to the stage with a speech that even outshone the show’s host, comedian and rapper Doc Brown, and it was enough to melt the heart of the most award-hardened adland cynic.
It’s easy to forget, when we’re rushing about trying to hit deadlines and juggle time zones, that the industry is actually quite a fun place to be. What’s more, over the past few years, that toxic culture of ‘busyness’ has spread like a virus as everyone competes to prove their usefulness by trying to convince themselves and others just how very, very busy they are. Whatever happened to taking pleasure in doing something that you enjoy, and doing it well?
Little Bunny-May Hughes, who accepted the Best Actress award, managed to sprinkle a little magic on proceedings by presenting the experience of crafting ads from a vantage point of childish wonder. As our compadres in the USA prepare to ‘give thanks’ this week, it strikes me that the timing couldn’t have been more perfect – couldn’t we all do with stopping to take stock and appreciate the good stuff from time to time?
The evening’s merriment was also balanced by a moving tribute to the great talents that London’s production community has recently lost. It was sad, yes, but also served to remind us how close and supportive the production industry can be.
So, this week’s British Arrows Craft Awards was a refreshing kick up the behind, personally speaking (because I’m definitely having a bit of a mid-winter grump at the moment), and it could well be one of the most unique shows on the circuit. It wasn’t just Bunny-May’s charming speech, but the sense that the unsung heroes who make the good ideas great and the great ideas exquisite are getting the recognition they very much deserve but seldom get. The production designers, stylists, VFX artists, sound designers, casting directors who each add a small piece of magic to the process.