Postcard from AWARD: Balls To The Impossible

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Postcard from AWARD: Balls To The Impossible

By Ant Melder, creative partner, Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder, on behalf of the AWARD Awards Committee.


Many moons ago, Robert Senior, the then-CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi-Fallon in the UK, told me the story of how he sold the legendary Sony ‘Balls’ ad to a reluctant client.

The first time he presented the script, which consisted of one solitary line – we drop a million bouncy balls down a hill in San Francisco – the client said “No”. Well, not just “No”, more like, “No fucking way.”

The second time he presented the same script, it was still “No” (with a little more resistance and a couple more expletives).

The third time – still “No.”

Same with the fourth.

On the fifth presentation of the idea, the response included some new information. Which ran along the lines of – “If I see this bouncy balls idea ever again, you’re fired. And we won’t work with this agency ever again.” (Apparently there were a few choice expletives thrown in for good measure).

And the sixth time?

The sixth time he sold it.

What a great example of what we, as an industry, do. When we’re at our best, we find a way.

I was reminded of this in a production meeting the other day for a potentially brilliant project that’s faced obstacle after pandemic-related obstacle. After an extremely gracious apology from our client about the latest Covid curveball, Adrian, Co-Founder/Exec Producer/legend from our production partners on the project, Scoundrel, said, “There’s absolutely no need to apologise. This is what we do – we solve problems.”

What an awesome, inspiring attitude. One that, this year, so many brilliant agencies, production companies and clients have had. They’ve solved problem after problem. And found a way. A way to navigate lockdowns, rules that seemed to change by the minute and seemingly impossible logistical conundrums. A way to defeat the odds and create great work.

This work represents the best of what we, as an industry, can do. It’s work that needs to be reflected on and celebrated. More so this year than ever. But it can’t be celebrated if it isn’t entered. So please, get your fingers out and your best work into AWARD. Let’s drop a million brightly coloured bouncy balls of creative brilliance down the shitty grey hill of 2020.

The final, extended, we’re-not-mucking-about-this-is-really-it deadline is fast approaching. And, with Christmas almost upon us, time is getting pretty tight. But hey, if you managed to do what it took to get some great work away in 2020, it should be a piece of piss.

The extended, final deadline for entries in the 42nd AWARD Awards is January 22nd. Details here.