Ri Fiver October: judges acclaim waffle


Tribal's Ben Walker and freelance Danny Buttarazzi were still wrapped up in the US election result when it came to judging the bumper crop of work entered for October's Ri Fiver.  You could even say that the winning entry had something of an American flavour.

"Unless you've been hibernating for the last few weeks or you hail from the UK equivalent of an Appalachian outpost (so Stevenage, then), it won't have escaped your attention that something pretty seismic has just happened across the Pond. Foregone conclusion it might have been, but Barack Obama's mauling of the old bloke with a Pit bull promises, so we're told, to herald positive change on a global scale. So all this got Danny and I thinking: Would the shockwaves of post-election fever impact on recruitment advertising some two thousand miles away here in li'l ol' England? And would the next tranche of Ri Fiver entries see us basking in the ticker-tape glory of a new dawn in creative excellence? We held our very own election to find out - with some rather different results.

Position: 4th

Title: Push Posh off the front pages
Client: 3

Not sure if Hockey Moms wear killer heels like these, but this ad has Sarah Palin written all over it. Contemporary, eye catching and bold certainly. But it lacks in style and substance upon closer inspection. Yes, it raises a smile, but an ad for such key roles in a hugely competitive marketplace needs to do more. The art direction looks heavily restricted by corporate guidelines, which means the copy needs to work doubly hard. It does in the first paragraph but in the second we fall familiarly and disappointingly back into the recruitment safety zone and all in all, you can't help thinking that this ad could have been better. Perhaps a touch of lippy might do the trick.

Position: 3rd

Title: Marketing Careers Website - www.orange.co.uk/marketing
Client: Orange

You can't help feeling that John McCain might have done better had his maverick spirit been allowed to roam free and the same can be said for this impressive Orange Marketing website from TCS Town. Beautifully written in Orange's straightforward tone of voice and executed nicely with some colourful art direction and seamless animation - it's just a shame it had to fall in-line with the consumer brand. Don't get me wrong, this website doesn't feel shoehorned and that's an achievement in itself. I just wish that the creative team had been given the freedom to start from scratch - because on this evidence they'd have done a bloody good job.

Position: 2nd

Title: Diversity
Client: GCHQ

Everyone's jumping on the Obama bandwagon right now. Even the Irish, who, in reference to the President Elect's great, great, great grandfather, have written a catching ditty, "...forget O'Hara, there's nothing as Irish as Barack Obama." Despite this, the most genuine ancestral claim comes unsurprisingly from Africa, which, interestingly, is the continent featured in GCHQ's successful attempt at tackling diversity. Art direction-wise, this ad hits the spot, and well done for persuading the client that less copy doesn't always mean less message. Not a diversity cliché in sight either, and as political correctness continues to cause many a toy to be hurled despairingly out of the creative pram, that's becoming a lot harder to achieve.

(Editor's note: in case you haven't heard the ditty referred to, click here.)

Position: 1st

Title: Waffle
Client: Grant Thornton

Obama's running mate, the self-styled ‘man of few words' Joe Biden certainly kept his side of the bargain and zipped his trap firmly shut for the duration of the campaign. Perhaps he took a leaf out of Grant Thornton's book and followed the example set by their cheeky chappy graduate giveaway which champions less waffle as part of their straight-talking recruitment offer. Okay, it's a touch obvious. But it made us laugh and salivate with equal measure; and how many pieces of recruitment communication can boast that? The one thing that did worry us slightly was the quantity of small print on the label. But presumably, that's the mandatory list of ingredients and not mere ‘waffle'. Fingers crossed anyway.

Congratulations to this month's electoral big hitters and commiserations to the also-rans. At least you won't have to wait four years for another crack."

Ri5 sends its thanks to the judges, copywriter Ben Walker of Tribal Resourcing, and freelance art director, Danny Butterazzi.  And our congratulations to Stafford Long, who win the Ri Fiver for October, and to their client Grant Thornton.  Commiserations and thanks to everyone else who entered - and especially to the agencies who came close, TCS, ThirtyThree and TMP.

The Ri Fivers are sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), one of the world's leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. The IET publishes two key offline recruitment titles - Engineering & Technology and IET Student & Young Professional Magazine - and the website Engineering & Technology Jobs (www.theiet.org/jobs)

Closing date for entries for the November Ri Fiver will be midnight on Monday 1st December.  Phil Woodford, freelance writer, lecturer and former creative director, will be judging the competition with Jim Shannon, who is creative and managing director at Giraffe Advertising.

Friday, 31 October 2008

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