Ri Fiver: the September result

 After the summer break, what did the September Ri Fiver competition have in store for judges Philip Clarke, Colin Hood and Jon Dobinson? Philip (the writer) and Colin (the art director) joined Jon at Other to assess this month's entries. Here are their conclusions - click on the images to see more:


We have to confess to being baffled by this entry: a drive (no pun intended) to recruit security staff for the Ryder Cup. The image clearly says golf, but what's the headline saying? Try as we might, we just couldn't work it out. Delving into the body copy threw up no clues either. We could only assume it was some kind of golf enthusiast's in-joke. But when we ran it past a couple of golf enthusiasts, they were lost too. Just hope the target audience got it - maybe the word ‘money' was enough to do the trick. Verdict: arresting image, but confusing.

Central Bedfordshire

Painstakingly artworked with a message that we got immediately, yet we couldn't help finding the image contrived - shoe-horned suggested Colin and we groaned. It probably looked like a good idea at the scamp stage but doesn't quite work finished up. Philip suggested that people with artificial limbs might find it offensive and we winced. Despite the slightly punny headline, hats off to the team for trying to turn a classic clutching-at-straws public sector selling point into something visually interesting. Verdict: a functional ad but perhaps trying a bit too hard image-wise.

Central Manchester University Hospitals

This ad takes bronze, but it could have been a blinder if it had resisted the need to tick all those traditional rec ad boxes. The headline felt client-influenced and didn't work with the image, which we thought was strong. Lose the headline, replace it with the job title, halve the copy and you're getting there. Verdict: a worthy effort but lacking the simplicity that can make a good idea great.


We couldn't argue with this ad, our runner-up. It does what it says on the tin: clear image, clear line, clear execution of a clear selling point and a tone of voice that feels like Makro. Having said that, it left us feeling a bit uninspired, but then we can imagine the inside of a Makro to be a bit like that. Verdict: down to earth, workmanlike, effective.

Postgrad Solutions

So, onto our winner: an idea (not strictly recruitment mind you) that strives to create a relationship between target and brand. It looked good and sounded good, yet we spent ages discussing how much better it could have been. The tidbits of information were engaging enough in themselves, but the call to action wasn't woven into them at all. Indeed, the whole bursary offer was hidden in the copy and the headline didn't lead us there either. It was as if the team had got carried away with content over function and lost sight of what the work was trying to do. Having said that, it got our juices flowing because it felt fresh, bold and new. Verdict: the main point gets submerged, but a nonetheless brave and inspiring attempt to engage its audience.

Congratulations go to Postgrad Solutions who win the September Ri Fiver for their interesting infographic (which is about recruiting postgraduate students).  Commiserations to Feather Brooksbank, TMP Worldwide, Tribal and Wave, and thanks to all who entered.  Thanks too to our judges, Philip Clarke (freelance writer), Colin Hood (freelance art director) and Jon Dobinson (founder of Other Creative).  Closing date for the October Ri Fiver will be Monday 1st November at midnight.  Judges will be art director Ed Collingwood, (formerly of Park, McCann Erickson and Vivid and most recently freelance), and Lauren Compton, senior writer at Penna Communications.  Entries please to awards@ri5.co.uk - click here for rules and conditions.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

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(Showing 1 - 7 of 7)

Phil Woodford Date: Oct 22, 2010

Just had a breeze through these entries and think the judging panel's verdict and comments are pretty much spot on. Nice work, gents.

Steve Szita Date: Oct 22, 2010

Just had a quick look at the winning entry's intro copy: "Masters Funding: How Can I Afford a Masters Degree? With the going rate for a masters degree and living expenses often as high as £25,000 it's no surprise that students find themselves searching for new and creative ways of funding a masters." Four uses of the word 'Masters' - sloppy editing or a clumsy attempt at keyword manipulation? Either way, not exactly an engaging read. And while I'm boring the pants off you with my copy insights, I see that another entry opens with "G4S Events are a market leader" - surely "is a market leader"? Raise your game, chaps.

Anonymous Date: Oct 22, 2010

Looking through these I think its all a pretty poor show...August and September must have been pretty uncreative months this year!

Anonymous Date: Oct 22, 2010

Regarding the G4S headline mystery/enigma (which, if I'm honest, is the most interesting thing here), I'm guessing it's referring to the hole in one's pocket. Hence the need to fill it. Which is a futile gesture unless you actually get round to repairing said hole.

Editor Date: Oct 22, 2010

The Ri Fivers are intended to showcase the creative wonders of our industry on a regular basis. Those who enter are to be applauded for putting their heads above the parapet. As for those who can't be bothered or won't risk it - pah! The deadline for the October competition is approaching - entries (foc) by 1st November at midnight.

Anonymous Date: Oct 22, 2010

So “pretty poor show” & “hole in pocket” did you not win or not have any decent work to enter?

Tomothy Turnip Date: Oct 25, 2010

I particularly liked the visual in the Central Bedfordshire advertisement. It rather put me in the mind of my Uncle Laurence's so-called "loonicycle" - a unicycle he'd modified by replacing the wheel with a closed loop of orthopedic shoes mounted atop sturdy wooden spokes. Uncle Laurence would don his best turquoise trews and diddy bowler hat then pedal his loonicycle around town on a Saturday afternoon, much to the delight of the local children, many of whom would run alongside him through the streets, singing hymns as they went. Owing to a particularly unfortunate incident involving a penny omnibus, Uncle Laurence is sadly no longer with us. However, it was a wonderful treat to be reminded of him this cold October luncheon time, and for that I applaud whichever agency did the Central Bedfordshire creative. Now...when's it going to be my turn to judge the Ri Fivers?

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