Last week we attended the Roses Creative Awards in Manchester. We had two nominations but walked away with nothing.

When you’ve been going to these things for as long as we have (first one was back in 1996), you get used to the emotional rollercoaster that is the reading out of the winners.

However, this year was the first that one of our young copywriter’s had attended.
He was nominated in the Best Radio Commercial category for a script he’d penned for National Express.

It was interesting to witness his response to not winning.
First he was laid back and resigned to the almost inevitability of being so close, yet deep down expecting not to make the walk to the stage.
Then there was the predictable criticism of the judges and the system (a Gold and a Silver awarded but no Bronze).
Finally, the bravado that next year would be different and that he’d show them.

To get to the point, even though he didn’t win, we did.

Having sampled the bitter taste of defeat, he is now hungrier than ever for success.
This year will see him step up his game and try harder, care more and do better.

He ultimately lost to BBH and Audi.
Things have certainly changed over the past 20 years and since Larry Barker stood at the rostrum comparing The Roses Awards to The Special Olympics.
We’re now not just competing against the best in the regions but some of the best agencies (and clients) in the world.
With this competition comes some serious creative fire power.

Awards have always been a numbers game.
Yes, occasionally simple brilliance with nothing spent on it rises to the top but more often, decent production budgets and teams bigger than most agencies (there was barely enough stage space for some victors) help deliver aesthetically pleasing work.
There’s still the obvious “It never ran” work getting through and I don’t have a massive problem with that but again, you need a creative department big enough to be able to take time out from paying client briefs to produce this stuff then find a willing client.
Our growing young team will have to work harder than ever to circumnavigate all this but I’m confident they have the ability and now the hunger to achieve great things.

In the end, this one expedition to Manchester from Birmingham will have cost us almost £3,000 (entry fees/tickets/hotels/travel/drink/regrettable burger).
Some would say that’s a lot to come away empty handed but I think it’s money well spent if we have an even bigger desire to beat and be the best.

*The second nomination was for Best Annual Report for St. Basil’s.