On the 11th of September myself and Frances took a trip to Kinsale.
The Kinsale Sharks are considered to be a creative festival with a big schedule of events running from Thursday to Saturday. These events include inspirational speakers and workshops and fun stuff like the Shutter Stock BBQ and the annual darts competition (in which FO’R beat me… the shame!) with the festival culminating in the award ceremony on the Saturday night.
We arrived in Kinsale early on the Friday and received our all important access-all-areas lanyards. Party on Garth.
We then checked into our B&B owned by a woman with the thickest culchie accent I’ve ever heard. It was unintelligible to me but of course Frances understood everything… she’s one of them you know.
We arrived at the Yacht Club just at the tail end of a talk by Greg Russel from Facebook & Instagram. I got to speak to Greg briefly after the talk and I quizzed him about the dreaded 20% rule for social objects and he said that there was no sign of the restriction being changed any time soon :(
Next up was the “Sound Advice” talk from Paul Burke (described as “radio legend”) from the UK. Paul has worked with almost all of London’s top agencies and has won more awards than you could shake a D&AD pencil at.
The next talk came from Scottish typographer/illustrator/designer Steven Bonner. A design generalist, he approaches each project on its own merits and changes style to suit. Steven came across as a nice, down to earth, hard-working designer who tries not to get sucked into trends (I’d say he’s a fan of Sagmeister’s “Style=Fart” position).
After lunch, we sat in on talks by Richard Tisdall from Happy Finish and an introduction to drones (although due to bad weather we didn’t get to see any drones in flight).
With the talks done for the day we hit the pub and were then treated to a posh dinner by the lovely folk at Raygun. Dinner was awesome and these folks are seriously nice people.
The next morning we headed back to the Yacht Club for what turned out to be the talk of the weekend, “The Pub Sceptic” by Richard Burdett, MD of Horse and County TV. Horse and Country TV you say? Yes I’ve never heard of it either but Richard has pedigree in the ad industry beginning his career at Saatchi & Saatchi working for 11 years on huge brands then becoming head of sales for The Discovery Channel and Head of Marketing for UKTV. He was also head of 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house ad agency for 10 years.
His talk was a refreshingly different take on digital advertisement and the effectiveness of existing digital formats. The crux of his presentation was that the current available digital formats are fundamentally broken and that new digital formats that can rival traditional media like outdoor and radio need to be created. His talk was humorous, engaging and informative.
After the talk Shutterstock and Marek kindly hosted a BBQ so we ate and had a few beers in the much improved weather conditions on the deck of the yacht club. The sun was finally out! After that came the darts competition (well done Frances!) and the Liverpool v United game (bloody Liverpool, crap as usual!).
Then it was finally time to get the glad rags on and into Actons for the big ceremony. There was a pre show reception with bubbly and canapés. And a weird tree mad out of cold cuts. We named it Dimitri, the meat tree.
Then it was on, the big show. Time to shine Frances!
Atomic were nominated for 3 awards out of 5 submissions - all three for the HB Cornetto radio work and our fingers, toes and eyes were crossed for a win.
The ceremony was hosted by Baz Ashmawy from “50 Ways to Kill your Mammy” fame. He was actually really good and a perfect match for the unruly crowd. He’d done his research and got some industry related gags in early which provided mega lolz.
The big winners were BBDO New York which won Agency of the Year.
The big Irish winners on the night were Rothco with 24 (plus 4 for Guns or Knives) and Boys & Girls with a whopper 25 Sharks. Publicis also did well and Irish International picked up an international gold, which was great to see.
Then it was the radio section and the name Atomic spilled out of Baz’s mouth so nonchalantly we nearly missed it. There was much whooping and hollering from our table and Frances went up to collect.
Result! It was all over after that… We’d won. Time to get our drink on and celebrate!
The next day was painful. Frances saved me with alka-seltzer and by the time we reached the famous junction 17, I was ready to murder an O’Briens shambo.
Hopefully we’ll be back again next year to catch some more sharks.