Calling all PRs – Think you’ve got the creative mettle for Unicef?

Hi, I’m Johnny.

By day I’m the Founder of Launch PR, an ideas-led, brand PR agency. By night and weekends, I’m Founder of The Creative Shootout, the UK’s first marketing competition and awards programme, focused on creativity, done in a day, for charity. Oh, and I’m also a Hiscox customer (and a very satisfied one, too.)

So, why, having set up and run a successful PR agency for 14 years, have I decided to walk in to the Lion’s Den of ‘Awards Ceremonies?’

Well, this is not really about a new Award. It’s actually about creativity and the fact that in the UK, we’re pretty poor at celebrating it. Think about it. And when we do, it usually involves black tie, warm wine, some hotel ballroom and the same old same old. And celebrating work done the year before?  IN THIS DAY AND AGE?  How mad is that?! Archaic.

And the effort it takes to enter. Again, bonkers. Award competitions shouldn’t be about who can write the most perfect bit of copy over 4 A4 pages, 1.5 line pagination and typo free. They should celebrate brilliance, purely – and more in real time. Yes, celebrate it.  Not make it a complete pain to enter and a chore to attend. And I think that’s it … marketing award ceremonies just don’t feel very real. In fact, quite the opposite – surreal at times (and that’s not just the effect alcohol has on people, either. So nice with the smoked salmon, completely lost in by the crème brulee and a four hour ceremony).

But this is really about creativity. And the fact is, there’s little in the UK that celebrates creativity in marketing.  At The Creative Shootout, you enter in 60 seconds. However you like. No format – send us a cake if you want (ps, I have a sweet tooth). Then, selected finalists pit their creative wits against each other in a one day shootout, in front of a judging panel and live audience. Yes, live. Then the winner is announced at the end of it (audience voting, you’ll have to wait and see) at a cool after party with a brilliant and inspirational key note. In a cool venue, where you won’t see a black tie in sight.

The idea came to me after collecting more awards in one year than ever before for Launch. You’d think I’d be happy! But there was this sense of emptiness from it all, that the brilliance that ignited the campaigns in the first place was never celebrated – and that’s what The Creative Shootout sets out to do. Celebrate and showcase creativity. In a day. And for a charity.  In year one, it’s for Unicef UK, who get to use the winning idea for free, that could help millions of children in danger, the world over.

So, if you’re reading this, work for a PR agency or in house Comms team (year 2 will be integrated across discipline) and think you’ve got the creative horsepower for Unicef UK, and are free on 21.1.16, then give it a whirl, by entering in 60 seconds. And I’ve always said that good creativity should make you laugh, think or cry. So, go on, make me and the judges do all three … or just one.

Now that’s an unusual award.


Entry closes Friday 6th November 2015.

Live event in London January 21st 2016.

So, who’s entering..?