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20 years in the Best of Health

20 years in the Best of Health
Frank Walters, Convenor of Judges reflects on the 20th anniversary of the IPA’s Best of Health Show.

It's hard to believe that it's now over 20 years since I was part of a small group of determined young agency folk hell bent on building a brave new world in ethical pharmaceutical advertising.

Our mission was to raise the standard of creative excellence by pushing the boundaries of convention and breaking away from the genre of metaphorical advertising of the day. 

The rules were simple, let creatives judge creativity purely on the merits of its originality, its craft and its bravery, to only pay credit where credit is due. 

To this day, only a very few contenders make it to the elusive gold, never mind the Best of Show golden apples which on occasions haven’t even been awarded. 

So while the standards of judging have remained consistently high, the world where the Best of Health Show was born has clearly changed. It used to be about brands being advertised on a page, today it's about brands forming social relationships. Despite this, creativity in its purest sense continues.

Wings of creative freedom were temporarily clipped during the nineties and naughties as UK agencies were forced into adapting bland US initiated global campaigns, but today more UK agencies are driving clever global thinking. 

Another phenomenon was the switching of prescription drugs to something readily available to consumers.  

Traditional Rx agencies had to quickly develop consumer principles as they moved out of their comfort zone, which only enhanced the general standard of creativity. 

There are many talented creatives working in great creative agencies in healthcare who today share the Best of Health legacy. It's made high standards commonplace and creativity king. 

It's also imperative that if we are to safeguard our future success that we make a concerted effort to invest in new talent, so I'm delighted that the new PIP Award will help achieve this goal. 

The world is changing at a rapid pace and technology continues to deliver new ways of gluing customers to brands, but great story telling and the means by which to tell the story will continue unabated. It’s up to us creatives to push standards to deliver the best possible work for our clients. And in the process, we might just bag ourselves a big fat juicy golden apple.

The 2015 IPA Best of Health Awards Scheme, is open for entries until 7th September 2015, via theonline entry system.

Further details about the 2015 Ceremony will be announced shortly. Find more information about the awards here.

2015 Best of Health Show timelines are as follows:

  • Call for entries:  June-September. Final deadline Monday 7th September, 10am
  • Shortlisted entries announced: w/c  5th October
  • Ceremony: Tuesday 24th November
Last updated 27/08/2015

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