Cover Story

Belgian ad scoops grand prix at Sharks

A TV commercial for a little known Belgian bottled water drowned out the major brands and upset the big guns at the 47th Sharks International Advertising Festival in Kinsale by taking the grand prix prize. The ad for Spa Barisart sparkling water was made by Brussels agency Duvall Guillaume. Shot entirely underwater, the commercial shows a mock bar fight which cleverly depicts how Spa Barisart packs more punch than rival bottled waters.

The commercial also won a gold shark in the non-alcoholic drinks category. Dublin production company Blinder and its director Richie Smyth won gold for the AIB Surfer commercial shot off the Cliffs of Moher. It's the third shark for Blinder's directors in three years, out of a total of only five awarded in that time. Surfer was created by a Rothco team led by Damian Hanly with Helen Hayden as producer.

Smyth said that the client, AIB and its agency, Rothco gave him the time and freedom “to get it right”. Shooting a commercial based on big wave surfing was a challenge and its makers had to wait ten months for the right wave. Clare man John McCarthy, who launched his surf school with a loan from AIB, is seen surfing on the 40ft Aileen wave off the local cliffs. It was shot fully ‘in camera' without using any computer graphics.

Young Euro RSCG was the top local agency netting five sharks in both the international and Irish sections, mainly for their work on the Bulmers' campaigns. Other winners in the Irish section were Brando, Cawley Nea\TBWA, DDFH&B-JWT, Leo Burnett, McCann Erickson, Piranha Bar, Publicis QMP and Screen Scene. Gorgeous was honoured once again by winning the Palm D'Or as the festival's top production company.

Gorgeous credits include work for the BBC, Barclays, Budweiser and The Economist. AMV BBDO was named agency of the year for outstanding creative in every category, but particularly for their print campaigns for the Children's Museum and in TV for the Royal Mail. Leo Burnett won the network of the year award with 38 awards from 11 different offices, including Ireland. One client, Procter & Gamble, won 12 awards.

Voiceover artist Kate Robbins gave a talk at the Saturday creative workshop. Orlaith Blaney of McCann Erickson said Robbins background is a “whirlwind of achievement” from Spitting Image to Eurotrash and she gave a wonder rendition of her famous Shake ‘n' Vac jingle. She wrote the lyrics to Surprise, Surprise, the TV show, presented by Cilla Black, which reunited friends and family living around the world.

The producers seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the reason why most people go to faraway destinations like Australia and New Zealand in the first place is to get away from family and friends. A cousin of Paul McCartney, Robbins described her Liverpool relatives who were invited to the wedding. As the venue was top secret, guests were told to bring passports and with thoughts of somewhere hot, most people packed sun creams.

At the wedding in Castle Leslie, an aunt of Paul's tried to steal the flowers in the white rose tunnel. Another relative, an elderly man, told all the other guests to clear the mini bars as the ex-Beatle would be paying. Robbins recalled sounds of glass bottles jingling and jangling as guests boarded the private planes flying them back home to Liverpool.

Bar Fight Ad


‘Bar Fight' for Spa Barisart sparking water won the grand prix for Brussels agency Duvall Guillaume at the 47th Sharks International Advertising Festival in Kinsale.

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