Creative Challenge to bring Fringe to life, ego points, vast riches and freebies up for grabs

Nothing focuses the mind like a deadline (aside perhaps from P). And Adshel, the Auckland Fringe and StopPress have joined forces to see if that rule also applies to the dark, mysterious advertising arts with the announcement of the Creative Challenge, a new event that aims to showcase the talents of Kiwi creatives and, at the same time, promote creative excellence in outdoor advertising.

The event will be held on Wednesday 28 July at The Civic in Auckland and, following an introduction from Auckland Fringe director Sally Barnett, participants will be challenged to represent the vision of the Fringe 2011 on a poster, while keeping in mind some of the guidelines for creative effectiveness in outdoor. But, aye, here’s the rub, there’s only one hour to do it.

The winning concept will be judged by a group from Adshel, StopPress, Auckland Fringe and a yet to be confirmed but presumably devilishly handsome/strikingingly beautiful ad industry heavyweight. And even if you don’t win, you’re still in for a treat: drinks and food will be provided on the night, Barnett’s presentation will be accompanied by an award-winning Fringe performance from Morgana O’Reilly and the event is being held on The Civic stage, which, in itself, is a bit of a privilege. Added to that, participants are “being treated like artists”, which means you’ll also get a tour through the theatre’s catacombs.

As well as the all-important ego points up for grabs, the winning prize is valued at a whopping great $125,000, with the best agency team nabbing an outdoor campaign consisting of two x 130 Adshel panels, 130 for the Auckland Fringe in January 2011 and 130 for the agency to use for a client or campaign of their choice.

Not only that, the victors will also get an Auckland Fringe/THE EDGE ticket package, a dinner voucher to a top Auckland restaurant, some fawning coverage in StopPress and a bit of a write up in NZ Marketing.

Agency teams with a maximum of six people can register for the event at www.creativechallenge.co.nz and it’s free to enter, although places are limited and it’s a “first in best dressed” policy, so it would pay to get in quick.

Auckland Fringe director Barnett is “absolutely over the moon” to be part of the event and says it’s a very good fit with the ethos of the festival.

“The Fringe is all about unleashing your creative soul, and I’m looking forward to seeing Auckland’s top creative minds do just that on the Civic main stage, where some of the world’s finest artists have performed,” she says.

Pauline Hanton, Adshel’s sales director, says the idea for the event came about because the company has long been an advocate of creative excellence in the outdoor medium. And she’s looking forward to seeing what the creative teams come up with on the night, and then seeing a great campaign for the Auckland Fringe up on the streets.

Ben Faky (hat-tip, Fastline), StopPress editor, renowned philanthropist, bi-weekly apiarist and highly regarded interpretive dancer, is “thrilled”, “delighted” and “creatively engorged” to be involved and says he will do everything in his power to publicise it gratuitously. He also believes it’s very important to win awards so you can lord it over your colleagues and competitors and laugh in their losing faces.

“Like most creatives, I love free food and booze. And I also love good, weird ideas, which are always plentiful in this fair agency land and par for the course with the Fringe,” he says, typing what’s in his head. “So sign up, battle it out for creative supremacy and reap some massive rewards. Also, given most of you usually do the work of the devil, you might even sleep a little easier at night in the knowledge that your awesome ideas will be helping out a great event like Fringe.”

There will be more announcements to come regarding additional event sponsors, as well as the fancy ad industry judge. But in the meantime, get your registrations in at the Creative Challenge website quick smart. And for more information about the event contact Adshel’s marketing executive Rochelle Weaver.

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