T-Minus awards calendar gets creative to prompt creatives’ entries

The awards extravaganzas are finally over for another year, as Cannes comes to a close and agencies around the world tot up their Lions and add them to their 2010/11 haul. And to celebrate the start of brand new awards year, a brand new, interactive product to ensure agencies and creatives need never miss an awards deadline called T-Minus that was created by Steve Moss and Jo Finch at RKCR/Y&R in London in collaboration with digital hotshop B-Reel has been launched. 

A visit to the website enables users to choose from the 130 awards currently registered globally, from UK based D&AD to the Asia and Dubai Bespoke Awards, then download their own personal calendar as a dynamic infographic screensaver, which tracks not just the awards entry date, but the date on which work has to run in order to qualify for entry. Users can customise it to filter the awards by region, entry date and eligibility date and can add other awards information by via a contact link on the footer of the site.

Damon Collins, creative director at RKCR/Y&R says: “For creatives the self-inflicted pressure to win awards is constant. And the stress of making sure your work has appeared by the various dates of each of the numerous awards competitions only adds to that pressure. No matter how brilliant your work is, if it’s not eligible for or entered into the competitions, no one’s walking for anything.”

“Jo and Steve always had a sheet of layout paper on their desk listing awards deadlines and they’d cross off the weeks as they went by. Having been caught out in the past they used these calendars to remind themselves when they needed to pester me, the account team or the client, to make sure a particular piece of work was approved, made or had run.

We thought it would be great to create a digital version of those scraps of paper: a utility that anyone who had ever suffered that last minute panic of ‘Christ, it needs to have run by next week and it’s not even shot yet!’ could benefit from.”

Mark Wheeler, Art Director at B-Reel adds: “We considered several approaches to the awards calendar dilemma before deciding on an approach that could remind without intruding and yet also provide enough detail to be genuinely useful. The solution is a tight combination of ambient information – a screensaver that passively reminds you of deadlines – as well as detailed reference information in the form of a fast, flexible, one-page website that’s accessible from anywhere.

As well as creating a practical tool for creatives we also wanted to make something that would look great aesthetically running as your screensaver every day. The result is a constantly updating colourscape, with individual award deadlines growing and becoming more agitated as units of time flow around them. Given how often you see a screensaver we felt it important to add as much variety as possible to this view, so opted to use physics-based animation throughout. Working like this makes for some cool but unexpected results. You have to be ready to experiment and see what happens.”

Plans are being developed to further enhance the product with a series of new services, such as an archive of past winners, an awards newsfeed and social networking functionality. Various options to monetise T-Minus in are currently in development.

The product is free to download from here.


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