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Kitchen Confidential at the FAB Awards

Last week I sat on the Advertising jury of the 2014 FAB awards. Celebrating creativity in the food and beverage category, FAB is now in its 14th year and I was beyond thrilled to be invited to cast my vote. This year’s entries certainly didn’t disappoint, showcasing both innovation and global diversity, not to mention a cracking venue over the sunny river Thames and awards president Neeraj’s outstanding hospitality.

The judging took us on a multisensory journey of foodie adventures. Here are some of my favourite stories…

A big brand staple from the fridge thoroughly seduced me with its cinematic epicness. Cameras swiftly panned over moonlit broccoli, cascading cake mix and explosions of flour, all set to a Space Odyssey-esque score. It was an absolute feast for the eyes, and a great example of beautiful craftsmanship that built on a previous brand campaign. I’ve never felt so excited about the ingredients waiting for me at home in the fridge.

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Next we moved to the pantry, where I was again surprised by a brand I love – the little jar that punches above its weight in taste and attitude, this time with a fabulously controversial campaign. Hitting the spot with a TV commercial and media story that got consumers hot under the collar, it was brilliantly executed and integrated. Best of all, it told a compelling story.

We then came to a couple of immersive restaurant experiences. For the first, the clue was in the name and the punch line came with the bill. A clever concept coupled with beautiful design proved that God is indeed in the details. The second restaurant experience highlighted the drive for literacy awareness with grammatically muddled point of sale features and menus… simply brilliant!

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Next it was onwards once more to an interactive vending machine that allows people to share a drink with a long-inaccessible neighbour, bringing them together to share good times and break down borders.

And if you’ve still got an appetite, let’s finish with the candy bar-eating foreign beauties whispering sweet nothings (…or were they?) and the guy having a quiet beer who ended up playing table tennis with Arnie.

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Overall I applaud the brave work we saw. It truly felt as if category conventions were being pushed and clients were taking risks. This should all make for a great awards ceremony at the end of the month at the Hurlingham club.

Bon appétit!