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How to get ahead in advertising
He is best known as a musician and a songwriter, but Nick Kelly has a parallel career as a very successful advertising ‘creative’. So much so, that he was recently asked to be a judge at one of the advertising industry’s big international events, the annual Shark Awards.
Louise Hodgson, 21 Sep 2006
There’s a saying in the advertising industry: “Don’t tell my mother I work in advertising, she thinks I play piano in a brothel.” For Nick Kelly, this phrase has a certain undeniable resonance.
You may remember him as the lead singer and songwriter of The Fat Lady Sings, or know him from his own critically acclaimed solo efforts – last year’s superb Running Dog was shortlisted for the IMRO Choice Music Award. But there are a number of other strings to Nick Kelly’s bow that you may not know of.
Aside from music, Kelly has dabbled in the art of writing (his short story Expect Jail was a winner of the Ian St. James Awards, the largest UK awards for short fiction, in 1995), film-making (Delphine, in 2003, was shown in every cinema across Ireland before Jack Black’s School Of Rock), and, perhaps the least known of all his talents, copywriting!
It is this, his very successful venture into advertising, that took him to Kinsale – yes, Kinsale – to be a judge at the 44th Shark Awards Festival.
The Shark Awards Festival is an international advertising event that celebrates the best in broadcast advertising internationally. It is among the top advertising festivals in the world.
Or, as Nick explains, “It’s basically for people who write ads to come on down and have a look at what other people who write ads do.”
The list of past jurors reads like a who’s who of advertising giants and this year was no different. On the judging panel along with Nick were Gerry Farrell, the creative director of The Leith Agency; John Hegerty, chairman of BBH; Mike Hughes, president and creative director of his own Martin Agency; Alan Kelly, a former Grand Prix winner at the Sharks in 2004; Berkhart von Scheven, chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi in Frankfurt and John Moore, a former ad man who has emerged as one of Ireland’s leading film directors, responsible for Behind Enemy Lines and the Oscar-nominated short, He Shoots He Scores.