Forget Cannes: Here are the best fake ads of the year

Cannes has become both a scam and a sham: extortionary fees, more fake entries (now with client collusion) and pettier block voting every year. It is more immaterial to the real ad world than ever.

But the old big agency boys are desperately holding onto Cannes like it was their last erection. Because they want to be able to shove their precious Lions into the faces of the faster, younger digital shops and scream: “HOW MANY?” You need an ugly, heartless, body-less lion trophy to know whether or not you’ve made a good ad? Drop out, drop acid, and go off the grid, man. The business world is better off without you.

It’s time for the ad industry to start celebrating a relevant awards show: The U.K.’s Chip Shop Awards, the world’s preeminent 100 percent fake ads event. Twelve years ago, it started out small with entries just from U.K. creatives. But it now receives ads from all over the world — including this wonderfully tasteless Lynx ad from 2011.

The show was again judged by top British CDs, and the “Chip” trophies were handed out earlier this month at the Electric Brixton in London. Below are a few of my favorites.

Red Tractor pork


A 2015 “unauthorized” biography of Prime Minister David Cameron alleged that, while at Oxford, he stuck his penis inside of a dead pig’s mouth. Now look at the ad: rather patriotic, isn’t it? It was recognized in the “Best Use Of An Animal” category. See the credits here.



Staying in the “Animals” category, two CHI & Partners creatives came up with a nice little ambient ad for Vicks using airport sniffer dogs. Who’s a good girl? Credits here.

Tinder and Prostate Cancer UK


In the category “Best Use Of Alternative Media Space,” these two executions were the best. If I were a Tinder honcho, I’d definitely try to partner with Häagen-Dazs on that perfect placement. See the credits here and here.

Johnnie Walker


Returning to tastelessness, two students, “Nick and Dennis,” recognized an excellent crisis sponsorship opportunity for the Diageo whisky brand. Hey, they could give out free t-shirts and maybe blankets to the refugees — imagine all the free media! Ad was recognized in the “Best Parody” and “Best Vandalism Of An Existing Ad” categories.

Google Chrome


Here’s a winner from the “Best Ad Without A Visual” category. It works. Credits here.



I think Snapchat should jump all over this PSA idea before a competitor does. Winner from the category “Best Work For A Brand You Have Not A Hope In Hell Of Winning.” Credits here.



Lastly, I don’t know if this is my favorite, but I like it. Back in March, you may recall, Brit Ben Innes (a “health and safety auditor”—that’s rich) posed with EgyptAir hijacker Seif Eldin Mustafa and his fake vest bomb. Innes’s perfect expression was just begging for a little toothy retouching. Credits here.

The Lion is dead. Long live the crispy Chip.

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