Electric six industry award shortlists for Viva

The agency is aiming for a hat-trick of team honours — it first won the Agency award in 2016 and then again in 2019 when it was last contested.

Viva’s work with Blackburn BID and its ‘We Saved Christmas from Covid’ activity is shortlisted in two campaign categories — Community Relations and Public Sector. 

The campaign delivered an accessible, inclusive and educational visual arts event, despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic.

It was a difficult year for Blackburn BID because of the lockdowns and other restrictions, and the campaign had to strike a balance between engaging people and ensuring they were safe. In the end, it reached more than 1 million people.

Viva’s project supporting mental health charity Lancashire Mind on its Breaking Boundaries campaign has been recognised in the Healthcare category. 

The charity challenged people to cover the equivalent distance of Lancashire’s boundary – a total of 417 miles – in just 14 days. Launched during Mental Health Awareness Week, Breaking Boundaries smashed the financial target by 113%.

Our work with global hearing aid specialist Amplifon has been shortlisted by judges in two categories. Viva created The Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons in 2016 – a campaign inspired by the bravery of the company’s founder Charles Holland – which celebrated unsung heroes of British life at an annual awards ceremony. 

Of course, in 2020 the awards had to go virtual, and the campaign has now been shortlisted in the Best Event and in the Best Use of Media Relations categories. Marcus Rashford won the Overall Hero award in recognition of his charity work during the pandemic. 

Tony Garner, Viva’s founder and MD, said: “The past 12 months has turned out to be one of our best years in terms of turnover and client wins for us. I definitely didn’t see this coming in March last year, when 40% of our work was either put on hold or cancelled, forcing us to furlough three staff. 

“We’ve really pulled together as a team like never before and I see being shortlisted for six awards as a huge achievement already. Seeing us in contention for the agency award for the third time in just five years makes me very proud, as well as how our various campaigns have tackled Covid disruption head on, earning recognition from the judges to be shortlisted.” 

Catherine Price, Blackburn town centre BID manager, said: “The ‘Believe in the Magic of Blackburn Town Centre’ programme, which we originally planned pre-pandemic, was reimagined with a goal of bringing together communities, even when that wasn’t physically possible. 

“We wanted people to have a positive experience, learning more about Blackburn and its heritage, develop a real sense of place, and recognise its rich cultural history.

“Previously agreed plans had to be completely replaced with a dynamic schedule that could flex with the latest government guidance and restrictions. We are delighted with the results, and we are thrilled that our out-of-the box thinking has been recognised once again.”

The winners will be announced in October at a virtual ceremony and the full shortlist is online.

2021 is turning into quite a year for Viva. The agency has already won the national PRCA Workplace Champions award in recognition of its workplace wellbeing and a PRCA DARE Award NW for its ‘We Saved Christmas from Covid’ work with Blackburn BID.