There were no dry eyes in the Ballroom of the Hilton Park Lane after Giles Andreae, creator of Purple Ronnie, Edward Monkton and co-creator of Happy Jackson delivered a poignant speech at the B&LLAs (Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Awards) to a room full of retailers, publishers, licensees, top brand executives and members of the licensing fraternity recently.
Delivered with his own brand of humour and impeccable timing, Giles’ speech was an engaging ‘no holds barred’ account of his personal journey into the greeting card, licensing and book publishing worlds, a tale, which proves that good things can come from adversity.
There can not be many successful greeting card brands that have evolved as a result of a visit to an agricultural bull semen collection facility* as Purple Ronnie did or another that burst onto the scene due to severe depression, as Happy Jackson did.
Despite having authored over 70 books (including all time face, Giraffe’s Can’t Dance) it is still greeting cards that have a special place in Giles’ heart and he was only too willing to share the important role they play in connecting with people and telling them you care.
“All I was trying to do was to express and share – in my own very simple way – the strange and beautiful experience that is just being human together,” said Giles of the creations of Purple Ronnie, Edward Monkton and Happy Jackson. “I find greeting cards a wonderful, populist and inexpensive medium for self-expression.”
- For those interested as to the reason for Giles’ visit to this establishment…he was in his final year at univesrity when he was diagnosed with advanced cancer of the lymph. A course of urgent chemotherapy was order of the day, which would leave him infertile. Giles, who always wanted to have children of his own, refused to go ahead until he was able to bank some of his sperm. The only possible option at that time was a facility used by farmers for their bulls. So Giles and his ‘stiff upper lip’ father paid a visit and the deed was done. It worked – as testified by the image Giles ended his speech with showing his four children, Flinn, Nat, Freya and Jackson.
“I’ll tell you – if these guys and their mum aren’t something truly worth living for, then I have absolutely no idea what is,” he said through tears of joy and gratefulness.
The B&LLAs Winners
The Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Awards (B&LLAs) are owned and organised by Max Publishing (owners of Progressive Greetings and PG Buzz). The recognise and reward excellence in the brand licensing arena. Among this year’s winners was Portico Designs whose Joules Gift Stationery collection won the Best Brand Licensed Gifting Range. Blueprint Collections was a finalist in this category with its The Happy News range.
To see the full list of B&LLAs winners click to PG Buzz’s sister site, LicensingSource.net https://www.licensingsource.net/brand-lifestyle-licensing-awards-2019-the-winners/
To see more photos click here https://maxpublishing.shootproof.com/gallery/BELLAS19/
Top: Giles Andreae on stage at the B&LLAs last week.