CELEBRATING AND INVESTING IN CREATIVITY
 

Archive - Jury Comments 2016

Chris West

Chris West - Jury President - Verbal Identity

Why no Grand LIA?  Great writers understand how great writing contributes to a brand’s success. Great clients get it, too. And you know that Nike wouldn’t quite be Nike without ‘Just Do It’? So, the idea of verbal branding doesn’t need to prove itself. But it does need to define itself.

And this year, we saw great examples of writing in brand names, taglines, and tone of voice, all of which were moments of creative genius. But we didn’t see anything that we felt broke down boundaries in the discipline. And ironically (all writers love irony), without breaking boundaries, it’s harder to show where those boundaries are. So, no Grand LIA in Verbal Identity this year.

Work: At its best, great writing speaks to you and you start to imagine the kind of person who’s saying it. Great writing, whether it’s an endline, a piece of copy, a tone of voice that goes across the brand, or even in something as succinct as jus the brand name, creates a persona. You’d know what to expect if you phoned the company up. We saw some pieces of writing that did just this. There was a piece of dense copy that had us all leaning closer and closer to our screens to suck up every last drop of it. We saw a brand name that was a leap of genius. I was stunned by the mental gymnastics of Chinese naming agencies, which can take a Western name and produce a near-sounding version of that name in the local language which somehow conveys the same essence of the brand. (I can’t do that in English.) And we watched, again and again, a TV script or two which, just through the dialogue, created a strong sense of brand. I was prepared to act out any of the commercials to prove that it was all in the writing, not in the acting, but my kind offer was refused. Odd.

Jury: There’s a magic and mechanics in great writing. Everyone on the jury had an appreciation of both. This year’s Verbal Identity jury was drawn from someone who sits in Japan helping Western brands behave in language like a Japanese brand would, to someone who sits in a café near an agency in London carefully crafting eight words which will be remembered by a million people, to people who sit in America and somehow cram all of a company’s hopes and ambition for a new brand into a single brand name, to the world’s most respected journalist on the subject of language in business. And me.

 

Pum Lefebure - Jury President - Design and Package Design

Package Design Grand LIA 

We see a lot of good design, but in order for design to be powerful, it has to be more than well executed. Going beyond aesthetics, beautiful, strong design stimulates the mind and in the best possible scenario it can teach.

Take for example Dentsu’s work for Nameless Paint. It’s simple and clean – white tubes with one or two circles of colors, but the impact lies in what it teaches children – the fundamentals of color. This is inspired design that is pleasing to look at, but has depth and works hard.

Design Grand LIA for DOT

I was incredibly moved when I saw the submission for Dot. This is the story of the evolution of the designer - how design can impact and change people’s lives for the better.  Dot.’s braille smart watch is beautiful in form, but the true genius is the innovation behind the thinking – allowing those that are visually impaired to communicate seamlessly in ways that we take for granted everyday - from texting to checking Facebook.  Designers have a responsibility to move beyond convention and change the world. 

Pum Lefebure
Mark Tutssel

Mark Tutssel - Jury President - Non-Traditional

The Non-Traditional Jury's mission was to uncover and celebrate brave, unorthodox thinking with massive cultural impact and business transformation. REI's "#OptOutside, shocked the industry and consumers alike with its counter intuitive move to embrace its core values and shut its doors on the biggest day of the year for retailers. That decision, coupled with a highly interactive online execution, spurred a new cultural movement and ignited unrivaled loyalty for a brand.

Emad Tahtouh - Jury President - The NEW

Field Trip to Mars is a beautiful example of pushing a concept and a technology beyond its limits. Not content with simply providing the best VR experience available using today's technology, Field Trip to Mars required the invention and deft execution of several new technologies in order to fulfill the promise of the idea. It is extremely complex and ingenious in its design however it is simple and beautiful in its execution.

Emad Tahtouh
Diane Jackson

Diane Jackson - Jury President - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

Sometimes magic happens.

Everything is crafted to create a film that just beautifully captures the purity of an idea, in such a spirited way. John Lewis Home Insurance “Tiny Dancer” nails it. The perfect execution.

LIA has a global audience and this film’s charm and message transcends barriers.

You want to share it, watch it over and over to delight in the subtle details and of the film, while enjoying a killer music track.

Coldplay - Up &Up

Vania Heymann & Gal Muggia bring complete originality to the screen is a visual feast that has a Hannah Hoch photomontage sensibility with a modern twist. We are constantly seduced by technical wizardry but this films seemingly low-fi ingenuity makes it impossible to ignore. .

This years music video submissions were outstanding but Coldplay’s “Up& Up” totally engages, surprises and delights, so earning the Grand LIA.

It was an honor to chair the 2016 LIA Post Production and Music Video jury with such an esteemed group of production experts from around the world. The discussions were spirited, with a commitment to ensure the very best work was included in the show. There is photo evidence of pillow fights and dancing in the jury room as we embraced our responsibilities whole-heartedly.

The range of work, from diverse markets and the quality of production was outstanding. We had to exercise discernment and often put aside our own cultural biases to give each entry full consideration for the categories it was submitted. I am proud of the awards given this year and feel that the work represents the best crafted productions in 2016.

Stephan Vogel - Jury President - TV/Cinema/Online Film

The TV/Cinema/Online Film Grand LIA is for Volvo. It’s the latest work from the ‘test series’, and it’s an amazing piece because this is business-to-business, and it’s not most people’s business, but the way they are advertising their products is so entertaining that this format has become part of pop culture. They did it two years ago with Jean Claude Van Damme as the one peak… and they now did it again with this little girl. The casting was great, the setup was great, the insight was great. It’s boring business-to-business stuff now put in a very playful, very entertaining way.

Stephan Vogel
Paul Wauters

Paul Wauters - Jury President - Radio & Audio

Grand LIA:  The Grand LIA goes to a campaign that makes you feel with your ears and hear with your fingers: Hornbach. It builds on the "you’re alive" campaign, but with a real added value of audio. The technique is not new, but it’s the first time I see it put to such great and relevant use. It’s a total disruption in the very functional DIY category. 

Work: It probably wasn’t the best radio year ever, but that just made the well-timed, well-written and perfectly directed class acts stand out more. KFC won a lot of awards for exactly those reasons. As always, the work had to touch us as human beings first, before we took out our scalpels. We were very meticulous in judging the work in its intended category, to avoid too many freebees. We saw some fresh ideas and unexpected use of the media, compelling content and simply great radio ads. Branded content is clearly finding its way into this category, and that’s excellent news. And finally, a message to all you radio people out there: bring on the funny stuff, the humor category was very very sad, there is a trophy waiting for you.

Jury: There must be about seven people in the world who love radio ads, and they were all in that LIA judging room, a strange and fabulous group from five different countries, with an impressive amount of radio awards between them. Unfortunately for the entrants, the average level of the banter in the room was higher than some of the work. So, those who made it past this wall of sound, definitely deserve their award

Susan Credle - Jury President - Print • Poster • Billboard

The Grand LIAs went to work that created a movement. Work that launched a bigger creative idea. The Grand LIA work proves that these mediums still have incredible power.  

Over all, I think the jury was not only looking at the craft of the work but also at the strategic thinking behind the work. It was important to remember we are in the business of art AND commerce. Small and clever and precious did not get as much attention this year as big and smart and problem-solving.

Susan Credle
Martin Cedergren

Martin Cedergren - Jury President - Digital

What is digital? That was our first question when we all met in the jury room on day one. The same question the jury asked themselves last year. And guess what? It was also the last question we asked ourselves when we split up a few days later. I had the pleasure of judging all entered pieces together with a great bunch of jury comrades. We laughed watching all cats, babies and ninjas doing crazy stuff, we said "wooow!" and "aaaah!" when something really smart and stunning showed up. We didn't say anything, but felt a big "damn, wish I had done that!" moment of envy when that special and magical moment appeared on the screen and we also debated a lot about the different categories and what was the best work in each one of them. And to conclude this year I think "make it useful and simple" is probably the best way to explain the difference between a good idea and a great idea. With all the fantastic opportunities to work in digital, it's also easy to get lost. Maybe complicate things a little? Or just forget who you are actually talking to? Or what business problem to solve? Or is that case film just too much?

Almost 1000 entries became a shortlist of fewer than 100. And a handful won a Gold. And one stood out, awarded with that special and well-deserved Grand LIA, "The Next Rembrandt" for ING. Or "How they Got a Computer to Paint Like the Old Master?" In a fascinating merging of creativity and technology, the humans at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam taught a computer to paint like Rembrandt by having it study the old master's works for months. The resulting painting is a completely new portrait, not a replica, and it's indistinguishable, to my eye, at least, from the real thing. Something probably Rembrandt himself would be very proud of.

The future of digital is more bright than ever. Even if we still can't answer the question "What is digital?" :) Maybe the great talented people attending the LIA Creative LIAisons will be able to do that? I hope so.

Last but not least, big salute to Barbara, Wayne, Patricia and the rest of the LIA gang taking care of us. And skål to you Samuel, Corinna, Mike, Olivier, Mateusz, Ronald, Mark and Susan for being the best jury ever; for real.

Sander van Maarschalkerweerd - Jury President - TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound

The overall creative level of the work in the Music and Sound category was extremely high this year.

Unfortunately we didn’t feel that there was one piece of work that stood above all others and therefore we didn’t award a Grand Music LIA this year.

It has been a great experience to watch and discuss the work together with some of the most respected music producers and sound designers in our industry.

All our finalists are inspiring examples of how music and sound can play a vital role in storytelling.

Sander van Maarschalkerweerd
Till Diestel

Till Diestel - TV/Cinema/Online Film

To be invited to an award show is always a huge honor, but to experience LIA in Las Vegas is really the next level. For starters, it is in the most American city there is - Hotels, Casinos, Money, Glamour, Fakeness, Stars, and so on – all on one street in the middle of the dessert. So, you are definitely in for a bizarre judging ride. But the jury ride in itself is amazing, just an ace experience. There is no better out there.

Top jury members from around the world, openly discuss work without egos interfering. The addition of young creatives joining the last judging session to observe is eye-opening and amazingly fruitful. The get-togethers every evening is the nicest way to discover this place. I honestly left this crazy place making new friends and learning so much about ideas and our industry.

Steve Martin - Verbal Identity

It was a great honour to be part of the inaugural Verbal Identity jury, and hats off to LIA for being one of the first awards to acknowledge the importance of the category. The Las Vegas resort setting was a wonderful contrast to Eat’s studio in Tokyo and thank you to Barbara and the amazing LIA team for looking after us so well and providing such a professional team to support us with the judging process.  

Chris put together a great jury with a very diverse range of backgrounds – naming, linguistics, copy writing – which lead to some intense and highly stimulating days reviewing the work, fuelled by copious quantities of donuts and coffee. 

The work submitted was fascinating, all the more so for this being a new category, as we looked to see how specific sub-categories withstood their first real world test. 

What I found especially interesting, and relevant to my own work, was when work crossed cultural and language boundaries; so often localisation can suck the life out of great copy and content. Yet here we were looking at submissions that included the localisation of Western brand names into Chinese, where writers were actually adding new layers of meaning through the choice of specific kanji – welcome to the world of phono-semantic matching (Thanks Ben Zimmer). The whole Verbal Identity category can only grow richer in the years to come. I look forward to seeing that happen.

 

Steve Martin
Chris Gurney

Chris Gurney - Non-Traditional

We had one of the most calm and evenly discussed groups, albeit red-eyed each morning, suffice to say with a Bloody Mary in hand at each break possible.

The majority of the best work was based on simple, fresh thinking, which delivered scale and reach, influencing global audiences, across a variety of categories. 

LIA is definitely one not to be missed on the awards calendar - it is Vegas after all.

Thank you Barbara Levy, Mark Tutssel and the Non-traditional jury for a brilliant week.

Isabelle Dahlborg Lidström - Design and Package Design

After arriving in Las Vegas alone, it became evident that this year’s backdrop for LIA was going to be full of kitsch and charisma. Meeting a group of likeminded peers can be both challenging and exciting. Of course when you sit a jury down from around the world, you are not going to see eye to eye on the first day.  

With around 650 entries in the Design Category there was a huge amount of interesting work. The variety was extreme in every category making it hard to come to a decision sometimes, but from this came conversations that were much more important than personal taste. What is it that resonates when designing a product, poster, book, package or digital campaign, etc.? 

As a jury member it is always vital to part with a gift of knowledge, a message of what young designers should take with them as they embark on their careers. Execution is what catches the eye of course, but above all, a strong concept and unique idea reign over all, and that was the thread that tied us misfits together on the jury this year. 

Design is as much about touching people’s hearts as it is about providing a service. When combined, you get executions like the Brail watch DOT, which combines precision execution with a do good attitude. DOT brail watch was awarded the Grand LIA for 2016.  

A big thank you to Barbara, Patricia and Wayne and the rest of the LIA crew…And of course my people, Pum Lefebure, Brian Collins, Michael Brindley, Napath Omathikul, Gisela Schulzinger, Alex Schill, Lauren van Aswegen and Naoki Ito for the best jury work ever!!

 

 

Isabelle Dahlborg Lidström
Taras Wayner

Taras Wayner - The NEW

 

When I first began judging ‘The New’ medium, I approached it like the many juries I’ve been on and tried to seek out the “best” work. But the simplicity of that approach was quickly challenged. Sure the best work rose to the top. There was the Blackbird from The Mill that is redefining car shoot and production. There was the brilliance of the Field Trip To Mars that redefined VR BEFORE it was even established. There was a country that opened its phone lines to the world so we could all discover the beauty of their country, first hand. And, there was Pepito that used a well-established and very simple piece of media, a comic strip, to change government policy. While it’s easy to say that these are great pieces of work, they sparked many debates around what was the definition of content. These debates led to discussions around the categories and how they were defined. And, The New medium will be New next year. While some award shows might not be accepting of change, the LIA team is the exact opposite. The team’s openness to the evolution of categories and the structure of judging is not only refreshing, but also essential. It will help keep LIA relevant as well as an important award show in the industry. 

Overall, the experience reinforced my thinking that this is truly the best time to be in this industry. It’s the best time to be creating New work. But it’s also the most complex time to be creating work. As creatives, we must look for new ideas in unexpected places. But, more importantly, as Creative Directors we must look at New combinations of talent that will get us there. Because, to win a LIA in ‘The New’ will truly take a New approach.

Jim Elliott - Non-Traditional

It is always, without question, an incredibly inspiring and envy-inducing experience to judge 'Non-tradtional’ at LIA. Because, by definition, this medium represents some of the bravest, most ground-breaking work in our industry: Work that defies the status quo, work that transcends all pre-existing guardrails and rules of decorum, that disregards all established rules of conduct, work that finds impossibly original, yet indelibly resonant doorways into the hearts and minds of consumers. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, this medium smacks you square in the side of the noggin with a curveball. This medium is always a tour de force of new technologies, platforms, channels, angles – previously unfathomable, yet totally logical new ways of connecting with audiences, with, of course, killer ideas at its core. This is the work that points the industry’s compass towards the future and the work that makes me proud to have chosen this profession.

Jim Elliott
Bechara Mouzannar

Bechara Mouzannar - Integration

The Integration jury experience at LIA was one of my best experiences so far in judging. The quality of the conversation around Integration and the obsession we had as individuals and as a coherent group of only rewarding the most innovative work, made it engaging all the way. The LIA set a standard in the love and respect they have for the iconic work done by our industry as well as in the precision, in the elegance, and in the care that they bring in view of inspiring these days of judging.  

Eric Springer - Integration

Being a part of the Integration Jury was great. We had everything a great jury should have. We laughed, we cried, we shined a light on great work. The debates over the work were some of the smartest and most focused I’ve ever been a part of. It really reminded me that we do something for a living that is not only fun, but is important for moving culture and society forward.

 

Eric Springer
Ben Zimmer

Ben Zimmer - Verbal Identity

While I came to the LIA experience as something of an outsider (I'm a language columnist rather than a verbal identity professional), I was quickly made to feel right at home by our Jury President Chris West and the rest of the jurors. I discovered that my fellow jurors shared my deep and abiding passion for understanding how people can be affected by the skillful use of language, from an individual word or brand name all the way up to extended advertising copy. It was wonderful to get deep into the weeds with them, geeking out over the subtle linguistic nuances that lend flavor and coloring to successful campaigns. As Chris West reminded us, we were honoring entrants who accomplished something special by virtue of their creativity and innovation with language, crafting something that could never be achieved simply by imaging or design. It's a great testament to LIA that Verbal Identity is now recognized as a distinct category worthy of special attention, and I wish success to future jurors as the category continues to grow and evolve. 

Sean Doyle - Verbal Identity

Oh the irony. Every brand in the world uses words (go ahead, pedants, look for the exception), but no awards scheme has ever really recognized their importance.

Yes there's always been Best Use Of Copy to keep the copywriters sweet. But this is the first time someone got serious about it. We were now also judging things like tone of voice, best tag-line, and best name for a new product. We got deeper into the writing and its importance.

Well done, LIA, for introducing a Verbal Identity award. Refreshing is the word. The whole Vegas experience was a pleasure, from day one to five. Now that we're all thousands of miles apart, I can come clean to my fellow jurors. It was me that ate that last salted caramel donut.

Sean Doyle
Anna Fawcett

Anna Fawcett - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

Five days of judging indoors in Vegas sounds like a chore. It isn’t. LIA manages to always bring together such a talented, funny, opinionated, slightly crazy bunch of people who genuinely love the business and the work, which makes the process a pleasure.  And with the changes happening in the way we tell brand stories there are always interesting discussions with Production/Post-Production about what entries are relevant to this medium. I would suggest that people entering really analyse which categories to enter. And people with campaigns that are winners, enter more, as we found this year a few films were outstanding and would have been awarded more than one LIA.  

Francois Brun - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

It was a pleasure to discover that my jury was eclectic, well proportioned with profiles carefully considered to be complementary. The three days of screenings and discussions were very dense but very relaxed, and professional, with continuous attention despite the fatigue, and nobody gave up. Diane Jackson, the jury president, knew how to keep everyone's attention and focus on the importance of our mission and in defending our judgements. The atmosphere nevertheless remained very easy going with everyone staying engaged. The LIA team of organizers was so welcoming and present, but not excessive. They were passionate people who were always available and smiling (this is very important when you come from Paris ;).

Thanks for your enthusiasm and being so accessible. Thank you to Barbara, Wayne, Patricia and the entire team on this very successful event.

My Top 3 From LIA 2016:

The punch in the gut given by the two short films for Guinness directed by Tubby Brother. They are two films that are real and handle with extreme intelligence both subjects as well as the advertising aspect of the films through its direction and editing. For me, they are a perfect example of the missing link between the two worlds…

The Coldplay music video, which demonstrates the mastering of a concept, which is beautiful thing, but the quality and intelligence of the craft behind it takes the idea to the next level, this was a real tour de force.  

Tiny Dancer which has already had a lot of buzz. However for me what was interesting was that it was more of a lesson about staging that direction. It’s really a film that, like many other producers, I would have loved to do. I don’t think I would have changed anything (unlucky for me, perhaps), especially since it’s difficult for me (I’m French) to say something is “perfect”!

 

Francois Brun
Larissa Kirschner

Larissa Kirschner - Radio & Audio

I have a love/hate relationship with writing radio and a complete love of radio writers. They are some of the smartest, snarklest, quickest, hysterical people on the planet. And our group of judges was no exception. I was sincerely humbled to be sitting among these amazing sound and word craftsmen and women for 4 days, and even happier to be doing it poolside in Las Vegas. Aside from the sunburns, hangovers and regrettable hands of blackjack, the work is what I remember most (ok and a debate at the Trump Hotel that involved “feline” statue grabbing). The Grand LIA winner used the medium in a fresh new way and made you actually “feel” the spot. There was a lot of “overwriting” and not nearly enough pee-in-your-pants funny, but when it was good, it was really good. And did I mention it was 4 days in Vegas? Please invite me back!!!

 

Laurel Sutton - Verbal Identity

This was my first year as a LIA jury member, for the Verbal Identity medium. The experience was challenging, but also tremendously exhilarating and fun! As judges for this newly created medium, we had little precedent to rely on for evaluating and ranking the work, but that also allowed us the freedom to evolve rules and standards that we could all agree on. The variety of entries really pushed us to consider what Verbal Identity means, not only from a writer’s perspective, but from the audience’s viewpoint; does the work persuade? Does it establish a brand? Does it accomplish its mission in a creative, memorable way appropriate for its audience? Answering these questions was work that we took very seriously.

The fun part was sitting in a room with five creative, experienced, and super smart people who have a deep understanding of creative copywriting and debating these questions for two days. I learned so much from my panel cohorts; I had to think far outside the confines of my own specialty, naming. And we all felt that we made great progress in solidly establishing the Verbal Identity category at LIA. Next year’s entries should be even better!

Laurel Sutton
Anthony Chelvanathan

Anthony Chelvanathan - Print • Poster • Billboard

All good work creates a great amount of debate between jury members. I’m proud to say that there was a lot of discussion around the work this year, which for me is also an opportunity to observe and learn from the best creative minds in our business. It’s also a reminder that the basics of good work and effective communication never change; cutting insights, stunning craft and awareness of who you’re talking to. 

In keeping with the high standards of LIA, Barbara Levy and her team did an incredible job of ensuring that the level of the work we judged challenged us just as much as it will to creatives who aim to enter these awards in the future. 

This helped us as a jury, to not only identify the best work, but to also push the envelope when it comes to next year’s work. I think this was in no small part due to a constant nudge from our Jury President, Susan Credle, who always inspires with her concise and clear inputs.

 

 

Sam Ashwell - TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound

This was my first time judging the LIA's and it was one of the most informative and collaborative experiences I've had judging an award. It was great to be given so much time to discuss the work with my fellow jurors, forming opinions with a fresh ear over several days. The whole process was extremely well managed and the quality of the work across all categories outstanding, particularly in the categories of Sound Design, Original Score and Original Song.

Honda "ignition" and Pennzoil "joyride Circuit" stood out for me in Sound Design. Both jobs I’d have been proud to have done. Real feature film sound design in short form. For Original Score, I was very impressed by the Mercedes Benz spot, a really enjoyable score. In Original Song there was so many great pieces of work; the Adidas spot being a real favorite of mine, as well as the Cadurys and Cnetraal Beheer work.

I would especially like to thank Barbara, Patricia, Wayne and the entire LIA team for having me. It was a great experience.

Sam Ashwell
Peter Holcomb

Peter Holcomb - TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound

This was my first experience as a LIA judge and one of the highlights of my professional career. The quality of the entries was astounding and the opportunity to have intelligent dialog about the work was incredible. Life long relationships were formed with my fellow judges, from around the world, all at the pinnacle of their professions. The LIA staff was extremely professional; the judging process running like a well oiled machine. All aspects of LIA are top shelf; from travel arrangements, accommodations, evening entertainment, public relations, meals and even concierge services! After the judging session ended, I returned to my studio energized, attempting to elevate each job to LIA quality. My thanks goes to Barbara and her amazing team; I only hope I am invited back next year!

Gary Pascoe - TV/Cinema/Online Film

The first thing that struck me was the caliber of the work, it was outstanding, lots and lots of stuff that had just come off big wins at Cannes. But also, there was a lot of new work as well, work that hadn’t hit any award shows yet. So we had first crack at it, which was fun. We had a truly global jury; Japan, Germany, New Zealand, England were all represented, and me, from Detroit. The first few days we quietly judged the work, and from that we developed a short list. I was happy to see that collectively, we all agreed on what moved forward. There were no blatant omissions or crazy additions, just the best work rising to the top. It’s funny how a group of strangers, all from different countries/backgrounds/experiences can get in a room and pretty quickly agree upon the best work. There was no yelling, or fighting, or arguing. Instead, it was a pure celebration of the work; as it should be. I was proud to be a part of it.
Gary Pascoe
Richard Denney

Richard Denney - Print • Poster • Billboard

From the quality of judges LIA attracts from around the world to the education and insights it offers to young creatives with the Creative LIAsons programme, LIA once again proves that it’s all about creativity.

One piece of work that stood out: ‘MA PLACE EST DANS LA SALLE’ for Prodiss demonstrates beautifully what can be achieved when creativity is used as a cause for good. Congratulations to all at Fred & Farid for this outstanding work.

 

Lauren van Aswegen - Design and Package Design

Being part of the 2016 LIA judging was a wonderful & insightful experience. The Design & Package Design jury was comprised of many talented individuals from around the globe, all specializing in a particular area of design. This resulted in very interesting discussions and opinions that often challenged our preconceived notions about certain pieces of work. The Grand LIAs that were awarded, as well as all the other creative work, showcased how design can be both aesthetically beautiful and create a positive change in the world.

Lauren van Aswegen
Jean-Francois Sacco

Jean-Francois Sacco - Print • Poster • Billboard

It’s been a great experience to be part of the Print/Poster/Billboard Jury, great leading by Susan Credle and good discussions about the work. We were really tough on the work, selecting only the cream of the crop. The quality of the jury was at a really good level, meaning that winning even a Bronze LIA represents a great award.

As a juror, I particularly appreciated the good conditions of the judging environment and organisation of the event (big lounges, great hotel, etc), which made it east to really focus on judging.

My favorite pieces:

- Air BnB 'ANIMALS': Simple idea, but great execution. It’s craft on craft and at the end it reaches the heart of the consumers. It’s great that this kind of very international brand can produce this kind of campaign, which provides an emotion added value to consumers.

Prodiss 'MA PLACE EST DANS LA SALLE' because it shows the reactivity of outdoor. Even if outdoor is an 'old' media this beautiful case proves the agility of this media.

Burger King 'MCWHOPPER'. Direct and effective. Demonstrating the power of print with a simple letter. 'If you want an audience start a fight'. This is the perfect demonstration.

Ikea 'SPECIAL OFFERS': Simple and direct on low prices. No fat only the muscle. Great Campaign.

 

 

 

 

Josefine Richards - Non-Traditional

Thanks London International Awards and the Non-traditional jury for the boost of brilliance; brilliance from the entered work and brilliance from the minds who judged it. After viewing hundreds of ideas from all around the world and boiling them down to the shortlist, we concluded that the standards for this year were very high. We had very strong candidates for all the metals. What I really loved about the discussions at that stage was the transparency. Our jury president, Mark Tutssel, was great at making sure everyone had a voice and felt free to openly speak their mind. The discussions and voting were also witnessed by 60 young creatives and several journalists. Even if there were a few debates we all agreed on which ideas truly stood out, showing great human insights that ultimately made a difference. The whole experience at LIA was inspiring and unique. Everything was incredibly well organized and I don’t think there are many award shows that by the end of the week you feel like one big family.

 

Josefine Richards
Josh Moore

Josh Moore - Non-Traditional

The last time I was in Las Vegas I was 25 and penniless, this time I was 41, married with 2 kids and a large mortgage, so penniless once again. My plan was simple, judge then get to the tables, win big, pay off the mortgage, sail the world. I did succeed at judging and at meeting some really great ad people.

What are great ad people? They’re people who don’t talk about ads too much, but when they use their ad words they have something to say. I met 10 of these types on my jury and it was a real pleasure.

From the outset, Mark Tutssel hammered home why we were there, to spot the truly non-traditional, the genuinely new, select the very best and then award with integrity from finalist through to Grand.

After 4 long days of great chat and then debate, we had our clear winners and our ultimate winner. Enough has already been said about OPT OUTSIDE, we ALL wish it was ours.

But I’m happy to see our three little islands so well represented with McWhopper and Brewtroleum bringing home the metal for New Zealand.

By the end of the week as we all sat back and viewed the work in its totality it is a collection of some truly huge ideas, beautifully executed and brought to life. All of it has a sense of scale I don’t think I’ve seen in previous years and so much of it is both inspirational and important to our global audiences.

I think it shows a huge shift in advertising from saying and inspiring to doing and leading. Brands are really looking to set an example by doing so much more to set an example then lead by it than ever before and that has to be a really good thing.

I also felt that the year’s collection of winning work really demonstrates our industry’s continued ability to adapt, reinvent and in doing so demonstrate its true value and contribution to both business and the world.

Lastly, all brave ideas need a pat on the back. My highlight from the LIA judging experience was the Creative LIAisons program, watching our young creative team absorb the seminars and grow with the insights given. I was reminded how much of a role new inspiration plays in great new thoughts. To have done away with the LIA award ceremony in favour of investing in this program, was a brave move and one that I’ve now witnessed in person making the LIA’s the top of my list. Thank you for inviting me Barbara and thanks again fellow jurors for your wit and wisdom.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Barclay - Print • Poster • Billboard

Print, Poster & Billboard is not dead. It was very beautifully re-imagined by Xbox Survival and almost unanimously awarded the Grand LIA. Happy to see such a strong piece in a ‘traditional’ space that was anything but traditional. It was a pleasure to get to know the wonderful jury, led by the inimitable Ms. Susan Credle, and to debate the merit of everything from lovely in-store posters for Ikea to a double-page magazine campaign for an ice cream shop. All fired by double shot cappuccinos that the fabulous LIA team delivered whenever the blood sugar dipped. Thanks Barbara, it was great to be back.

Sarah Barclay
Stephen Venning

Stephen Venning - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

The whole experience of being on the TV Production & Post-Production and Music Video jury was very inspiring. I’ve made some great friends on that team, led brilliantly by Diane. And through the gatherings at breakfast, lunch and dinners, I’ve made some very good contacts too.

I’m back in London now, full of positivity about LIA and everything LIA has put together and is trying to achieve. From the social media posts I’ve seen it looks like the Creative LIAisons week with the future creatives has been a fantastic success too.

Sincere thanks for having me and The Mill involved.

 

Brian Yessian - TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound

I have had the honor of being a judge at LIA three times now over the last several years, and each time the creative bar seems to rise even higher. We had hundreds of entries to listen to across many sound categories and I have to say it was really inspiring this year. There was a lot of risk taking out there and some very unique music/sound design approaches on the films. Our jury was made up of some strong personalities that made the judging process quite exciting. We were able to have some very in depth conversations about the work and take time to discuss our feelings about the pieces that rose to the top. All in all we had the chance to spend time with some very special pieces of creativity. The one track that really made the hairs on my arms raise was the piece for Channel 4 Paralympics out of the United Kingdom. The production value alone was incredible. It’s nice to see brands focusing in on good quality sound production and creativity. I hope we continue to see more brands take bold steps like this in the future. It was a thrill to be part of the LIA judging again this year and part of an amazing few days with some very cool jury members in the Music and Sound Jury.

Brian Yessian
Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri

Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri - The NEW

The amazing part of judging The NEW is that the medium basically redefines itself in every iteration. This year we had Emad Tahtouh as Jury President. He is essentially an inventor, so a big part of the discussion had to do with technology. Does The NEW necessarily have to mean technological innovation? Because if it’s pure technology that we’re talking about, then the Blackbird was probably the most incredible invention of the year. But what about The New Rembrandt and Field Trip to Mars, then? What makes them so deeply moving? Giving Humanity a new, unheard of Rembrandt; transforming the school run into a space trip… these ideas use technology to access the human soul in a way that the Blackbird couldn’t dream of. But what about turning the entire population of Sweden into an ad campaign for the country? Technology plays a smaller part in this idea, although they did have to build a humongous switchboard, but who could argue that it’s not NEW and game-changing? And if you think about the ridiculously talented people who were in this jury, you can imagine the unbelievable discussions we had for hours. The best three days of the year hands down.

 

 

Scott Cymbala - TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound

It was a great pleasure being part of the Music & Sound Jury for LIA in 2016. Having served on this jury in prior years I can say without a doubt that the quality of work we judged this year was outstanding. We certainly had more quality submissions this season and it made our work of giving any award a difficult task. I believe we awarded only five Gold LIA's this year out of a few hundred submissions so it was indeed a competitive year for judging. The Original Music and Sound Design categories were the most competitive this year. Honda "Ignition" was an incredible piece of work and very deserving of our collective attention in the Sound Design category.

Beyond that, LIA assembled an incredible jury that was a global reflection of the work we were asked to judge. It was awesome to meet and work with everyone in the room. 

 

Scott Cymbala
Faris Yakob

Faris Yakob - The NEW

‘The NEW’ had a fantastic year with a broad, engaged and optimistic jury and a similar host of entries. The petri dish of the NEW is ready to spawn some standalone categories, such as content, whilst others, like virtual reality, are still nascent and in need of nurturing. Creative technology had a strong year, hopefully indicating that we are moving beyond suspicious prototypes and social projects, towards truly developing a broader vocabulary of advertising for agencies and clients. 

Thanks to the jury, to LIA and especially the young creative at Creative LIAisons for keeping us focused on the fact that this category, above all others, is truly for them, since they are the future.

Napath Omathikul - Design and Package Design

It was an honor to serve as a LIA Design & Package Design Juror for the first time this year. It was an amazing judging experience, along with other great juries from all over the world. We had such a fun team. I was impressed with the quality of work, making the decisions very difficult. A thanks to the LIA team. They were so wonderful and helpful. The event was very well organized. Glad to be part of this year’s judging.

Napath Omathikul
Dörte Spengler-Ahrens

Dörte Spengler-Ahrens - Integration

A highly inspiring Jury session, thanks to great jury members, a great LIA team and great work.

It was a strong year for the creatives. Clients went unusual ways that were perfectly fleshed out from brands or products. For example Swedish Phone Call. This showcases how one can transport the typical Swedish spirit whilst simultaneously advertising it.

Or take the Mc Whopper: a perfect promotion for the World Peace Day. Or take Kraft Maccaroni and Cheese: One cannot communicate more efficiently that a product tastes just as good as before, after leaving out artificial flavourings and preservatives, only by talking about this three months after the re-launch.

Path-Breaking work: Analog to the change in awareness in society, certain work garners more points that showcases relevance in this context such as, Brewtroleum-Gas out of Beerwaste. Or REI (Black Friday Leasure Time). 

Andrew McKechnie - The NEW

Overall, I felt that our jury did a meticulous job of asking the right questions and probing definitions in order to award what we felt was the best work in “The NEW” medium. Our jury was made up of a great team of individuals from various disciplines and backgrounds, so the work was discussed from many perspectives, both culturally and from an innovation standpoint.

While there wasn’t an abundance of groundbreaking work, the Gold winners are superb examples of where our industry can push new mediums, technologies, and innovative ideas. 

This year, our jury probably debated the term “content” with the most rigor. What was considered content a few years ago has already shifted dramatically to where we are today. Probably a similar debate that other juries had around the definition of advertising and digital. These broad terms change every year. The great thing about “The NEW” medium is that definitions and categories will continue to evolve as the industry breaks new ground.

 

Andrew McKechnie
Chuck Rachford

Chuck Rachford - Radio & Audio

It was a huge honor to be included in the Radio and Audio jury this year with such a talented group of people. Especially since this meant I got to spend 4 days sitting by a pool with headphones on, which beats about any alternative you could come up with (considering the other juries spent most of their days in rooms with air conditioners set to levels that mimicked the interior of a Romanian apartment during a particularly bone-chilling January).

There were several themes that I took away: humor still does well. Simple still does well. Writing long copy is extremely hard and too many agencies use it to disguise a non-existent idea. Speaking of which; real, brand-building ideas do amazingly well.

I was happy to see more entries in Innovation of Radio, even if we were still struggling to find our footing in this category. Radio hasn’t innovated as quickly as the other mediums and we need to experiment more. I wish more creative teams tackled radio briefs as furiously as they tackle the TV and Digital briefs.

In the end, our pick for the Grand LIA was unanimous for this reason: audio is at the heart of the idea and it was so much bigger than a simple radio spot.

And, lastly, if you’re reading this, enter more work into the Humor category next year. Trust me on this.

 

 

Abby Sie - TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound

It was an honour to be part of the LIA Music and Sound Jury this year. I have judged awards online before, but I have never been in a room with such giants of the industry to battle out creative rankings of work using nothing but my words. There were three days to consider the work. The first day was deciding on what was in or out, the second was creative rankings from 1 to 10, and the third day was about awarding the statues. As we looked through the volume of submissions, when a piece of work moved us to laughter (or tears) we knew we were watching great work.

I learnt so much from my fellow jurors, who were all inspiring and articulate. I realised that as a sound designer, I bring my own bias; I love great craft where everything from the concept, direction, editing as well as music and sound choices elevate the emotion as well as the action. I also know I am more fussy about sound choices than the next person.

We discovered along the way that there may be a need for another category – that of music and sound editing. We had deep discussions about craft vs. design, and in conclusion acknowledged that there should be a separate category for work that used editing to a high level of creativity and skill, but could not necessarily be termed sound design, which is more the creation of new sounds.

There were a few trends that emerged, which is always fascinating as the submissions are from all over the world. Children’s choirs were hot this year, female folky singers are still the top choice for earnest messages and interestingly, the dramatic device of sound continuing over black pictures.

We would argue over whether a long piece (6 minutes) could compete against a 30 second TVC. We discussed context in detail. Should the piece before us be considered in a different light due to our knowledge of what has gone before it for the brand? Do we judge things on our perceived potential of a brief? If in our own history we had ‘done’ the brief before, can we keep perspective? Can we keep our bias away from spots that weren't an original concept and simply award for the music or sound?

We cajoled, discussed, battled it out and voted, giving out statues based on one core idea: does the piece exhibit excellence? And that is the beauty about the judging system LIA has designed; a myriad of voices to guide each other and provide context in the consideration of work, as we all have developed bias in our journey of trying to create music and sound design worthy of a statue.

I’d like to thank our Jury President, Sander van Maarschalkerweerd for his steady adjudication and all our jury members for the intellectually stimulating experience, as well as Barbara, Patricia, Wayne and Laurissa for taking such good care of us.

Abby Sie
Melanie McShane

Melanie McShane - The NEW

The NEW: Apparently we were a pretty tough Jury. Which I guess is how it should be.

The NEW is a place for very special work that doesn’t neatly fit elsewhere. Where the unusual are recognized, not rejected. LIA had carefully crafted a diverse, thoughtful and fascinating Jury. Maybe we wouldn’t have neatly fitted elsewhere either.

My favorites? Those that defy categorization...yet they’ll direct the future. A beloved comic character that changes laws, a Mars bound bus proving VR can be collective and joyful, giving the mic to a whole country, because, Sweden loves free speech.

For me The NEW rocks, because it encourages the best of creativity and technology brought together. Products that are shaped by those who experience them. Experiences that help us to behave more kindly to each other. Interventions that help us include others, not just sell more stuff. Campaigns that make us laugh hard to land a bloody serious point.

We need more of the risky, weird, epic and ambitious. The NEW is a home for all of those.

Of course The NEW is ultimately an expression of London International Awards, its commitment to continually look ahead, and evolve. And it’s been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of that.

Hiromasa Kawana - TV/Cinema/Online Film

It was quite an exciting journey of treasure hunting. We have gathered from all over the world and spent five days to go through the entire  amount of entries, more than 800 pieces of TVCs, web movies and other moving images.

Our journey was full of surprises, pleasure, laughter and heart-moving moments. And some of the works have left me with such strong, awkward feelings that they still keep on questioning me: Isn’t this something that you should have created?

Those stunning works just stood out among others, challenging not only the Jury’s appreciation, but also our nature as creators. I would be even more excited if the prize-winning treasures that we have discovered, help light the fire of the newcomers in an endless treasure hunt; a positive cycle where each of us are challenged to explore beyond our creative potential.

Hiromasa Kawana
Nisa Mujjalintrakool

Nisa Mujjalintrakool - Print • Poster • Billboard

Judging at LIA was quite unique. The number of juries was just right, all the juries were open to expressing their opinions and most importantly everyone commented in a respectful and professional manner.

Lots of thoughts and insights that we shared around the jury room were so inspiring! There was no block voting, no politics, only fun discussions and awarding of the best work. I really had a good time and enjoyed all three days judging with all these talented juries.

Susan Credle, our jury president in Print/Poster/Billboard, made the judging criteria very clear for awarding the work. She’s an amazing person, who made the judging room so alive with lots of talks, laughs and fun. Thanks for the Limo ride to dinner Susan :-)

I would like to thank Barbara, Patricia, Wayne and the LIA team for inviting me to judge and providing great and warm hospitality during the judging. I’d also like to thank Gordon Tan, who invited me to the LIA party in Bangkok awhile back and connected me to the LIA team.   

John Spary - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

The LIA is unquestionably one of the best awards in our business, and so receiving a Statue or even Finalist here is recognition of truly great, creative work given that the level of competition is so high.

All judges expressed their own very independent strong views and opinions often resulting in further discussions and exploration of the production process behind the films we viewed. Diane Jackson was a wonderful Production & Post-Production Jury President and we were blessed by having such a fun and knowledgeable jury that I can now comfortably call friends.

Direction, Cinematography and Animation retained particularly high standards, but there was a notable lack of campaigns this year. Some great music video’s, but as always the cream rises to the top as proved by the awards you will see and the 2 Grand LIA’s we handed out.

As for LIA let me shout a rallying cry to all who might read this …. ’SUPPORT THEM’ - They are the only awards that give something back to our business. Look at the quality of work, the judges who see it and the innumerable creative teams they fly over to Vegas for talk sessions and meetings to learn their craft…. it’s unique!

John Spary
Tom Eymundson

Tom Eymundson - Radio & Audio

To be invited to a table of the industry's  leading "Theatre of the Mind" experts, collectively baring witness to, debating the merits of and ultimately awarding the best Radio and Audio ideas in the world is an audible feast. Of the many wonderful ideas presented at this year’s table one stood out as a game changer, a plethora of experiential ear candy that tapped the visceral core of the D.I.Y. in all of us, I will never look at (or listen to) nails the same again.

Samuel Estrada - Digital

It is always exciting to have the chance to review the digital work that is entered.  It is a place where you expect to see a glance of what the future will look like. This year was no exception. The use of data is not a trend anymore, it is  the  ticket to play the game. However, the creative use of this data stands out and makes a huge difference. We saw devices that are studying our behavior in a way that at some point feels a bit scary, but what can you do, it is the way the world is going. We saw how VR can really fool your mind and transport it into a place where you can learn and retain. We saw the use of a lot of gadgets, bots, AI and VR, but the ones that had an idea behind them and a true understanding of what the technology did for the people and not the other way around, were the ones that caught our attention and the Metals by the way. Finally, today, everything is digital. 

Samuel Estrada
Kazoo Sato

Kazoo Sato - Branded Entertainment

There were no politics, no Trump-like racism, no ego and no a**holes. It was the best jury I have ever been on. I have come across so many great works in this Branded Entertainment medium that has huge potential to propel our industry into the future. The Grand Prix winner is surely the one that will push our creative sphere forward to the next level. Thank you LIA and see you next year.

Oliver Fuselier - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

I liked the experience. Great accommodations, comfortable judging rooms and fun options for night time events.

Oliver Fuselier
Ari Halper

Ari Halper - TV/Cinema/Online Film

It was nice to see the resurgence of craft. These days everything seems to be a 3 minute case study, so to see great writing, kick-ass music, laugh-out-loud humor, stunning cinematography and beautiful animation was a true pleasure and a reminder to us all that there is still no substitute for flawlessly crafted storytelling.

My favorite thing about judging LIA was the jury. Everyone is so respectful of one another, there are zero politics or back room deals and there is only one agenda, recognizing the best work. So as a result, people genuinely listen to every argument and really take them to heart when considering their votes. How nice would it be if voters did the same in other aspects of life? (Hint, hint)

For me, the hardest challenge this year was that the film category is growing more and more difficult to judge as the metrics of a great film continue to blur and change depending on their context. For example how do you compare an online film that is simply the documentation of a brilliant social experiment with the main goal of becoming shareable, with a beautifully crafted, well written, directed, edited and composed piece of film designed to lure you in and wow you just as any feature length masterpiece might do? It;s apples and oranges.

Jacqui Wilkinson - Music Video and
Production & Post-Production

Judging film craft for the second year in a row at the LIA was a privilege. I enjoyed siting in a dark room and watching over 1000 pieces of work from across the globe with a room full of truly talented and inspired individuals. A take away from this year was that brands are focusing more and more on longer form storytelling. Our best day was the music video judging day, having a pillow fight and dancing to Drakes’ ‘Hotline Bling’. Many thanks to Diane Jackson, the head of our jury for her Britney skips to keep us entertained. 

Many thanks also to Barbara and Wayne at LIA - The Encore is the best place to stay in Vegas. I hope to be back next year.”

Jacqui Wilkinson
Michael Brindley

Michael Brindley - Design and Package Design

The 2016 LIA was a wonderful experience working with such amazing and diverse judges from all over the globe. The quality of work and creative thinking was inspiring, in particular the creative work with purpose and intent to do good in the world and create positive change. This is the power of design and LIA champions future creative thinkers and contributors. Being part of the LIA judging team as part of the Design jury, left me feeling so inspired that we should all co create across boundaries and borders in future and a big shout out to Pum Lefebure for being such a thoughtful and sensitive Jury President, shepherding sometimes robust conversations between the diverse judging panel and brining the best out in us all. Kindness/thoughtfulness/contextual relevance and human empathy within our industry is the future and I experienced and witnessed all these in abundance while being a Judge at this year’s LIA. I’m truly thankful for such a humbling experience.

Ralph van Dijk - Radio & Audio

When I saw the names of my fellow judges, I knew it was going to be a special week. Not only had LIA pulled together one of the most highly qualified Radio juries ever, having been responsible for many of the world’s most awarded radio campaigns, each person was equally passionate and insightful about a medium that is so often misunderstood.

On radio, ideas are exposed for all their worth. So when you hear a stinker, or even worse don’t hear any idea, it can get very depressing. Thankfully the iPod’s Wi-Fi reached the first row of sunbeds, which helped to take the sting out of judging the in/out round.

By Day 3, the cream began to rise and the excitement started to build. We fought for the work we admired, weeded out the dubious ‘prototypes’, shared cultural context when necessary and ended up with a shortlist of work we all loved, and a Grand Prix we all wished we had made.

As ever, there were too many examples of great ideas let down by their execution. Common faults were overwriting and overacting, or in the ‘Innovative Use’ category, overestimating the listener’s willingness to give a shit. People won’t Shazam, pan, re-tune or activate Siri just because your ad tells them to. In fact, they’ll barely remember your message, unless you move them.

With so many new audio platforms available for advertisers, it’s a great time for any creative who ‘gets’ audio. Radio’s not going anywhere, so I hope those who have been recognised this year will continue to break new ground in sound for many years to come. 

Ralph van Dijk
Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly - Integration

This was my first experience judging the LIA’s and I loved it. There was some great debates and discussions with my fellow Integration jurors about all the work and we were blessed with the standard of ideas we had to judge.

Now I've been on juries before where the discussion has been whether or not to award a Grand Prix at all. This was different. In previous years each of the Golds we awarded would have been a worthy winner of the Grand Prix. The problem this year was which one? It was an incredibly tough decision to pick just one from this amazing pack.

Celebrating and investing
in creativity