The London International Awards brought together young creatives, narrowed down from every city around the globe, to observe the judging of the best of this year's advertising work. As we sat in the judging room, looking over the shortlisted submissions, it quickly became apparent that the jury were not judging ads.
The projects ranged from leveraging a country's love for soccer into a program to save lives, transforming a tree into a musical instrument, turning a hashtag into a tool for helping others and making a tune about safety so catchy it topped Rihanna's new single in the charts.
After over six years in the ad industry, like many of the bright creatives around me, I'd begun to grow jaded of the industry. And then there's awards like LIA. And I am instantly reminded why my job in advertising is not at all about advertising. It is understanding culture, history, science, art, humanity, love.
Amir Kassaei, one of this year's speakers, put it best. We're not in the business of advertising. We're in the business of creating relevancy. After spending six days looking through countless examples that do just that, I return home to New York with a smile, for I am reminded why I got into this industry to begin with.