2018 Judging comments

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Nils Andersson

Nils Andersson - Print • Poster • Billboard • Ambient • Verbal Identity

I thoroughly enjoyed Judging the LIA awards. Though being inside with the Vegas sunshine outside was tough.   As a group of judges, we really aimed to keep the high standard that LIA has become known for. To that end, many pieces did not make it, that might have made it through in other shows. Idea and execution need to be perfect to win.

Kate Baynham - Branded Entertainment

It was such an amazing exercise to sit on this jury and was impressed with what can be done with what is, frankly, an awkward category. Branded entertainment encapsulates so much, but when you see something that works, it really works. And then it gets awarded.  
Kate Baynham
Rob Belgiovane

Rob Belgiovane - Branded Entertainment

Branded Content is tough to judge, anything from music videos to episodic dramas and many entries were over 30 minutes in length. But an experienced jury president and a fun atmosphere in the judging room made light work of what could have been a laborious few days.  

Ronnie Caltabiano - Health & Wellness - Craft and Medical - Craft

The new entry in the outstanding “SickKids” campaign is driven by exuberant and inspiring filmmaking. From the film’s sensational cinematography, to its exhilarating editing and superb direction, “SickKids VS - All In” is an electrifying rallying cry for the foundation.
Ronnie Caltabiano
Gerard Cantor

Gerard Cantor - Production & Post-Production and Music Video

Having to judge so much work in so many different categories carries a great deal of responsibility. We owe it to everyone involved in each project to consider their work carefully; from the client who approved the script to begin with, to the creatives who created it, to the director and the whole production team who executed it, to the post-production team who finished it. Everything must be put into a scale and given its due consideration, while keeping an open mind. Thankfully, our whole group was extraordinary. With Rob Galuzzo as our fearless leader, and varying points of view and a great passion for the art and craft of production, we found our way and allowed the top work rise to the fore.    Films like James Rouse’s “Hope” for the International Committee of the Red Cross were emotionally powerful while Grand LIA winner “The Faith of a Few” flawlessly transported us in time to when John Cooper invented the Mini and defied all expectations. These films and others clearly show that when brands place their trust in good ideas, and brave execution, the message is heard around the world. 

Pete Case - Digital

Thank you LIAs. What a great judging panel to be part of. We saw some great digital work and the atmosphere was uniquely relaxed and collaborative. My first time experiencing Vegas and it was everything the headlines promised it would be! Well done to the technology team for running everything so smoothly in the background and also to the organisers for creating this wonderful industry event. I’d be honoured to come back
Pete Case
Paul Chan

Paul Chan - Integration

It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of this integration jury, led by the one and only Mark Tutssel. Hands down, this is one of the strongest line-ups I've been locked in a room with. Thoughtful, insightful, critical and opinionated. It was a cracking year for work too. The top pieces were all incredibly brave, powerful and thought provoking. More importantly, they permeated culture and sparked conversations that led to great understanding, which ultimately led to positive cultural change. Kudos to all the deserved winners.

Nerea Cierco - Integration

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS SHOULDN’T STAY IN VEGAS. Not this time anyway. It wouldn’t be fair to keep under wraps such a refreshingly frank, honest, and respectful insight into our industry as the one we shared at this year’s LIA Awards. For five days, creatives from all over the world got together in the Nevada desert to celebrate the best our industry has to offer. We took on the commitment and responsibility of putting together a challenging list of winners in a relatively new category for brands: Integration.   The winners line up places the spotlight on bold brands who are taking a position in what matters to people and who do it through creativity; brave brands who are raising awareness about collective truths that go beyond their cause and remit. Here are brands who now talk to persons, not just consumers. Brands who are changing the world. Improving it. Transformative brands.   We staged it all under the watchful eye of young creatives from around the world; a measure that ensured our debates, arguments and opinions were of the highest quality and allowed us to establish a fair and competent list of winners.   The highlight of my stay at LIA was probably witnessing the emerging Asian and Indian markets and their ever-growing presence and relevance in our industry globally. To illustrate, in the same venue and at the same time as us they were running the LIA Chinese Creativity show, displaying the best Chinese creativity as part of the LIA Global awards.   I was also surprised, or rather disappointed, by the scant presence of the Latin-American markets, and in particular Spain. Normally our market performs well in this category and, in my view, it’s important to continue recognising our brands that have purpose. Ultimately, awarding this kind of work is a sound argument for brands who are already doing so to continue on that path, and for those brands who haven’t reached this point yet to bear in mind that, nowadays, to be relevant in people’s lives means taking a position over the things that really matter to them.
Nerea Cierco
Reed Collins

Reed Collins - Branded Entertainment

No pitching. No bitching. No time sheets. No bad clients. No 3QRFs. Just talking creative stuff with fellow creatives for a few days. Bliss. Thank you LIA!

Jeremy Craigen - Jury President - Print • Poster • Billboard • Ambient • Verbal Identity

"Posts into Letters", a brilliant piece of work was a unanimous vote for the Grand LIA in Print. What we all loved about it was how this piece made the good old humble print category into a completely modern and relevant medium. I hope this work goes on to win multiple effectiveness awards but sadly with the state of affairs in the US this just won’t happen. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying and delivering such a powerful message as this.   Palau Pledge - What hasn’t been said about this amazing campaign already?  To use a passport stamp as a piece of communication is so inspiring. Hopefully it inspires many other islands and countries to copy it.
Jeremy Craigen
Tom Eymundson

Tom Eymundson - Radio & Audio

Bravo!  Flat out the best award show judging experience going.  Your LIA team runs a tight ship - and I, being of the Pirate persuasion, am very impressed.  The venue, the meals the nights out - second to none.  It’s aways an honour and a treat - thank you again!   Dear Radio Jury,   Was great to see and catch up with familiar ears and wonderful to meet the newbies!  Merlee, thank you for guiding this motley crew - no easy task with Smith in the mix … you did a fantastic job!  If ever you find yourselves in Toronto please look me up - I’ll take you "oot and aboot" for some maple bacon poutine and a couple of pops eh!   Till we judge again, cheers!

Perry Fair - Jury President - Branded Entertainment

“Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?!” -Maximus Branded Entertainment. Oh Branded Entertainment.  At its best, it’s an emotional journey balancing storytelling and information at the highest level.  At its worst, it’s a branded commercial. As a judge what you don’t want the work to feel like you are standing next to the old high school quarterback talking about how great it all was. As President of the Branded Entertainment category, I just wanted to see the jurors cry on their Vans or spit take on the other jury members all black outfit.  We all walked into this with the agenda of wanting to be entertained. And to its credit, the work didn’t disappoint. One submission stood out as our Grand LIA. 48 minutes long and we watched every second of it. It made us feel and talk and wonder about not just about the brand, or the story, but about the people and what happens next. It was everything we as judges wished we had created. And it entertained.
Perry Fair
Dan Ford

Dan Ford - Production & Post-Production and Music Video

It was a real pleasure being included on the panel judging the Production/Post Production Craft awards this year.    Spending a few days in a room sifting through a mountain of great entries is not nearly as easy as I’d thought it would be but the team you assembled was extraordinary. A great group of people being led by a fantastic President, Rob Galluzzo, made the entire experience really quite wonderful.    Judging is one of the few times throughout the year that we get to debate what good work is. Judging work with such a diverse group all with slightly different points of view is really refreshing.   Thanks for a great week.  

Riccardo Fregoso - Non-Traditional

 It’s been an honor to be part of the Non-Traditional jury at LIA. This festival is one of a kind. First of all, no online pre-judging, meaning that all the works entered are screened and pre-judged directly during the festival by the jury members. This is way more objective. Second, the jurors are only top professionals of our industry: no politics, just hard work, in a very friendly atmosphere. And last but not least, students from all over the world are invited to the last day of debate inside every jury: that’s real transparency, and it’s also very generous.
Riccardo Fregoso
Rob Galluzzo

Rob Galluzzo - Jury President - Production & Post-Production and Music Video

I feel quite privileged to have chaired the 2018 LIA Production & Post-Production and Music Video jury. The jury was made up of wonderfully articulate people at the top of their game. All in all it’s the best jury I’ve been a part of. As usual, the good work rose to the top. We were impressed by the high calibre of craft this year. We witnessed some wonderful films where craft was in the service of the creative idea. As for the Grand LIA... it was an almost perfect example of all the different disciplines coming together at the highest level to deliver a masterful piece of film. Truly world class.  

Daniela Garza - Design and Package Design

Being part of the judging at LIA 2018 was a unique and refreshing experience. It was an honor to share space with such a talented crew and enjoy a deep dive into great creative projects.
Daniela Garza
Guido Heffels

Guido Heffels - TV/Cinema/Online Film

 Once again, judging LIA was about making a difference to the bulk of the other shows. A little less neurotic, a little less political, a little less VOTE-NOW-hardcore-judging. We saw work rocket from dust to silver and beyond – and plummet vice versa. Discuss, vote, re-discuss, re-vote, re-discuss, re-consider – break – watch again, vote again, discuss again, vote... Unanimous? Alright, let’s discuss! Surprisingly, from all gold winners not a single piece of TV work was cause related, morally encompassed, or worse. After the ad industry had apparently made the world a better place over and over again – according to millions of case films – it seems like the weird wonderful WTF idea reappeared on the advertising map. Welcome back.

Karen Howe - Print • Poster • Billboard • Ambient • Verbal Identity

The calibre of work was so strong this year, it made the mandatory culling painful at times. Our jury representatives spanned the globe from China and Spain to Australia, and provided helpful context. We were all committed to a shortlist that reflected the kind of creativity we want to encourage in the year ahead. Hats off to the LIA winners. Well deserved.
Karen Howe
Barbara Humphries

Barbara Humphries - Branded Entertainment

It was a privilege to review such a high caliber of work from across the world with a lively and intelligent jury headed up by Perry Fair. Branded Entertainment at its best showcases the power of creativity to draw in an audience and involve them in the brand's story, creating momentum for the brand itself. The at times lively and passionate debate about where a brand could be removed from that story and where it was so fundamental to it, was where we separated trophy winning work from just great work.    While there were so many innovative and engaging examples across experiential, branded IP and film, Corazon was a deserving winner as best in class branded entertainment. The film was a compelling and moving story that was beautifully crafted, the brand cleverly integrated and the way the audience experienced that story further deepened the message’s resonance.   Thank you Barbara, Patricia, Wayne and the LIA team for organizing a fantastic and enjoyable event.

Merlee Jayme - Jury President - Radio & Audio

I would describe my LIA experience as a week of joyful listening brought to a whole new level. It was life-changing listening-- from original music composed and produced real time for a thousand names, to an innovation enabling an ALS patient regain his voice, to an album of gender friendly songs, to a hilarious story of a guy who needs to know when to stop talking, a series of motel classics- brilliantly written scripts, crafted beautifully with the perfect casting and direction. Having a neat mix of experts who ideates, produces and executes in one room, made us go through valuable discussions on these pieces. In the end, we didn’t award a Grand LIA. But, I would definitely say my jury picked out the best radio and audio work that would push the medium further to the future.  
Merlee Jayme
Timothy Jones

Timothy Jones - Jury President - Health & Wellness

­The quality of this year’s entries was matched only by the quality of the Health & Wellness jury. They were the best creative minds I’ve had the honour of meeting. And better yet, we got the opportunity to see some of the best work in the world: work that saved lives; work that changed laws; and work that ultimately made a real difference.   But as always, there was an abundance of work that just fell flat and never made it past the first few rounds of voting. There was a clear distinction between the really poor ideas; the ones that were good; and those that were bladdy brilliant. (We called it ‘the good, the bad, and the lovely’.)   If I were to offer a quick tip for success at an advertising awards show like LIA, I would say that the first job is to make sure your work is bulletproof. Leave no reason for debate. For questioning. For picking apart. For unravelling. You want your idea to glide through the first rounds of judging without any thought. The less friction there is with your entry, the more chance it stands of converting into a shiny piece of metal.   After a few long days of siphoning out the bad, we were left with an unofficial longlist. Then, with fresh eyes, and fresher coffee, we streamlined it into a shortlist that we could all defend when we returned to our agencies. We took real pride in making sure the work that made it on that list was worthy – a shortlist at LIA is a big deal.     The final round of judging was the most exciting. It was almost magical actually. It was the day where we could be vocal about the work. We could protect, criticise, question and gush. We spent the first few hours affirming our gut reactions, and awarding the golds. It always amazes me just how easy this is…these pieces just stand out from the beginning. Silver and Bronze award discussions on the other hand open up the subtle nuances of the ideas. It’s like creative alchemy - one minute you could have Silver, the next, Bronze (and in some cases, a paper certificate). That’s the power of an opinion and the strength of a concise point. And our jury was full of them.   Shiny statues sorted, the atmosphere changed to reflect the gravitas of the grand decision.   ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ someone once said. And soon the burden of the decision to award a Grand LIA became obvious.   Unfortunately, after much thought, we came to a collective realisation that there was not one piece of work that stood up above the golds and declared itself a Grand LIA. It was not something we took likely. The gold winners were fantastic golds, and very well-deserved. But to put our name to a Grand LIA would’ve been amiss. Consider it a creative challenge for 2019.   I have to take a moment to congratulate LIA for another fantastic festival. The process of judging was fair, professional and ultimately hugely enjoyable. Thanks Barbara, Patricia, Wayne and the rest of the LIA team.   We however, as a collective healthcare creative community, need to ensure we keep up our end of the deal – by entering our best work into shows like this. We have to keep testing the quality of the work in our industry. It’s the sort of creative barometer that challenges every creative team, agency and most importantly, client.   It makes us question our output – “If they can do that, why can’t we?” “How did they manage to get that idea through regulatory?” etc.   What we need is for our clients to start paying more attention to these awards. So don’t just share the winning work within your agencies, show them to your clients. Get them excited about the possibilities within healthcare. Get them talking about the ideas. Inspire them.   Hopefully next year we will see some brave work making a big difference. And who knows, maybe even a Grand LIA..

Matt MacDonald - Digital

This year’s work reflected the massive shifts we’re seeing in our industry. Data-driven work. Mass customization. Artificial intelligence. But the best work contained those glimmers of joy and surprise and emotion that technology makes possible.
Matt MacDonald
Luis Miguel Messianu

Luis Miguel Messianu - Radio & Audio

Thanks so much for the invitation!!! I really enjoyed the experience and I thank you for pairing me with such an amazing group of talented, experienced and nice judges. It was an honor and a privilege to share the jury with Marlee (who did a great job as President), Tom, Jill, Larissa, Bob and the two Chris’s. I look forward to staying in touch with all of you and I sincerely hope our paths are to cross again! Please let me know if your travels bring you to my neck of the woods.

S M Talha Nazim - Non-Traditional

An award is as good as its jury. What I loved about the non-traditional jury, and LIA in general, was the calibre and the diversity. This helped us understand the cultural nuances and handpick the very bravest of the brave work from across the world.
S M Talha Nazim
Anuwat Nitipanont

Anuwat Nitipanont - TV/Cinema/Online Film

Imagine that you are picking up the best pieces of ads in 2018 that will set the tone for what creativity looks like moving forward, while casino-goers are gambling on their luck outside the judging room. We experience the same unexpected juxtaposition when Thai ads appear on the judging screen after having watched hundreds of sleek, sophisticated and Hollywood-like ads. It is a very contrasting and surprising feeling. You can be sure to see some reactions, whether laughing or tearful. I’m glad to see Thai ads perform very well alongside the best pieces of the show.

Helen Pak - Print • Poster • Billboard • Ambient • Verbal Identity

I really enjoyed judging at the LIAs and wanted to send heartfelt thanks to the LIA staff. It was such an impressive experience. Your hospitality, the organization of the judging, the calibre of work and jury colleagues were all world class. I also appreciated the diversity of gender and global representation throughout all of the juries. One of my ECDs, Marty Martinez of Tank (Tank is a part of Grey group in Canada) who was on your medical jury this year and last, also shared my enthusiasm.
Helen Pak
Maddie Raedts

Maddie Raedts - Branded Entertainment

It was my first time at LIA this year, and I must say it has been an incredible inspiring as well as learning experience from start to end. The organization and other jury members have made me feel very welcome and from the start you are part of the group. It is so inspiring to discuss with like minded peers from the industry about the top creative work from our business. Discussing different perspectives, really taking the time to deep dive in the work as you would normally not always have the time for. With the industry ever changing and being more disruptive then ever, I think its so important to have a good diversity of judges in the group so I was honored to be one of them. 

Ali Rez - Print • Poster • Billboard • Ambient • Verbal Identity

Firstly, a big thank you for all the hard work LIA did to make sure things are easy for us jury members. I had a fantastic experience with the really well put together jury. Also, much respect for getting all the young folks into the judging room. What a great learning experience for them, and what a wonderful use for an award show judging session! Best of luck with all the results. Looking forward to seeing them soon
Ali Rez
Rob Sherlock

Rob Sherlock - Integration

LIA has a unique place in the world of award shows. It not only attracts the most senior leaders from the global industry, but also serves as the pre-eminent accelerator for future talent, especially in terms of the massive investment they make in supporting the Creative LIAisons initiative. In a time where award shows have become overly expensive and self-serving, LIA remains one of the truly benevolent forums for creativity. I have to say it was one of the best judging experiences I have ever been a part of.

Ivo van Vollenhoven - Production & Post-Production and Music Video

This year I was very impressed with the overall entries of work in Craft Production & Post Production. Notable work specially from Australia and the US, however this year we gave the Grand LIA to a job that came from Germany produced by Anorak Films with Director Daniel Wolfe, Mini Cooper “ The Faith of a Few”.  A true masterpiece of craft in every single department, an overall 10 out of 10 in Direction, Production Design, Cinematography and Editing. A compelling piece for work that successfully reenacts period scenes with so much detail and realism, the camera work, the textures, I could go on and on dissecting this master piece of cinematic craft.
Ivo van Vollenhoven
Marco Versolato

Marco Versolato - Digital

Taking part of an International Festival as a Jury always is an amazing experience, but LIA exceeded my expectations. First, the location: Las Vegas is an funny contradiction, the biggest gambling place on earth vs a festival where there no space to gamble. Perfect organization, time enough to judge and discuss the work, the high level jury members, it was an unique experience: fair with each submission and tough on the criteria. If you won a LIA award, you must be more than happy. I left LIA with new friends and much better criteria. Looking forward for the next. Thanks LIA Festival.

Ricardo Wolff - TV/Cinema/Online Film

It was a humbling experience to be among such a high-caliber jury.   Not only that, but the whole Vegas experience was truly special. Staying at the Encore, talking to Creative LIAisons attendees, having work awarded in the competition, etc.   Simply gratifying.   Congrats for putting this show together, and please know that you can count on me whenever you need!
Ricardo Wolff
Chris Wrigglesworth

Chris Wrigglesworth - Radio & Audio

I had a fantastic four days as part of the Radio and Audio jury, sitting with an exceptional group of people, all passionate about great radio and the use of audio. What excited me was the appreciation by my peers not only of a campaign’s idea or core message, but the craft that goes into delivering that message, including scriptwriting, vocal performance and sound design. I was impressed with the truly global nature of both the jury and the entries submitted. It was a great body of work to celebrate Radio and Audio in 2018.  

Soo Hee Yang - Non-Traditional

Defining what counts as “Non-Traditional” for a creative idea was the first challenge I encountered in serving as a jury in the Non-traditional category. Of course, there is no doubt that the idea should always come first, but the creatives belonging to this category employed such different formats, technologies, data and approaches in bringing these ideas to life, and this made it quite difficult to determine which is “better” using just a single set of traditional criteria.   This year, so many creatives presented entirely new solutions by comfortably tearing down borders across data, technology, and innovation. But in the end, the ones that made a meaningful difference for themselves and for the awards were the creatives that were built on a solid human insight, and delivered in the right context to ultimately tear down pre-existing notions and conventions. Also, the valuable and productive discussions, comments, and critique of the jury members added even more quality to the creative standards of the LIA Awards.   Finally, I was happy to see that the Dot Mini case won in a number of categories, proving not only Korea’s strength in creating quality ideas and products through its IT-based solutions, but also the importance of human insight.”
Soo Hee Yang