Archive - Jury Comments 2009

Faris Yakob

Faris Yakob - Jury President - The NEW Category

The new NEW Category. The very nature of new is transient: one second something is NEW, the next second it's....NOT.

Every generation, every moment in history, tends to feel transitional.

It seems to be a natural human tendency to feel like Janus, looking backwards at the past and forwards into the future at the same time; applying an ongoing narrative progression to history and, by inference, putting ourselves at an inflection point, at the death and birth of paradigms.

Which is why I'm always a little skeptical of my own tendency to believe that things are changing for the awesome.

But my optimism (or possibly meliorism) should and does overcome my skepticism, which is why I was utterly delighted to be asked to be the first President of The NEW Category jury for the London International Awards.

Things are changing in our industry, faster every day. You know it, you can feel it, you can see it happening around you.

And you know why - technology has fundamentally altered the relationships between media, brands and people.

Fortunately, there are those who embrace change as opportunity; who can apply their creativity to a new canvas. They see the whole world as it is now and will be soon, rather than exclusively using predetermined media units created in a simpler time.

It is for these people, these agencies, these brands, that The NEW?Category was created. The need was obvious - there was so much great work that just didn't fit anywhere else. It needed a category that could recognize it.

It's always worth keeping an eye on things that don't fit in elsewhere - mutations are the key to evolution. And it was very much with this in mind that we approached the judging. We wanted to make sure the winners pointed in fruitful possible directions; that the ideas increased the vocabulary of the industry.

We looked for ideas that created new engagement spaces between people and companies, or that hacked existing ones; things that consumers latched on to and spread; marketing that was of such value that people were willing to pay to consume it [but aren't they called products? Maybe. Perhaps the distinction is getting blurry]; and ideas that pulled new technologies into the useful service of brands and their customers.

The Grand LIA is reserved for something that emerges from the throng, which stands apart and deserves its own spotlight. The jury was unanimous in its decision to award the FIAT EcoDrive entry the NEW Category Grand LIA. We felt it showed a clear new role for agencies, developing a utility that creates new values and meanings around the product. Pulling data via USB from the car, creatively reporting and interpreting that data in warm, cartoon style, and creating a community of more economic drivers - Ecoville - that will live on way past the duration of a campaign, all suggest new modes of engagement between people and companies, and between agencies and their clients.

I was, and remain, very grateful to my fellow jurors: Noah Brier, Ben Malbon, Kevin Slavin and Frank Striefler for helping me crystallize my thoughts in the long discussions we had, for challenging me and teaching me a great deal, and for being way too much fun to hang out with.

The NEW Category will be different every year. It could be considered an incubator for new categories. Perhaps next year there will be an augmented reality category, or an ARG category, or an interactive mobile apple category.

But, if we are looking to the future, whatever the industry evolves into, it will be smart, talented, passionate professionals who love culture, technology, brands and their customers, like the people I was privileged to 'preside' over, that will help us get there.

Stewart Devlin - Jury President - Design • Package Design

It was an honor to serve as president of the LIA design jury this year. The judging process was rigorous and inspirational.

Given the current economy, we were surprised by the number of entries and overall, the quality was quite good. As always, the best work quickly rose to the top.

The jury was extremely passionate, and we had some high-spirited debate. We were thorough, tough, and ultimately, all looking for the same thing: good ideas that have been well executed. However the jury did not award a Black Statue; we debated long and hard, but in the end we felt that no single piece of work was truly exceptional.

The entries that stood out for me were the "Hunger Project" and BMW's environmental entries; each of them told a story in a completely unexpected and memorable way. These pieces stood out for their poignancy among a sea of entries.

Given the challenging year we've had, it was still a good show. Great ideas are recession-proof.

Stewart Devlin
Jeremy Craigen

Jeremy Craigen - Jury President - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

This was one of the toughest juries I've ever had the pleasure to be on.

All of us got to see all of the work, a rarity in International judging. So if your work didn't get in, you have all of us to blame.

But tough though this jury was, it was also incredibly fair with no signs of any political manoevering whatsoever (helped, I think, by the size of the jury).

I hope you think that all this is reflected in the work you'll see in the following pages.

We didn't give a Grand LIA in any of our Categories, quite simply because none of us felt that there was one piece of work that stood out from the rest.

That doesn't mean there wasn't any outstanding work.

Campaigns were particularly strong. As well as the already well awarded campaigns for Jeep and Alka Seltzer there were a  couple of personal favourites I hadn't seen before.

Colgate Max Fresh from Prolam Y&R Santiago and Anylock from O&M Bangkok.

So with 8 Golds awarded to Campaigns, that's where our generosity ended.

Only 2 were given out in Posters, 1 in Outdoor and 1 in Non Traditional. (Note to anyone entering this last category: keep your films short and simple, yours is not the only one a jury sees.....)

If you are in here, you should be very proud of yourself. Even if you think you¹ve been robbed of a bronze.

My thanks to the jury and all at LIAA for making this such a pleasurable experience.

And good luck to everyone for next year.

Tham Khai Meng - Jury President - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

The London International Awards judging was held in Las Vegas. It struck me as an appropriate place to hold the judging, since it was, after all, an unknown town in the middle of the desert until someone came up with an original idea.

The path to victory at the show was straightforward ­ the work had to be original and totally off-trend. (Note I said straightforward, not easy.)

Being original is, of course, one of the most difficult things to do in life. Plenty of scientists were better at mathematics and knew more about physics than Einstein, but few had that cut-through sense of vision. For Picasso it meant maintaining the ability to see as a child. And this state of innocence is a prerequisite for any sort of originality. It means avoiding the trap of imposing our preconceptions on the facts, to see what is there rather than what we expect to find. It means having the courage to overturn ideas that are comfortable or dear to us. Our obligation as creative people is to see what is new and different, especially when it seems to threaten what is familiar, precious or secure. This obviously applies even more so to judges.

Using that as a premise for our choice, it meant that proven methods, the tried and tested, the formulaic and familiar (i.e., work based on previous years' winners) was all quickly cast aside. A lot of good work in Integrated and Television/Cinema/Web/Mobile was rejected because of this. We were looking for stuff we had never seen before. Things that felt 'alien' or 'out of place'. Even if it didn't win, it would at least be talked about and hotly debated. The new-new was the only way to win. We make no apologies for that.

Today, the hottest work is integrated. Crossover thinking, fused in strange places. Work that blurs distinctions and lines of division. In this category, in particular, we were looking for world-changing ideas where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Not just an idea that happens to run in three or more different media, but something where the compound effect of one big idea became amplified across multiple touch points.  Such big thinking is the enemy of categories and pigeonholes. Clients are increasingly demanding it, and woe betide us if we can¹t satisfy them.

I hope you will feel we achieved our aims.

And for those with their eyes on next year¹s awards, you might like to consider the advice of a doctor. A Hungarian physician called Albert Szent-Györgyi, who said: Genius is seeing what everyone else sees and thinking what no-one else has thought.

Tham Khai Meng
Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger - Jury President - Radio


It's a simple word and a simple idea.

Those of us who are radio and audio creatives are committed to the  
craft. We're committed to the idea of using sound to create a presence - a sense of place.  Creating great radio is highly challenging. It can be a complex process that demands the use of all senses. It's more  than just cliché and production tricks. It's not just about "piecing   it together." It's about focusing effort and energy to maintain high  standards - to ensure that the medium itself is effective and looked  upon with respect.

Radio and audio creatives are a unique lot. Our canvas is the world  and our palette is sound. Within this art lies both brashness and subtlety. Great radio and audio has its foundation in nuance. We make sure that a syllable hits on the right beat. We create music and sound effects that can make the work become epic. We care deeply about every facet of what we do. It's a commitment unlike any other.

I wish that more brands, radio stations and management could walk in our shoes. I wish that they would take the time to understand how profound radio and audio can be. I think they believe that it is an "effective" medium but I'm not wholly sure they "get" the importance or DNA of it all. It's not just words, music and sound effects. It's much more than that. We can sit around and debate radio and audio's merits. We can talk about measurement and cost. But what gets lost in the shuffle is a clear understanding that the people who work in this world love it more than they even realise. And that is a great opportunity to recharge their commitment to the medium and craft.

I won't go into the overall quality of the submissions this year. Judging awards is a highly subjective thing and it is always  
challenging to decide who merits an award. My peers on the jury did a very good job with the judging this year and I thank all of them for their commitment. What pleased me most was that there was a fairly wide representation of award-winning work from around the globe. It makes me very happy to know that radio and audio's connection is universal and that we are able to share this work with everyone. My biggest hope is that it continues.

I would also like to echo Tony Hertz's comments about submitting work in native languages and dialects. It is VITAL that the work be submitted in its original form with an English translation. Though most of the judges are native English-speakers, it is presumptuous for any of us to feel that a spot recorded in English is better. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is almost impossible to capture the essence and passion of work when it is translated into English. Be proud of your work as it was created. Let the judges hear it the way it was heard on the air.

We did award a Grand LIA this year -- and created a new category because of the work. For years, we all knew that a "best use of the medium" award made sense but weren't sure how to articulate it. Y&R and Israel's radio community shone a very bright light on AIDS prevention and it was clear to me as jury president, that this was the very best use of radio I have heard in a long time. We acknowledge that this category was created "on the fly," but felt it was the right occasion to recognise holistic, breakout work in the medium for years to come.

One last word on commitment.

It's clear to me that the London International Awards is the only global competition that is committed to radio and audio. Period. While other competitions put radio in the background, LIA made a commitment by putting it in the spotlight. Two years ago, Barbara, Patricia, Beccy and the rest of the LIA staff decided to have a Radio Jury President. I was humbled and honored to be the first (and second) Jury President. I consider it the highest honor and take the designation very seriously. I am proud to not only call all of them (along with Tony Gulisano) respected colleagues, but valued friends.

The next Radio Jury President will be in great hands and I look forward to hearing more great work from a medium we all care for very much.

Iain Tait - Jury President - Digital

Every year the work that gets entered in 'digital' gets more complex, more varied and more tangled up with other stuff.  Which makes it harder, but ever more exciting, to judge.

A few years ago online advertising was banners and microsites. But the world moved on. Banners and microsites still have a their place in the connected world. Just like shelf-wobblers and beer mats have a role to play in the real world.

Thankfully this year we're starting to see the tail-end of an obsession with glossy production techniques. Cheap tricks and novelty have had their time and are being replaced by an appetite for usefulness, emotional connections and things that people might actually want to be a part of. Of course, they can look nice and feel amazing, but there needs to be more than just the shine.

As people's digital lives are becoming mature, so is our industry. As practitioners we've realised that the bar is set incredibly high and that we're not just battling our traditional competitors for people's attention online - it's you versus everything else.

The things that have been awarded at the highest level aren't just the best moments of advertising online. They're some of the best things online full-stop.  They are things that are changing peoples habits, re-defining businesses and affecting culture in new and exciting ways.

There were three or four projects in contention for the Grand LIA. But the campaign I've picked out for special mention is Whopper Sacrifice for Burger King.

Out of all the projects I was envious of, this one had me greenest. I love its simplicity. I love the fact it was so of-the-moment. I love the fact that the consumer insight blurred into the creative idea - that the campaign blurred effortlessly into the conversation, which became its success. I love the fact that it created an experience that made people feel something totally new - the dilemma of ditching a friend for a free burger (or being ditched for meat) - a feeling that couldn't have been achieved in any of our less connected media.

But, most of all I love the fact that it didn't try too hard to be too big and do much. It should serve as a reminder to us all that brilliant, simple, social ideas are king.

Iain Tait
Craig Stout

Craig Stout - Design • Package Design

From a branding perspective, the true standout was the Havaianas work. The campaign was compelling across all the touchpoints yet systematized to be implemented across all media. It is an excellent example of how a brand can create an emotional connection and differentiation in the commoditized market of cheap rubber sandals.

Lisa Simpson - Design • Package Design

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Lisa Simpson
Bridgid McCarren

Bridgid McCarren - Design • Package Design

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Marcus Hewitt - Design • Package Design

It's always nice to be asked to judge an awards show!

When you actually turn up to do the job however, a few other thoughts come to mind. Will there be enough good work? Will I have to fight the other judges for pieces I like or dislike? Will lunch be any good?

In an awards show as well respected as LIA, the real question is not whether there will be any good work, after all these entries come from some of the best practitioners in our business - but rather whether there will  be any great work? I'm happy to say that yes, there were some very exciting pieces entered this year.

Several pieces stood out for me and the other judges. The faux Annual Report designed to raise awareness for Hungerproject, the concept of showing how contributions could actually prime a small entrepreneur in a developing country was very strong. The booklet designed in the form of an annual report for a small chicken farmer was not only an extremely effective concept but it was very artfully produced (particularly it's egg carton cover, typewriter copy setting and hand-drawn charts).

Another piece that excited us was the re-purposed newspaper produced by Denstu Inc., Osaka for a small vendor in Japan. The concept of screenprinting over pre-read newspaper effectively giving the paper a second life rather than the "traditional" hope of recycling was very inventive. Importantly for a competition like this, it looked pretty good too!

Personally, I loved the illustrations for powdered milk produced for the Sunlife company in China. Their reference to Chairman Mao era posters, unusual humor, combination of photographic quality and illustrative humor definitely captured my imagination.

Other highlights included several inventive calendars, many beautifully produced print pieces (that succeeded on every level except the critical one of making an emotional connection with the judges).

The piece that we all loved was the yarn promotional packaging for Rellana Wool, that utilized a series of faces wrapped around the yarn - the yarn itself become a range of cray beards and hair. The photo real faces managed to have a compelling presence and their gaze
 almost followed us around the room. Their wit and charm clearly got our attention.

In contrast to such a simple but perfectly executed idea, the elaborate installations for the BMW Museum astonished us with their complexity. If there was any room for improvement it would be the hope that some major brands would be more creative with their packaging or print. One of the few exceptions was the incredible body of work we recognized for Havaianas Flip-Flops.

Aligning such disparate entries is the challenge and the satisfaction of this competition.

All in all, a fun competition to judge and certainly some creativity that inspired this judge.

Marcus Hewitt
Brigitta Bungard

Brigitta Bungard - Design • Package Design

Judging the LIA reminded me what good design is. On my way home, after choosing the finalists, it suddenly occurred to me that among hundreds of submissions for 'Design', we hadn't come across a new style trend. In past years we've been through vector graphics, then what always reminds me of 'bible' type, or lately bold sans serifs... but there hadn't been anything like it, 'version 2009'. Instead, what we found exciting and inspiring, was design that really worked.

Among hundreds of submissions, the projects that really grabbed our attention were unusual within their category-not just stylistically, but by offering a smart, surprising solution to the problem they addressed. Our unanimous favorites were all the perfectly tuned, uncompromising communication of a great idea. I am confident that the work awarded will remain exciting years from now, when future designers leaf through the LIA 2009 Annual - it is timeless. And in that, strangely appropriate for a year in which we look for lasting values over quick thrills, in the products we choose with more care, and with tighter budgets.

I am humbled and thankful to have been part of this rewarding experience.

Guillermo Vega - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

The Integrated Campaign category was really good, maybe the best work that I judged during the show. Solid Grand LIA and really impressive Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners.

We couldn't find a Grand LIA in TV. Last year, we had things like Cadbury Gorilla and Xbox, which were excellent. This year TV was good, but didn't break any rules. I really like James Boags Draught  - "Pure Waters". Awesome.

Guillermo Vega
Jens Mortier

Jens Mortier - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard


"I started judging pretty sceptical (print is soooo 1960), ended being a fan again." 

Steve Mykolyn - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

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Steve Mykolyn
Rafa Anton

Rafa Anton - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

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Sarah Barclay - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

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Sarah Barclay
Masako Okamura

Masako Okamura - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

Overall impression: The judges were marvelous. We talked a lot about current issues such as scam ads, how to judge duplicate entries in different categories and the criteria for "standing out." This was really exciting and insightful. As well as judging, we were also discussing future directions for international awards shows. The 2009 LIA Winners embodied this kind of spirit and they can be proud. I'm proud to have been a part of it.

Specific works: Despite the global economic downturn, I found ideas were alive in Vegas. Good works had
twists that make us happy and are highly relevant in the current circumstances.  

Some pieces in the Non-Traditional category brought new life to advertising. To me, "Change your name in Gerolsteiner" (Belgian) was awesome. To raise brand awareness, the first person who officially changes their name to Gerolsteiner receives a Porsche 911. Both my right brain and left brain say, "Yes".

"Magic Salad Plate" (Australia) looks silly at first sight and I could not help laughing.  But the more I watched the video, the more I liked this campaign's attitude. We should celebrate the great idea of the creatives, as well as the courage and open-minded attitude of the client.

Gavin Earle Simpson - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

It was a blast judging in Vegas with the likes of Jeremy Craigen and Jens Mortier.  As expected, the judging was tough - exceptionally and incredibly tough. But I think good work was recognized and great work was rewarded.

I feel the LIA Annual would be the best of 2009.

Gavin Earle Simpson
Tony Hertz

Tony Hertz - Radio

I write this with no knowledge of who won what, whether there's a Grand LIA or not, lots of Golds or any, or how any of my fellow jurors voted, so you know in advance of me, whether any of them agree with the following. Rather than the usual remarks about the overall level of entries I'd like to make just three completely subjective and personal comments on my reactions to some of the work I heard.

1.  I did not shortlist any commercial that used the words fuck or shit. Other jurors clearly felt differently and a few got onto the shortlist.  I marked them as low as possible.  Do I need to explain why?

2. We judged online and there were a good many commercials in which the entry language was shown to be English.  It was pretty obvious though that they were adaptations of spots originally produced in Spanish, German, Swahili whatever.  It was hard to judge some of them because the English language acting was pretty awful. I would much rather hear spots in their original languages with accompanying (good) adaptation/translations.  I don't speak many languages, but good radio people have good ears (or should) and we can tell if something is natural and well-produced even if we don't understand the words.  If we can't, we have no business being on an international competition jury.  I don't know if this is a competition rule or simply a perception on the part of entrants that if it isn't in English it can't win.  Either way it's wrong.  My favourite entry in this competition was entered in its original language - Tagalog.  I hope it won something.

3. I have genuine respect, admiration for - and yes, envy of - some of the great radio campaigns which have run for years and already won every gong in the book. But enough is enough. One of the main criteria for winning a creative award is originality and in my book, the 263rd execution of a brilliant campaign is no longer original.   

Of all the international competitions, I find LIA to be the one that cares most about radio - they consistently choose jurors who know and love the medium and I hope - despite the above rants - that they'll ask me again.

Plinio Okamoto - Digital

During the judging process, it was possible to catch a glimpse of the path that digital communication is taking. Increasingly inserted in our day-to-day, the web does not distinguish between online and offline worlds. Just like the consumers mind. And the communication agencies are finally realizing that this division never existed.

Given this scenario, it was a true delight to see creative solutions reaching the mainstream media, hitting the news, telling stories through different medias and therefore engaging brands with the consumer using interaction and emotions. Some solutions went far beyond communication pieces, resulting in software applications and services that aimed to bring immediate benefits to the consumer. A revolution is on the way.

Plinio Okamoto
Mark Chalmers

Mark Chalmers - Digital

"As usual the LIA cleans up the awards season with a spectacular array of entries. It's 2009 and Digital has truly found its feet. Campaign work is starting to feel outdated with 'useful' work breaking through. It's a good thing and a trend we'll see grow through 2010."

Kevin Slavin - The NEW Category

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Kevin Slavin
Marcos Medeiros

Marcos Medeiros - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

My thoughts about the LIA 2009 Judging Process.

There were three things that I would like to mention regarding my judging experience:
1. The itouch voting system.
    It was amazingly easy to vote for all the entries. The work flows like     
 I've never seen before. Just stunning.

2. Everyone sees everything.
    Seeing all the work in a medium allows the jurors to discuss every piece of work and then vote for the short list. It is a much more reliable system then judging only part of a medium. As a judge, you are responsible for the Annual since you have seen and voted on every single entry. There is no "I didn't vote for that ad".

3. Discussion process.
    Any member of the jury can ask for a piece of work to have further consideration if they felt that piece of work deserved a higher or lower score, resulting in a more coherent position among all the awards.

Again, It was a pleasure to be part of such a good jury.

Dörte Spengler-Ahrens - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

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Dörte Spengler-Ahrens
Sonal Dabral

Sonal Dabral - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

It was a great experience to be on the Integrated Campaign & TV/Cinema/Digital/Online Film jury for the London International Awards. The economic downturn was clearly reflected both in the number of entries, as well as, their overall quality. It seems that in such an environment clients are shying away from taking risks with their advertising - whereas they should actually be more daring! That said, the work that rose to the top was superb and can hold its own in any year. My two favorites were commercials for James Boags Draught "Pure Waters" and for Audi A4 Exclusive "Robbery". On the whole, the judging was fun but ruthless, which was expected from
a jury made of some of the best creative minds in the world and chaired by Mr. Khai Meng Tham.

Eddie Kim - Television/Cinema/Online Film Technique

It's great to listen to what people are doing in different parts of the world!  It was an honor to be a part of the jury.

Eddie Kim
Christine Coyle

Christine Coyle - Radio

Determining the winner in a competition should be easy, right?  It's who crosses the finish line first, who gets voted off the island last, or who, over the course of 13 weeks, impresses the judges enough with their voice or their foxtrot to walk away with the top prize.

But this is Radio.  This isn't just any competition - it's the London International Awards.  And our contestants only had seconds to impress us.  

The best radio commercials tell stories. And I judged some of the best radio I've ever heard:  Innovative use of sound, mind-bending, heartbreaking, side-splitting commercials. Ads that were fresh, provocative, and emotionally relevant.  And that was just Round One.

Oh, sure, there were spots that didn't hit the mark.  But I found myself saying more than once, "I wish I'd written that."  Congratulations to the Winners. I know I have my favorites. And remember - doing the tango is easy; creating great radio - now that's a different story.

Oliver Kapusta - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

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Oliver Kapusta
Ben Malbon

Ben Malbon - The NEW Category

It was an incredible honor to be invited to join the judging panel for The NEW Category at this year's LIAs, for three reasons.

Firstly, it's always a privilege to be asked to judge the work of one's peers. Two, the fellow judges were just the most awesome group of smart, creative and provocative people with whom to spend three days. Three, with a completely new category, it's even more of a responsibility to not simply assess creative work to define the parameters of the category for the future.

We were struck by a number of things. One, much of the best work just doesn't fit comfortably in any of the existing categories. In fact, by definition NEW and breakthrough work should perhaps be challenging categorization. Two, we felt we were seeing the start of almost prototype-quality work (that also happened to work) as credible submissions for awards. What I mean here is that in many cases we were looking at work that has only just started to scratch the surface of what a certain technology or emerging platform might offer, and in some instances was quite rough, but we felt it was important to signal potential rather than only award on level of finish. We wanted to award bravery and pioneering thinking. Third, much of the very best work was multi-platform and what has traditionally been called integrated - it involved interactive, mobile, events, traditional channels. Finally, we were encouraged to see how many of the submissions were attempting to hack, disrupt or re-purpose existing channels and the conventions around those channels. This, to us, seemed almost to signal a fertile and exciting new form of creativity altogether. Of course this kind of mutation has always occurred, but we sensed the emergence of a more confident and aggressive form of format mash-up, powered by the digitisation of formats and the linking power of the internet.

This was a hugely exciting array of work, with some highly worthy winners, and we can't wait to see where this category goes as it develops and grows.

Nathan Dills - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

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Nathan Dills
Jeremy Garner

Jeremy Garner - Digital

There was real inventiveness, and some very innovative thinking. I particularly enjoyed the Greenpeace Black Pixel project; I thought it was simple, informative, thought-provoking and came at the problem from a different angle.

In terms of using technology to really achieve something new, some work definitely showed a glimpse of things to come.

Some of the real standout ideas had a common educative element, rather than being overtly entertainment-focused. This was interesting, as it harked back to the roots of the Web.

Dave Bowman - Non-Traditional • Print • Poster • Billboard

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Dave Bowman
Frank Striefler

Frank Striefler - The NEW Category

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Noah Brier - The NEW Category

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Noah Brier
Terry O'Reilly

Terry O'Reilly - Radio

I love award shows. I'll just say it. In an industry awash in rejection, in a process that offers up a gauntlet that would bring a medieval warrior to his knees, award shows celebrate ideas that could not be denied.

Radio, to me, is the toughest write in the business. A friend of mine says writing radio is "like trying to hide on a squash court." He's right, you are so exposed as a writer on radio. It's just you and the quality of your concept. No sets to hide behind, no wardrobe, no flashy editing, no beautiful faces. Just you and your idea.

Perhaps that's why the radio section of an award show is never an overflowing basket.

This year, I heard some wonderful radio in the LIAs. One campaign in particular used sound in a way that I'm not sure I could have pulled off - and I've been creating radio for over 25 years. And it wasn't from Canada, or the U.S. or Europe.

But there it was. It survived the gauntlet. Battered, bloodied and gorgeous.  It just couldn't be denied.

Adam Kanzer - Integrated Campaign • Television/Cinema/Online Film

To me, the most interesting part of judging was seeing the changes in what now passes for a winning integrated idea. Many entries had multiple components. But the ones that were just TV, along with matching Print and Radio, didn't seem to make it on to the final round for metal. Even if they were strong ideas, with strong individual components, it didn't seem enough to just use multiple channels, if those channels were in the realm of what we now consider traditional.

To be a winner in this category now, one really had to utilize multiple unique touch-points. Either that's the way it's going, or we were just real hard-asses.

Adam Kanzer
Yasuharu Sasaki

Yasuharu Sasaki - Digital

This year, the websites span from movies, sounds to webcams and Augmented Reality (AR). The quality of each site was excellent.  However, my main question was: how did people find out about those websites and enjoy them?

If it were a novel or a film, people who really wanted to read or watch it would find out. There are also good bookstores, magazines and websites to share the great novels or films. But, there is no site to advertise these sites themselves. We need to create more ways to invite busy people to the websites. My hope is that next year there will be innovative ideas to do just that.

Damian Royce - Digital

"The Digital category continues to become even more diverse and more brands are actually doing something with their products and services online, rather than just saying something. We have seen a lot more brands giving something of value to their audience, being more active and bringing people together, whether it be based on being entertaining or being useful. We also witnessed more brands innovating and experimenting outside the browser. They're the ones that are being talked about."

Damian Royce
Bekah Christie

Bekah Christie - Radio

When asked to judge the 2009 LIA for Radio, I was thrilled. I anticipated perusing through each wonderfully creative sound bite. As I listened intently to each spot I was shockingly disappointed. Out of all the spots I listened to (felt like 100), there were only a handful I would call "stellar".  The spots that caught my attention were unique and quirky, playing with new sounds, effects and music.

Everyone knows that radio is a hard medium, painting a story using only sound and imagination. After listening to the many entries it's hard to believe that those were the most creative entries. Maybe the cream of the crop creatives are moving on to the non-traditional advertising media and leaving radio for the rest of us semi-creatives. I guess we'll just have to see what next year holds.  

Benjamin Laugel - Digital

"I've been amazed by the number of projects, the diversity and the impressive ideas the competitors had. Congratulations to all the entrants and a lot of respect to the finalists.  I will be more than happy to come back again and look forward to the quality of the submitted works."

Benjamin Laugel
Daniel Granatta

Daniel Granatta - Digital

"I love many of this year's entries not only because of their creativity or craft, but also because they help to make categorization harder than anytime before that; the works blur the lines not only between categories, but also blur the frontier between marketing and advertising themselves, making digital the world where all the other media and purposes collide. So it's not that old formats (banners, microsites) are disappearing at all, but many of them are evolving into something else because of the changing media landscape that they're helping to create."

Fernando Cornicelli - Radio

One more time, it becomes difficult to find new and fresh approaches, those things that blow your mind when you listen to them.

However, there were some spots that really stand out from the rest. To tell you the truth, we weren't told where they came from, but there are always some details that show that to you. And the more interesting thing was that they didn't came from the usual countries.

It seems that globalization is allowing people from all over the world to get the chance to develop amazing work and that's something that can be a real door to an evolution in our everyday work.  I like that.  

Fernando Cornicelli
Fernando Penteado

Fernando Penteado - Digital

"If the consumer does not see a line between on and offline worlds, why would we?

Based on this fact, I'm glad to see how digital became something bigger than a category. It is now a way of thinking. And this way of thinking fits agencies and clients all over the world.

The standards are higher and the "early 2000's kind of work" is definitely gone. We see the whole world living in an era of brand experiences and the internet is the main stage for them."

Flo Heiss - Digital

"I cannot make up my mind. Part of me hopes that the days of digital awards are soon gone - that we should award big, all-encompassing ideas for a digital world - and part of me still loves a sexy banner, a viral or a good old fashioned microsite, of which I have seen quite a few very, very good ones in this year's crop of entries."

Flo Heiss
Jason Marks

Jason Marks - Digital

"Interactivity, alone, does not improve advertising. Creating for the digital space is the opportunity to make the product better, not just the ad. The best work in the show were those experiences that connected a user to a community through the product. Interactive work that brought the user real world application is what received my highest scores. No matter how well executed, a digital experience should never be solipsistic."

Jonny Kofoed - Television/Cinema/Online Film Technique

This year's entrants were of a pretty high standard. I think people are thinking really carefully about what gets entered in these times, so jury work is getting a bit easier in a way. Technological advances gives the 'technique' category a leap in standard every year, which makes it an exciting and dynamic category to judge. It's been great to see craft being used more now to really provide the backbone of the communication - the days of strapping messages to visual effects appear to be behind us. Which is great. Agencies and craft shops are working closer than ever.

Jonny Kofoed
Kentaro Kimura

Kentaro Kimura - Digital


The competition was not about the best technicality of digital.  I was more impressed with the utility of digital which leads to innovation in people's everyday lives.  That's where the future of cyber should and is headed. 

Martin Hazan - Digital

Unexpected is still the most engaging experience. It doesn't matter if it's social media, twitter, facebook or whatever else. The Big Idea is still the king. It seems that there is nothing new about technology. There is nothing new about communities. The only thing that is really new is the ability to surprise one another. That is still the big challenge.

Martin Hazan
Michael Kasprow

Michael Kasprow - Digital

Well, the good news first. In a year where the world was supposed to have fallen apart, and in many ways for many did, it would seem that "digital" media continued to evolve and prosper. I was honoured with Jury placements for many shows this year, and was impressed with the exceptional quality of the LIA entries. What I liked about this year was a return to simplicity, to executions that quickly paid off the interaction and resulted in a clean and clear communication. Design was also generally stronger this year than last, unfettered by the self-indulgent and placing, it would seem, the user first.  

Unfortunately, there was still a fair share of "television" style experiences that, in my mind, have very little place in interactive environs that are culturally and ritualistically different. The computer or mobile screen will never be a smaller TV screen and the sooner agencies recognize that innovation comes through understanding
this, the sooner we will see real innovation in communication in our no longer nascent medium, take off.

I suppose, however, that the success of digital generally means that these agencies have more time to figure that out and with an impending recovery for all, next year will only be stronger again and I look forward to being there for it.

Moacyr Netto - Digital

"I think we are living a very exciting moment in terms of digital creativity and the work shown here reflects that excitement very well. It seems to me that we are coming back to the idea's essence, after a period when big productions and impressive craft were highly awarded. Maybe that's because online advertising doesn't have to prove itself anymore. It's not about how much money we can spend, or how many people we can speak to, but how relevant we can be in terms of involving and moving people. And to get there, there is nothing better than a nice, simple, human and inspiring idea. So, thank God, we have plenty of them in this book. Enjoy it."

Moacyr Netto
Ralph van Dijk

Ralph van Dijk - Radio

"This year has seen more examples which push the boundaries of what a radio ad actually is. Ads which sound more like programming content can only be a good thing for brands. Listeners are increasingly adept at zoning out interruptive messages, so it's pleasing to hear so many ads which come baring gifts in the form of entertainment or relevant benefits."

Tom Eymundson - Television/Cinema/Online Film Technique

In a time when music has become so commoditized and "licensing" has become "the big idea", it's wonderful to hear that there are still "bigger ideas" - ones that celebrate, and in turn elevate our craft, our art.  When done well, these "musical ideas" resonate the world over, in any language.

Tom Eymundson