That which is NEW is destined, eventually to become old. Or older.
This year was the first birthday of The NEW Category. The category may be NEW, but it is no longer new.
Last year, we set ourselves specific tasks for this category. We wanted to recognize work that created or hacked engagement spaces, work that generated its own value and attention, work that, ultimately, helps the industry craft new vocabulary, and new roles for agencies.
As ever, things that don’t fit in, mutations if you will, suggest the possible routes of evolution.
As the statues awarded indicate, we felt that entries this year lit the way ahead a little less clearly than last. Last year’s Golds and Grand LIA all felt directional, as though they could inspire new ways of thinking, new kinds of ideas.
This year many entries featured campaigns with social components, and used social media coverage as both an element of the idea and efficacy of it. Cultural salience is of course a valuable measure of what we do as an industry – earning attention, creating interesting culture. But simply doing good outreach or PR stunts doesn’t necessarily equate to the same thing.
We debated the core component of the NEW. Simply using technology isn’t enough. In fact, despite the name, novelty alone isn’t enough – for what we do isn’t art, done only for its own sake, but for the goals of our clients. To be NEW is more than being novel, it must be relevant, it should interface with culture. It should help us pave the way to the future of our industry.
The statues we did award were richly deserved. We didn’t feel any single piece stood out as a Grand LIA but the two Golds, for the Fun Theory, and Twelpforce, stand shoulder to shoulder as some of the most exciting NEW work. Fun Theory taps right into the need we must all service – creating new behaviors, in a way that genuinely seems to have sparked a movement. Twelpforce provides a compelling utility – a digital extension to the in-store experience, an idea that requires an admirable level of integration with the client and their internal systems.
My jurors were exceptional, challenging and teaching me, for which I thank them. They are all paragons of the NEW; Iain Tate, newly named global interactive ECD at W&K; Naveen Salvaduri, founder of new platform Foursquare; Richard Schatzberger, recently named as a founding partner of co: [a new kind of agency]; and Paul Swann, executive ideas director at Naked Sydney, a new kind of creative.
Here’s to the terrible twos of the NEW.
First a few words about the difference between a business that is driven by the bottom line and one that is driven by the caring line.
No doubt the London International Awards belongs to the later.
We were welcomed by Barbara, Tony, Wayne, Patricia and their team with an affection and attention that is difficult to find these days in our market, which is increasingly subject to corporate indifference.
They understand that we are still a business made of special people who develop special work and therefore deserve special treatment.
I extend my gratitude for making us comfortable in the best setting, with the best technology and with only the best creative talent to select the best work of the year.
This year’s jury included only the sort of jurors whose impartiality is a consequence of the quality of their work and careers. This is quite rare in festivals around the world.
Now about the work itself.
If I can speak for them, the general consensus was that the category, which apparently should define the future of
advertising, did not live up to the hype.
"Non-Traditional" was very traditional this year.
Some of the videos presented made an incredible effort to sell an average idea as the most revolutionary action in the history of their countries. In contrast to previous years, there were too many adjectives for very few ideas.
Billboards, Poster and Print delivered well on what they promised. There were many good pieces, some excellent, and a few brilliant.
And the reason we only chose a single Grand LIA was very simple: probably for the reasons mentioned above, no other work in any other category came close to unanimous approval in the first round of votes.
Thanks again for having me there. My liver and I will never forget these days and nights in Vegas.
I would say that the judging experience was top-notch - we had a savvy jury - a nice mixture of composers, creative musical minds, music house owners, and ad agency music producers. The jury was seasoned, with a great deal of advertising judging experience. We deliberated, and respectfully debated the entries. I felt that we had some excellent entries, and I was truly pleased with our results. I felt we set a nice precedent as this was the LIA's inaugural music jury.
We all unanimously agreed that there was no Grand LIA Winner, although we had some really elite work, one didn't pop out and make that uber-elite impression.
Our Gold Winners represented a great mix of unique original music, great master recording licenses, and excellent adaptations. To me, a great adaptation can be on par with great original work as it's huge challenge to create a unique and inspired track based upon something consumers all associate something else with. Every so often the adaptation outshines the original song.
The Sound Design field also had some great contenders.
Some of the clients were at an advantage as they worked with blanket license arrangements/capabilities whereby they could use any song that out there as part of the annual fee they pay to PRS (of course they still would need the appropriate permissions). Thus using a Pink Floyd Song, or a REM tune would cost the same as using any other song. However, no matter the fee, it's how the music resonates and enhances the visual and the concept that is a key element when judging work, and a few of those blanket license songs worked incredibly well. And as us music folks know so well, sound, and especially music, is often the most memorable and powerful part of a commercial execution.
Warhol’s silk-screens of Marilyn Monroe broke new ground. What made that work so powerful? Why did it have such impact? How did it become the perfect choice for the Pop Art Effect on your Mac’s Photo Booth App and why are we now receiving psychedelic four-square holiday cards of our relatives? You can blame Warhol, but the real reason is his choice of technique. The process gave the work a life of its own and ultimately produced a piece that now defines Pop Art.
When it comes to filmmaking technique can be quite an exciting part of the process. In many cases it’s the element that elevates a good film to one that is great.
But when you have to write about it….it’s like going to a dinner party and discovering you’ve been seated at a table full of Dentists or Metal detector enthusiasts. All you can do is grin and hope someone eventually chokes on a fish bone. At least then there will be some entertainment.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy being part of this event. It was an honour and a pleasure to be a member of the jury of judges. I had a wonderful time. It was inspiring to see so many great and powerful films many of which had such unexpected origins. All of that was fantastic.
As filmmakers we understand it. We know good technique when we see it. We’re excited when it’s used in creative and innovative ways. But how do you articulate it? I guess the best way is to site some examples because when technique is placed in the hands of an artist it can actually become the idea. Not just in film, but in all arts.
In the end, each film used technique in many cases, which helped take the work to another level. They took something familiar and made it unforgettable. In some instances they even became part of what defined the medium. That’s the importance of technique, that’s why it matters and that’s what it can do. The tools are available to everyone. The art is in using them to bring a work alive by creating a new visual experience.
There’s always a debate when it comes to awards shows.
Part of it revolves around the judging experience. A handful of judges, sequestered in a room, listening to commercial after commercial, passing judgment in a hermetically sealed and artificial environment.
But the more I think about it – the more I actually feel it did approximate real life. Why? Because we were dealing with explosive clutter. 600 spots. Backtobacktoback.
Getting noticed in that room was a Herculean feat.
The radio work that kicked its way through that brutal congestion made it to the second round. Then we re-evaluated those 88 survivors, and listened this time for writing, persuasion and craft.
Then came the medal rounds. Debate was intense and detailed. Non-English entrants, know that we took your work very seriously, and a big percentage were voted into the final round.
The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners are terrific spots. As a matter of fact, the Finalists are excellent, and might even win medal at other shows.
The only thing we didn’t find was a “Grand LIA” – but while there wasn’t a spot that advanced the art, there were plenty of winners that reminded us, yet again, why we love radio.
In my experience, on most juries at least, there’s an expectant rush to get to the shiny stuff when it comes to judging a show. Somehow, in all the exhaustion of sifting through the inevitable detritus, conversations about what constitutes a great finalist are overshadowed by the roar of debate over whether a piece is gold or silver, or possibly even a Grand prix contender. Not so, on this jury. For a start, we committed to making the (all too-often humble) bronze something that carried genuine weight and stature . I like to think of it as “the working man’s gold”, and on this jury, we ensured it was hard-fought for and hard earned.
Secondly, all of us saw all the work. This makes a huge difference, when it comes to the quality of debate in the room. It meant we shared a common focus, and it resulted, I believe, in a very tight, considered selection. If you made it in as a Finalist, take comfort in the knowledge your work was considered at great length. If you didn’t, hopefully this book will serve as a level to aspire to for next year.
Lastly, a show like this is only as strong as its jury, and I have a great jury to thank for their perseverance, good humour and, ultimately, their honesty. Enjoy the show.
At the beginning of the judging process, this is what I said to the judges:
Digital is the category that matters the most today.
It’s incredible how quickly Digital became this influential in our industry. Without Digital, our industry would still be the same one-way highway of mostly annoying sales pitches. Even The NEW Category would be called “Old” without Digital. In other categories, too, there is a plethora of Digital work.
Less than ten years ago, social networking wasn’t even a term. Now, your mom is suddenly befriending you and leaving embarrassing comments on your ‘wall’ without realizing your 500 virtual friends can see it too.
Now that the first decade of the 21st century has passed, Digital has become real.
Going into the process, I asked my fellow judges to have two goals; one was to discover work that would set the standard for the following decade, the other was to identify something that had never been seen before.
Over the course of several weeks – beginning online and then in person – we as judges looked at multiple entries from various countries. We eventually decided on a list of noteworthy winners from around the world - the kind of work that is big yet simple, innovative and impacting, the kind of work that makes you jealous.
One entry cleverly repurposed existing behavior in social media to show new possibilities in commerce. Another utilized similar media but gave employees the power to connect with consumers directly. There was also a piece that hijacked paid media and made it their own.
In the end though, those pieces were something that we had seen before, hence no Grand LIA.
Still, the work you will find in this Annual is amazing. It’s the kind of work that will influence the rest of the industry. It already has. It will inspire the future.
Ten years from now, people will remember 2010 as the year Digital became real.
Welcome to LIA 2010 Digital.
Well. I am genuinely shocked. Not by the $US40 I paid for my cheese-burger, the overwhelming, gooey cheesiness of Las Vegas nor America’s love for all things plastic. I was shocked by the consistently high standard of work this year entered in LIA.
Following this year of global economic struggle, I have to admit I was anxious that the standard of creativity may have dropped as far as average agency billings. But no. Ideas. Big ideas are here to stay.
I saw great work from whopping big global brands like Burger King’s Whopper Face, to Bachpan Bachao Andolan’s (Save the Childhood Movement) “Crying Carpet”. It is clear that this year is all about the power of ideas. Ideas that move people, provoke, entertain and engage them and ultimately cut through our hectic marketing landscape.
We (the jury) looked for three things. Is it a big idea? Is the idea relevant to the brand? And is it executed beautifully? A lot of interesting work was quite rightly ‘dumped’ because it lacked one of these magic three components.
We ended up with fantastic gold winners in a broad spectrum of categories; from Branding, Motion, Photography, Packaging, Annual Reports and even one from the usually overlooked category of Calendars. However, we decided against a ‘Grand LIA’ as we felt there wasn’t one piece that stood above the other gold pieces.
As cheesy as this sounds, it was, on the whole, a great, inspiring show reminding us all of the resilience and power of big ideas to make a difference.
The jury was extremely passionate and rewarded good and well executed ideas. Although we did not award a Grand LIA, since we felt that no single piece of work was truly exceptional, we were generous in rewarding LIA's. Just the way it should be. The notes I wrote during the judging were mostly to check stuff later again because of the inspiration it gave me and to pass that on to the rest at MassiveMusic. Very inspiring!
Interesting to see was, that if the jury members were not in sync the difference was mainly between the agency music producers and the music manufacturers. Those discussions offered a learning experience. It doesn't happen that much that you are able to share thoughts with your colleagues on the ad-music and the business side of it.
My thanks to the LIA team for making this such a pleasurable experience and to the technical crew for the stunningly easy voting system. No time was wasted on this so we could also enjoy a bit of Vegas! Thanks for this opportunity & good luck for next year!
The feeling of looking forward with an awards show was inspiring. Yes this was a celebration of great work from the past year, but more importantly it was a view of the trajectory of what will come next. The trend which resonated most with me was the movement of advertising from a communications business to creating platforms and systems which are designed to improve peoples lives and create a fluid long term relationship between the customers and the brands.
With no channel requirements for entry the breadth of work which crossed mediums felt wonderful. As agencies move away from the separation between disciplines and roles from a previous era, categories such as NEW is where work created without walls and in new ways can be rewarded. And celebrating this kind of work is vitally important for the success of the industry as a whole.
All I can say about judging Radio for the LIAs is that I wish I could have
done it earlier in my career. On the first day, I listened to 600 radio
spots from all over the world -- an education for any writer. I heard the
entire canon of radio tricks. But I also heard some new tricks, along with
some old ones done very, very well. Overall, the experience reaffirmed
what I've always known: Radio is the toughest medium to master. And we
were an extremely tough jury. So if your work is here, congratulations.
You are a fine writer. But more importantly, your work is now teaching
writers everywhere how radio is done. And next year, I hope it inspires
them to do it even better.
What a great experience. The LIA staff went out of their way to make things as comfortable as possible for us, so we could fully focus on the judging. Hours of endless commercials and case studies. Some good, some bad.
What made me happy is that is the jury seemed to have the same standards and wasn’t about politics. Our Jury Chairman David Nobay pointed out that you can tell the level of the show, not by the gold’s, but by the bronzes and I feel very confident with the bronzes we selected. Innovation is in TV as well the way to go, if something feels old fashioned or familiar it’s immediately out.
Integrated Campaign seems to be a different thing. Not so much great work. True Integrated work is still a tough thing to do apparently.
I was very pleased with the organizations dedication to celebration of creativity and making sure only the best work wins. It shows. I hope that the results will make some talented people very happy.
I fought. I clawed.
I even performed an incredibly over-the-top improv piece to make my point.
I wanted "Joy Someone" for the Illinois Lottery by Energy BBDO,Chicago to win something.
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed a number of spots but this one just felt right to me. And, after some explanation, I got my wish and they walked away with a statue.
This year's judging was nothing short of amazing. From the superb leadership of Terry O'Reilly to the outstanding technology we used for the first time, it was something to remember.
But it was more than that.
Over the course of the week, the five of us engaged in easily the deepest conversations about creative I have ever been part of. We broke down every spot and took our time to ensure that we were giving the work what it deserved - our very best. It was intense, but it was tremendous fun and I count myself incredibly lucky to be part of this group.
Radio and audio, in my opinion, is experiencing a wonderful renaissance. People are paying closer attention. Clearly, agencies are -- and it is evident in the work that we heard.
As always, I wish to thank Barb, Patricia and everyone at the London International Awards. I have been in a unique position to be part of radio's resurgence in this show and I am grateful and honored.
And, I'm thrilled I was able to get that Illinois Lottery spot over the top.
Judge hard. Play hard.
Those seem to be the rules since the LIA went to Las Vegas.
And I must say the work got a lot more respect than our livers.
We went over and over the Winners time and time again, ensuring that the
work that got in the book really did deserve to be there.
I hope you agree.
It really was an absolute pleasure to be locked in chilly air conditioning for a week looking at hundreds of pieces of work as others frolicked by the pool outside in 100 degree desert heat.
The jury was tough, but also incredibly insightful and thoughtful. And there was some spirited debate, which always makes things interesting.
A lot of the work was strong, and there were some great ideas.
The incredibly crafted Billboard Magazine campaign stood out of course. I loved the long copy Vespa Hug ad and the VW campaign for Independent Cinema.
In the Non-Traditional category, the Claro RingTowns had everyone smiling. Then there was the clever idea of using the TV show Top Gear to feature the VW Scirocco without spending a thing.
Big thanks to the LIA staff, all the judges and to our charming Jury President Marcello Serpa for an inspiring week.
Judging at the LIA has been truly a privilege. What makes it so special is that you see all entries. From ‘Was this entered just to irritate the jury’ to ‘Why didn’t my teams come up with this?’. This way you really get the chance to feel which idea deserves an award, and which not. A privilege too, because there was David Nobby. He held a firm grip on the jury, and in his own special way led us towards the best conclusions.
So, after a few days of work, we managed to dig up some precious gems. "Support Scent" for Guide Dogs Australia by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. A fresh idea very cleverly crafted into everyday life and in that way helping the blind and their dogs. I loved ‘Fresh Air’ by Great Guns for Nike. Just loved it. And I completely fell for "Selinah", created by Ogilvy Johannesburg for the Topsy Foundation. A film that simply states that the effects of AIDS can be reversed with the right medication. We see Selinah, who agreed to be filmed for 90 days. This filming is edited and played in reverse. Simple, clever, and straight to the gut. Like perfect advertising should be.
As a write this I feel more than a twinge of sadness to be leaving, which is a reflection of the great time I have had over the last few days.
I know you guys like feedback so here's a few of my highlights:
- Flexible but efficient. Everything was well organised but still felt casual. I never felt rushed and always felt that the focus was on having a good time.
- The People (LIA team and judges). It seems like you guys put an emphasis on inviting good / fun people which created a great atmosphere.
- The Judging. Plenty of time was allowed to judge and the environment was comfortable and conducive. I'll pass on my specific thoughts about the NEW category to Faris and he can share them with you.
I've certainly become an unofficial ambassador for the LIA's. Please pass my thanks onto Barbara, Tony and the rest of the team.
• The caliber of the judges was extremely high.
• Judging with such a talented group of people made the process truly stimulating.
• With no set number of campaigns to award, the standard of awarded work remains very high.
• Judging in Vegas made for a great atmosphere.
• The NEW Category is a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the freshest thinking around.
• The NEW Category attracted a diverse collection of work from around the world.
• It was great to see how agencies are exploring new models and mediums.
Judging Editing is always a challenging category because it's very difficult to tell how much a piece changed from original script or board and how much of that was down to the editor.
piece of Edited work can of course be attributed to great direction,
but great editing can also be about challenging great footage and
adding to it to make it even better. Technology has opened the
floodgates for aspiring editors which of course is a good thing just so
long as too many do not rely too heavily on APPLE Z. or Edit Undo.
It's allowed all editors to experiment more freely, but this should not
let us forget to teach the craft properly to the next wave of talent.
So it is more difficult to judge these days than it has ever been.
However as an Editor I totally trust my sense of storytelling and rhythm judgement, and these tools have served me well over the years. This year's work was of a good standard generally, and a few pieces leapt out at me and those set the bar.
In a business where almost anyone can get there hands on the equipment to "EDIT" these days it is crucial that we pick our jurors carefully and that the best work get's the best chance to be rewarded correctly.
I'd like to thank LIA for acknowledging the Editing category as it's very important to us and it is always an honor to be asked to judge.
I certainly hope that I did the right pieces justice.
My approach to the judging is this...The best contribution an editor can make is to choose a style and technique that enhances the idea. If that manifests itself in cutting in an invisible fashion that serves the film and the idea, then great. If the edit is approached with an aggressive technique driven style and that enhances the idea, then perfect. When the editing becomes the idea, the result is a rather vacuous experience for the viewer. No votes there. We all want our work to resonate and when that happens, it's brilliant. May the best storyteller win
Don’t worry this won’t take long.
I had never been to Las Vegas. I had never been on the LIA jury. And I had never talked so much about advertising.
After 7 days of being locked inside that village/city/shopping mall that I can’t say much more about, what I can give you is a summary:
I went to a wedding in Las Vegas. Elvis was the Best Man and I was so moved because I witnessed two people I had never seen before taking vows to be together forever.
I saw “Love”, by Cirque du Soleil and The Beatles, one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Proof that creativity is infinite and can be renewed again and again. Truly, inspiring in every way.
"I spent the week surrounded by excellent jurors, not only professionals, but great human beings, which for me is much more important. Marcelo’s leadership was impeccable."
We were very tough with the quality of the work we saw and only gave out one Grand LIA in Print. In the rest of the media that we judged we didn’t feel that there was anything that redefined the rules or raised the bar.
The discussion about the work and the prizes was incredible. It was so cool to see how different everyone thinks and reacts to the work; which led to talks about the industry, our mission as creatives and especially about how we see this exciting present-future that we’re living in.
"I feel thankful and honored to have had this experience. And I am happy to say I lost zero dollars in craps."
It was an honor being invited to judge for the LIA 25th Anniversary annual. The jury was exceptional – tough on the work, highly-spirited in debate, and committed to rewarding only what we truly believed was deserving.
Hope you agree.
Thousands of ideas flashed past. We all seemed to grab different ones, then proceeded to disagree violently. I was often a firm Yes among a row of Nos. At other times, I was a lone No, wondering what the fuss was about. Ideas got bickered over, tottered on the fence of fame then either fell back into obscurity or pleaded their case and just made it over. We were in Vegas. Skill alone wasn’t enough, I suppose, there was an element of luck.
It was a distinct pleasure and honor to sit on the judging panel for print. I was joined by a great group and we saw a lot of strong campaigns. We (the judges) chopped it up quite a bit and really put forth what will be a great showing of the best print from around the world. Mad props to everyone at LIA for providing such a great atmosphere. Extra special shouts to everyone I had the opportunity to meet and judge with this year.
I didn’t get to see much of Las Vegas due to the intensive judging sessions ( wink ) but it was a very comfortable, luxurious location I have to admit. This is probably the reason for the relaxed, friendly, often over-discussed yet extremely fair debates that ensued. At the end there were some usual suspects who scored high, but this wasn’t always the case. Some work that won big trophies elsewhere did not mean an automatic win at LIA – some didn’t even make it to the shortlist. We took a closer look, questioned, doubted, voted and re-voted shifting pieces in and out until we were confident with the results. Thanks to Barbara, Patricia, Tony, Wayne and the rest of the crew for making this possible. Thanks to all the other judges I met, thanks to Marcello, you made it worth traveling a long way from home.
To be part of the LIA jury is a postgraduate professional education.
The results of the jury show that the LIA awards only world class. If there was an award for awards, the LIA would slowly but surely be among the best in the world.
Being a part of the inaugural LIA Jury to judge the Music and Sound Design categories was both an honor and a great experience.
Overall, the work we saw was very good. We’re still seeing a lot of licensed music used and I think that all of us would have preferred to see a shift back to original music as the predominant choice for music in advertising. Passionate feelings about the work was not uncommon, and because there have been such significant changes in the music business and how music is procured and used in advertising, there was a lot to discuss.
We did spend a lot of time weeding out mis-categorized entries (licensed music entered as original compositions; sound design entered as music, etc.). Hopefully, we helped/will help to establish clearer definitions of the categories and succinct criteria for entries that will make it easier for juries in the future.
In the end, engaging with my colleagues and sharing ideas about work from all over the world made the experience as much as a music business retreat as it was an awards judging opportunity.
I look forward to doing it again.
The Judging Experience / LIA Awards, Music:
Knowing this was the first time in its 25-year history that Music categories had been added to the LIA Awards, I think our jury was astounded by the depth and quality of the entries. (I won't allow excessive modesty to prevent me from saying that the jurors, presided over by Josh Rabinowitz, Director of Music at Grey Worldwide, constituted a truly "grand jury" indeed.)
As in any "first round" - or viewing/listening session - there are plenty of submissions that can be taken off the table. Always helps to eliminate the clutter!
Yet remaining in nearly all categories were a surprising number of really great pieces. I would loosely define "great" as that soundtrack, whether an original composition or an "adaptation", that not only fits the film or message perfectly, but takes the emotional and cerebral level to a whole other plane, making you listen ... and care.
There is one dilemma or quandary I experienced that probably would apply to other broadcast categories: judging 'long-form' pieces in the same context as traditional spots (30's and 60's for example). The digital era - the internet - have made it possible for marketers to expand their messages without time constraints. Thus, we are asked to compare the music / sound design in a three-plus minute cinematic game trailer or web film with the music in a 30 second car or detergent commercial. Somehow, that doesn't make sense to me—especially given the fact that upwards of 90% of all broadcast advertising dollars are still spent in traditional media: television. In 'traditional' time units: : 15; :30; :60.
All the best!
I've been privileged to be on a number of award show judging panels, and I will say that the LIA's was a great experience for a number of reasons.
The LIA team had assembled a high class team of judges, and specifically on my panel of Music and Sound Design there was a great synergy. I was very impressed with the organization and the process which made our jobs more efficient. Downloading the work was easy and fast and the marking system was one of the fairest I've used. The quality of the work was also very high, and I think the International aspect of the entries makes it really competitive. If you are making a decision about which shows to enter next year, LIA should be at the top of the list because you'll be competing with the best from around the world.
I've got to mention Barbara, Tony and Wayne and thank the whole LIA team for taking such great care of us in Vegas, they were wonderful generous hosts, and now that I've caught up on my sleep I'd do it all again in a heartbeat !
It's great to see creativity thriving. The economic downturn changed everything and I truly believe it's made us a more creative industry - in the way we approach client/agency relationships, moved into new channels and the way we approach projects overall. Visual Effects used to be relegated to things like making spaceships and fantastic creatures. This year's award winners show us how Visual Effects have evolved into a true storytelling tool - as fundamental as cameras, lights and lenses. Among the entries, I see artists pushing creative tools in directions unimaginable 10 years ago. I see ingenious ways to circumvent smaller budgets. And I see that agencies are still making really great creative - stories that move us, no matter the medium.
It's really an honour to be part of the jury for the London International Awards. I was a bit disappointed by the overall standards of works presented. There were a few standout spots that really caught my eye, that were fresh and inventive. Good to see what the rest of the world is doing.
This year I took the simple approach when asked to watch about a hundred commercials
and score them for editing. I gave a 10 out of 10 to any spot that made me think
"CRAP, I wish I cut that". This year there was a lot of great work, but there were
two commercials that really stood out and gave me that awful envious feeling.
Guinness "Bring it to Life" and Virgin "Fantastic Journey". Both of these were
superbly crafted and I tip my hat to the editors whoever you are. The 3 minute Nike
World Cup football commercial was also very well edited, but whoever cut that was
too silly to enter it, oh well, you would have got a 10 out of 10 from me.
I had a great time getting to know not only the work of the entrants,
but also the advertising industry and its history. Because I'm someone that's not from the ad space, the judging process gave me a unique perspective into the industry and how we think about advertising.
I especially enjoyed the chance to judge The NEW Category as it showed me how we're pushing the space beyond traditional media and aiming to create more memorable experiences.
The Experience: "LIA has in my opinion created the gold standard for
award show judging. The location is as vibrant as the work is
inspiring, and there's a real desire by the LIA team to make the
judging process even more thorough and streamlined."
The Work: "What I found especially pleasing about this year's winners
was the sheer variety. From 10sec single voice comedy bullets
(Bacardi) to 45sec full musical productions (Bounty) and innovative
integrated programing ideas (Aids Task Force). Each approach perfectly
tailored according to message and audience."
When I told my wife I'd be spending the week in Las Vegas, staying at the nicest hotel, eating at the best restaurants, etc... It was little consolation to her that I'd be "working every day from morning until evening". Truth be told, I myself found it difficult to be convincing.
But my anticipation for a bit of the 'good life' was replaced by a thorough enjoyment of the LIA judging process. We five radio judges spent pretty much every moment together: we listened to hundreds and hundreds of spots; we laughed at some, eliminated many, and debated over several. But we did all these things together, as a team, and each of us took our roles very seriously; I think each was satisfied with the outcome. Terry handled his role as Radio Jury President perfectly; and Ralph, Doug and Joe were every bit as passionate about the process as I was. And while I don't believe we felt there were many 'classic' radio spots among the entries (when are there?), I do think - on average - the overall quality of the work was a pleasant surprise. At times I found myself wishing I had written a specific spot.
While I knew most of the fellas pretty well prior to our shared week in Las Vegas, I know that the experience has provided a new level of respect for one another. Plus - I was able to report to my wife that I'd lost no money in the casinos. Which is a good thing.
The quality of work was as good as the quantity.
It was great to see USA producing some great work again.
The LIA is becoming a very important show.
I loved the diversity of the work coming from the smaller countries.
It seemed like there was work from every corner of the globe.
That mixed with the heavyweight jury made it so interesting.
Congrats to all the trophy winners.
To get one you had to have some seriously good work.
It was surreal seeing such heavy hitters from around the world congregating in Las Vegas for a London show. Even though I was on the TV?Jury, it was great to have time to visit with people on the other juries - nothing like bonding over black jack or a wedding at Graceland Chapel.
I liked the fact that the TV?Jury saw all the work together. We did not break up into groups which can sometimes make judging uneven. Also, Finalist and Bronze Winners should be proud. This crowd was tough on all the work.
For the record, I wanted more spots with animals to win, but as you soon will see, I was overruled 100 percent.
"Being part of a jury like this is obviously about seeing what's happening
everywhere in the advertising world. But, most of all, it's about discussing
our business, our trends, our flaws, the traps ahead. That is priceless. The
frank debates that follow every voting session or medal discussion are the
most valuable content we can find in a jury. And this one was specially
prolific in that sense."
Last year I was on the Cannes Jury and this year LIA jury, what else can I ask for?
It was a fabulous experience, and the jury I got to work with was excellent.
The TV pieces level was not very good but the ones that got to dispute the prizes were fantastic.
As usual, the most difficult part was to judge Integrated Campaigns, especially for the duration of the exposed cases and the diversity of ideas that share the same category.
Being a juror for an award as LIA is a pleasure because it gives you the opportunity to share and relate with people like Barbara, Tony, Patricia and all the staff, and to learn from other jurors and grow as a
Thank you to the LIA staff for making the judging experience a great one.
You all created a wonderful atmosphere where all we had to worry about was the work. I saw some great work showing how Digital is becoming THE category to enter and win. The work that really stood out bridged the digital and physical space seamlessly.
Judging in Vegas Baby! I think it gave us Digital types a pretty unique perspective, and not just because behind our iMac screens where arrayed rows of Sin City¹s finest, bronzing themselves by The Wynn hotel pool. The work had to be good to hold our gaze, and luckily most of it was.
One of my esteemed colleagues said that this is the perfect time to be involved in Digital (and not just because of the pool) because it basically means everything that’s interesting. I completely agree and the best work was often entered in multiple other categories. Is the Nokia Signpost a PR stunt, a social media event, or outdoor advertising. I don’t know but it’s brilliant. Uniqlo’s calendar is a screen saver but it was also the biggest viral hit of last year. The Fun Theory is nothing less than a manefesto for a better world... But is it a good car ad? (I think yes by the way)
This mixing of live event, social media, real time interaction is the best of what our industry is doing, but also probably the reason why we gave no Grand LIA. As judges we are divorced form the event or experience if it is tied to a time or place. We could only get a second hand impression through the awards video. For me it’s hard to know how great something was unless I have played with it and felt the thrill in person. So Vegas gave us lots of winners but no megabucks jackpot.
Personally, I lost.
Interesting year to see a lot of entries using various platforms in Digital. Also many exciting ideas were leveraging existing social media platforms in its own unique/innovative way.
I'm already curious how this would evolve next year and also how mobile will play its role.
Thank you LIA again for an amazing experience!
Right now, Digital is bringing great innovation to our everyday lives.
"So what kind of innovation will happen next year?"
While we try to predict this innovation, innovation itself will leap ahead of us and continue to progress.
Therefore, this almanac is like a fossil from a layer of earth dated 2010.
Even though it is a fossil, it is very important for future human beings to find this and to examine it the way many archaeologists are currently digging through the dirt frantically.
In that sense, this fossil will become extremely valuable in discovering the history of Digital Innovation.
For those of you who have found this fossil and are about to deeply engage in reading this almanac, I would like to commend you with the word: "Congratulations."
I was honored judging the LIA Show this year.
It was one of the best organized events with a stellar group of judges.
Even though we didn't feel that a particular creative execution deserved a Grand LIA, the breadth of great work was extremely impressive.
Lots of great work from a lot of different agencies. The future is looking bright!
My first trip to Las Vegas was to judge the London International Awards. The experience paid off in many ways, meeting all my expectations, which were completely based on my primary reference for everything in the world, tv shows. All of the good, the bad, the excess and spectacle were present with the added bonus of automatic weaponry bonding with my fellow judges (Yes, the opportunity to fire a “variety pak” of weaponry is offered—and yes I accepted, don’t judge me— to visitors of Vegas in the same way you might sample three wines from a vineyard in Sonoma, but my sampler included a t-shirt that reads “I don’t call 911” with a cleverly printed handgun positioned to look like its tucked into my pants.)
By design, the wonder and the opulent monotony of Vegas, is experienced by passing through a succession of giant ornate rooms leading to even larger and more ornate rooms. The complete world within a world is designed to discourage any desire to ever go outside again. Each room is a variation on an adult fun park, with some mix of gambling, food, drink and shopping all wrapped up in a not so subtle theatrical theme explosion.
Around 7:30 am my first morning, after passing through the giant casino populated by a mix of messy couples still gambling from the night before and the fresh early morning breakfast gamblers, I enter a ballroom with thousands of design entries spread out before me. I know I seem to be leading up to making some analogy about Vegas, gambling, and the awards judging process —maybe later—but honestly at that moment all I could think of was: how am I going to get through everything in front of me, giving each entry enough attention to understand why it looks the way it looks and says the things it says. The task seems daunting, if not near impossible, but our host had done everything in their power to ensure success. So, with proper instruction and an itouch guide in hand, I dive in. Thankfully, certain entries quickly begin to leap out for one reason or another. Some combination of wit, humor, intelligence, craft or even sheer beauty has its intended effect and grabs my attention. I find it hard not to be impressed when a brand boldly breaks with the conservative conventions of its industry and creates a piece that challenges and surprises in an unexpected way. (See the unapologetically sexist calendar created for a medical digital imaging company). Another entry, a small bakery identity entered in several categories seems smarter and richer each time I encounter it. The deceptive crudeness (or simplicity) of the identity beautifully connects the product, its packaging and the consumer’s daily interaction with it to the brand’s story of artisanal, hand made breads.
One personal reward that comes with participating in the judging process is the critical dialogue that emerges in the final rounds when a group of judges truly connect and take the time to conscientiously discuss the remaining work in front of them. The conversation makes choosing the “winners” relatively easy. At the risk of sounding sappy, knowing the judges took the time to really discuss a project I had sweated over would make winning the award (and paying the entry fee) all the more rewarding.
So. How is entering my/your brilliant creation in an awards competition like gambling? Well, one risk is to not practice what we preach. As designers, we are taught to “know your audience,” and be clear on what you are asking them to believe. Communicate the key points of any idea in a quick, clear concise way that doesn’t require any leaps of understanding or in-depth study. We are gambling when we assume a judge, with a thousand entries ahead of them, will have the time to struggle with understanding the what(s) and why(s) of any one entry. I believe many great projects are hidden in bad submissions, including my own —I’m sure that’s why mine didn’t win big— they get buried and lost in competitions, while a few perfectly nice entries rise to the top because the submission itself was crafted to engage and resonate with a judge.
So, what have I learned? Vegas truly does have something for everyone. You just have to let the entire experience wash over you. Judging an awards competition like this one can be (almost) as rewarding as winning the gold. And the effort spent crafting an effective submission is as important as the effort put into the project itself. Lastly, with my newly acquired and oh-so-practical automatic weapon skills, I guess I will be of great value to the human race in the next great zombie invasion.
Judging award shows are always enjoyable but I have to say this year's LIA was pretty special; fantastic location, brilliant people and great work.
The Jury was thorough, tough but fair and as always great ideas will shine through.
Standout for me was the "Google job" piece, which was just brilliant!
This was my first time judging the London International Awards. When I first received the invitation,
I learned the judging would take place in Las Vegas and I was immediately intrigued. Vegas is a place
that embodies everything that represents the idea of "wrong" for me: Architecture, fashion, music,
moral standards, environmental consideration (or complete lack of it). Yet, like a drug, it lured me. It's a place of ultimate consumption, excess and escape. So it was ironic the judging of an advertising
and design award would happen in such a place. The judging took place in a spacious and luminous ball room in one of the nicest hotels in Vegas.
Over 1000 pieces of design submissions from all over the world were neatly placed on top of
long tables with spotlessly ironed white linens. On the first round, five judges including myself
quietly floated around the tables examining each piece. It was a delight to see the work
in this serene setting. The warm Vegas sun light, the soft and bright white linen, and the generous space around each piece provided the perfect set up to makeeach entry stand out. While the craziness of Vegas with its endless sound of slot machines, techno beats, parading
mini skirts were happening outside, I felt I was in the award judging sanctuary in that hall.
In the end, we were all very happy with the quality of the final selections. I was particularly
happy to leave Vegas without a missing tooth, nor a wedding ring on my finger.
I was honored and excited to sit on the 2010 LIA Design jury. It was amazing to see such a large range of conceptual work from all over the world. With close to 1000 Design entries submitted the selection process was difficult but extremely thorough, no stone was left unturned.
One entry that really stood out for me was the identity for Olfa Cutter Art - the concept was simple and extremely well executed on a variety of applications. I also thought the Toyota I.Q. typeface project and the Mario Haller Schnapps packaging were really fresh concepts. Overall I would love to have seen more logo entries and I felt the corporate identity entries could have been stronger.