The level of this year's design entries was quite impressive. The work I was most intrigued by focused on design to create positive change. Projects that effectively change one’s behavior or perspective rose to the top. For example, through stunning photographs taken by the men who keep Hamburg clean (BinMen). The "TrashCam project"
shifted the way people of Hamburg see and appreciate the cleanliness of their city. Not only was the concept of transforming trash bins into large pinhole cameras clever, but the design execution was strong and memorable.
Chipotle's "Back to the Start" short film is another excellent example of design to create positive change. The storyline was compelling and clear and the stop-frame animation was beautifully executed, down to the last hand-crafted detail. Reinforced by the touching soundtrack, the film created an incredibly powerful message that makes you question the impact of your decisions.
A real highlight of the trip was the opportunity to work with such a smart and talented jury. The discussions were fruitful and collaborative, and every voice was heard and respected. I would be their wingman any time.
Barbara, Wayne and the LIA team were so on point with so many things this year. The LIA’s commitment to bettering the industry was so palpable in “Creative Conversations”, an educational conference to advance discussions around creativity in the industry that happened as part of the larger agenda in Vegas this year. In that context, chairing the “NEW” Jury felt exciting, as a prospect.
In truth, we as an industry weren’t so full of “new” this year. Sifting through the work it felt more like reading tea leaves than being truly surprised and owned by a piece of work.
It would be difficult to get a more balanced and interesting jury than Tony, Andy, Gareth and Zolty – with passionate inputs from Faris. The work that was finally awarded showed evidence of trends that were ringing true and were the output of good marketing minds. They split out pretty clearly into buckets I could loosely define as “supporting entrepreneurial innovation”, “brand as enabler”, “Democratization of media”, and “data utilization”.
The Pepsi Bottle Light was a great case study in supporting innovation. If a brand is composed of it’s thousand little interactions and ripples in society, then more initiatives like the Bottle Light Project would go a long way to winning the hearts and minds of the new consumer.
The FuelBand is, fundamentally, utility + data + fetish. It is a created currency of intent that has brilliant potential and has only begun to be explored.
Curators of Sweden passed through all of our newsfeeds. In the games of mass reach and democratization it was a home run. It was also brave and thoughtful. Someone made the decision to roll with it when things got rough and it paid out. It’s a lovely comment on society as a counter-balance of world views. And yet, it is still advertising.
The Silvers were solid, smart, viable enablement programs that took data and purchase and turned those two assets into added value for consumers – with a deft hand. They were very smart and timely and unexpected.
NEW was our stumbling block, leaving the question; “what brings more value”? Disruption and surprise or thoughtful, continuous attention to enabling consumers?
I think 2013 will show that the new skill we’ve taken on is a melding of both the art and the science. It’s output will hopefully be something that steals my heart and then takes good care of it every day.
Integration not Integrated
First and Forehand it was a great Jury and we had a great time with a lot of important discussions and what we believe a very good Shortlist and great Winners.
During our discussions it became very clear that a lot people are still confusing the definition of an integrated idea. We believe that it is not about an idea which integrates different media channels and expands it to a multi-dimensional level. We believe an idea is only integrated, if it impacts the society and integrates itself in to culture. It evolves based on the interaction of the people and the different touch points. It is mainly a platform rather than a multi-channel idea. Integration is Innovation. Integration is Influence, and last but not least, Integration is Impact.
The breadth and type of interactive work entered this year seemed even wider - from the weird and wonderful LEGO “Builders of Sound”, to the smart and useful Nike+ FuelBand. I was most encouraged to see how digital has not only become a place where technology and craft are celebrated, but the strength, relevance and freshness of the ideas presented, left the jury feeling inspired and motivated.
Despite this quality, the consensus was that there wasn’t one particular piece of work that truly stood apart and therefore the decision was made not to award a Grand LIA.
It wasn’t all work and no play, otherwise it would be silly to be in Vegas. Sadly there were no tigers in my bathroom and apart from losing big-time at the blackjack table (well not that big but it felt big at the time), all the other stories will stay in that city, according to the saying.
A big thanks to Barbara, Patricia and Tony for the invitation to be a part of an amazing experience in Las Vegas this year. I was honoured to be asked to chair the Non-Traditional, Print, Poster and Billboard Jury.
A big thanks also to a great Jury for all their intelligent discussion, good humour, hard work and long hours.
The most impressive thing about this Jury was the fact that there was no guarantee that you were going to be in this Book, even if you had done well at the other shows this year. Every piece of work had to earn its spot.
So be proud if you are in, and very proud if you’ve won metal.
After viewing and reviewing what seemed like a lifetime of work we felt, as a Jury, that there was only one piece of work that stood above the rest and that deserved the recognition of the Non-Traditional Grand LIA this year. Well done to everyone involved in the “Nike+ FuelBand” work.
I hope you’re inspired and a little bit jealous of what you see in the next few pages.
I wasn't sure what to expect attending the LIA judging this year. As I knew that there would be no Award Ceremony, which is unusual to me. This was also the first time Craft was judged on site. This year during the judging period, LIA launched ‘Creative Conversations’ an educational initiative for seventy young creatives from around the globe.
I was looking forward to mingling with all the judges, especially as some of them are my friends who no longer live in Australia. And I was excited about Las Vegas, a town that makes no excuses about the fact that people go there to just have fun. The day I arrived, I found myself in a great hotel room looking over the Strip and down on a swimming pool that was full of people standing up, shoulder to shoulder, drinking, while thumping music played.
My Craft Jury was so terrific; hard working, clever and funny. Dmitry, Barry, Laine, John and Jonathon. I feel even though we did have some heated discussions, we ended up quite good friends. There were a lot of entries for us to go through and we reviewed the work many times to ensure that we had made the right choices.
We never saw the scores from the off-site voting, but when we tallied up at the end, it seemed we were quite close on most decisions. We didn't give a Grand LIA in Craft as we couldn't decide on one single piece so we gave more Golds. We did give a lot of awards overall but the standard in the craft categories was high. My favourites were Tooheys Nocturnal Migration and Canal+ Bear. So well done and original.
I would gladly do it all over again. Barbara and her team took amazing care of us and the Jury they assembled were interesting and fun. And Las Vegas is a perfect backdrop. I had to rush home for a friend's wedding, but would have loved a few days off to stand in the pool, and go shopping. First trip ever that I came home empty handed!
Before I give you my radio category highlights, may I congratulate LIA on their entry into the 'Award Show Innovation' category. The Creative Conversations initiative is excellent and I was honoured to present the first keynote. We're all very fortunate to work in this industry and I'd happily forgo a slap-up awards dinner if it gives a group of up and coming creatives the opportunity to learn form the best, be inspired and ultimately steal my job.
Oh hang a minute ...
OK I'd like to make a request (it's radio after all). Please make sure you actually LISTEN to this year's radio winners. Because you'll be treated to some of the best examples of conceptual thinking, writing and production craft heard on radio in years. Needless to say it was a good year for the radio category, with an increase in the quality and quantity of the entries.
I was particularly encouraged to see the growth of the 'Innovative Use of Radio' category we recommended LIA include. It demonstrates the broader approach agencies and advertisers are applying to radio. It's one of the few mediums brands can integrate seamlessly within the programming, and the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign certainly made the most of the opportunity.
You'll notice some familiar names as a number of long-running campaigns rose to the unenviable challenge of improving a winning-formula. My pick of these would be Cine Las Americas International Film Festival.
Many great ideas suffered from a lack of care and attention in the casting and direction, which is hard to justify given radio's relatively low production costs. But this was balanced out by some great performances in campaigns such as Nestle's Purina and Total Wine and More, and the chilling sound design in Earphone Bully.
While we each had our own favourite winners, the jury was unanimous when selecting the Grand LIA. Public Service/Social Welfare Campaign or not, Germany's ‘Radio Ghosts’ demonstrated the dangerous, radical thinking radio specialists like myself try to apply to every radio brief. You couldn't get a better example of relevant cleverness.
Now close the book and listen to the damn thing!
If this year’s crop of spots is any indication then we are clearly living in the age of long form. While watching many of the spots we had to do double takes and ask if what we were watching was actually 230, 500 …900 seconds long! At least I think it’s safe to say that the :90 is the new :30.
Furthermore, the body of work was the most diverse I’ve seen presented in any of my previous experiences. The 2012 Music Jury, rather than rush and “blink” our way through the process, had enough time to review everything carefully and fairly.
The LIA judging format proved to be a perfect canvas, or more appropriately in our case, a sheet of score paper, one sufficiently big enough to accommodate and do justice to the process. A process that in it’s own way was like musical composition.
On reflection, I was struck by the notion that our thoughts evolved over time in a way that felt familiar to me. I sensed at the end of the process the emergence of a sharpened and basically unified POV within the group. To use a musical analogy it developed like a classic narrative long form composition, a Sonata.
Our first “theme” emerged from the initial elimination round. After the lesser work was washed away a clearer picture emerged, our melody was defined. The work that survived the first round was assigned a numerical value. On second listening the initial impressions and feelings had changed, if ever so slightly. A process of further distillation ensued. Call this our second theme.
I didn’t mention the modulating bridge – which technically sits between theme one and two - but if I did that would have been lunch on the veranda by the pool. Our mood, modulated by a delicious buffet, good conversation, and scantily clad poolside staff who all looked like they were hired from Mount Olympus (as in the home of the Gods and not another Las Vegas hotel) moved to the dominant key.
On day two we began the awarding process – Gold, Silver, Bronze, Finalist, or out. Our animated conversation was flowing like a good development section; classic action music with rough and tumble twists and turns. Our opinions, preferences and feelings were unpacked and reassembled. We attempted to marry our visceral gut feelings with a higher rational. Sometimes a certain je ne sais quoi trumped the best-laid arguments.
Day three arrives and we resumed where we left off. We were now playing together like a seasoned ensemble, we could predict each other’s moves, the process had become smooth and efficient. By lunchtime we finished awarding the final category.
After the break we moved on to the recapitulation. Here we looked at the remaining work as a whole to determine if we had been successful curators, if our “album” was complete and our song sequence correct. After a few tweaks and finishing touches we unanimously agreed on awarding a Grand LIA, the hit single of the bunch.
No sonata is complete without a coda. Our work done, we brought it home dining by The Lake Of Dreams listening to a giant green frog singing “Friends In Low Places” drinking champagne and fine Burgundy. You can’t make this stuff up … unless you’re Steve Wynn.
I want to express my deepest thanks to LIA for inviting me to be Jury President this year. I feel the manner in which LIA allows the work to be judged and the degree of respect they show for the music category is unique.
Musicians have traditionally been seen as entertainers or functionaries, the guys who walked in the back door and played for the party. The musician as cultural icon is a relatively new phenomenon in the grand historical scheme of things.
I think LIA is doing it’s best to make musicians feel like they have a seat at the table as opposed to eating in the kitchen. My hope is that this category will grow and further the cause of good music in advertising.
I think this jury did a fantastic job in furthering that cause. A heart felt thanks to all you guys for a wonderful weekend in Vegas. I hope the friendships we forged and the good times we had will not remain there. I look forward to seeing you all again out in the world.
Gambling vs. Producing Ads … Las Vegas provides the perfect stage for LIA; when under the same roof it is difficult to escape being reminded of the parallels: Adrenalin & Addiction, Risk & Courage, Winners & Losers. It is also impossible to shake off the feeling that you are on a surreal movie set / candid camera 24/7.
The Mozart Suite of the Wynn/Encore Hotel echoed as much with heated exchanges, as well as, laughter over the three long days we submerged ourselves into judging the Craft of Production & Post- Production. Armed with iPod Touches, we ploughed through 100s of entries in Animation, Cinematography, Direction, Editing, Visual Effects & Innovation, with proceedings skillfully conducted/’refereed’ by the lovely Anna Fawcett, Jury President (equally impressive technique in Casino!). Our jury was composed of a super mix of experience, personalities & nationalities; we bonded quickly and intelligent debates and camaraderie flowed through to dinner. The organisers were always on hand if we had any questions - in fact everything was so well run all we had to do was Judge. However this proved to be a much tougher process than any of us had anticipated. It really was hard work, demanded serious concentration as we scrutinised the entries, argued and agonised over final placings, always finishing late. There was no doubting we were all loud, opinionated and passionate about this art form; in particular, Dmitry from Russia presented compelling arguments. The high standard of the work ensured our attention was focused on screen and not distracted by the Las Vegas playground … well at least not until after 9pm…
We awarded several Golds but no single spot hit the Grand LIA jackpot as we simply could not agree on one. Canal+ "The Bear" with the French accent - The more I watch this ad the more I smile – it is flawless and as like all iconic ads do, it leaves a lasting impression + you'll never look at a bearskin rug in the same way again. The industry changes and moves at such a hectic pace that being forced to sit still for once to observe and reflect was rewarding. As a Producer you never stop learning - this was an enriching, inspiring and surprisingly FUN experience. With Judging over we even forfeited sunbathing and shopping to gatecrash the ‘Creative Conversations’ with industry luminaries from around the globe.
LIA is serious about the business of Judging but injects it with a uniquely Fun and Relaxed atmosphere and generous hospitality; this impressive international event is wonderfully organised by such a welcoming friendly team. So quite the opposite of “I’m a Creative Get me out of here”, in this Vegas Jungle the Judges were keen to play the “Encore” card - please invite us back next year. Hats off to Barbara whose expert "Casting" of such an eclectic entertaining ensemble ensured the long hours of Judging and Socialising were both a Joy and a Learning curve. If you are lucky to be invited I would recommend bringing a Sat Nav and kidnapping a Wynn Golf Buggy to ensure prompt arrival at dinner. THANKS to my fellow jurors, Chillibean technicians and of course the whole LIA Team esp. Barbara, Tony, Patricia, Beccy, Christina - Viva LIA and Congratulations to the deserving Winners.
This was my first experience of judging an Awards Show. I was asked to be on the judging panel for the 2012 Craft Awards for Production and Post-Production. (To be honest I was asked to fill the space of an industry luminary who was unable to make it. Her loss, my gain.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I was surrounded by five amazing co-judges. Led by the awesome Anna Fawcett. As a group we really gelled, and a respect and bond was quickly formed. What a fantastic creative group! I loved the experience, and super happy to be invited back next year.
Working in this business for more than 20 years and having won some International Awards, I never imagined how much work it takes for a jury to achieve the results. It is quite difficult to make the decision on which pieces of work should be awarded and which pieces should not. Again, it was an interesting experience and very hard work every day during 12 hours of full concentration inside a judging room. The Jury, some of the most qualified in the business, worked diligently to come to the unequivocal decisions on such a large quantity of nominations (especially in the last round). It was very difficult and VERY interesting. Being the only non-English speaking judge I would like to thank all the judges on my jury, for making me feel comfortable. Meeting and working with such high-level producers from different parts of the world in itself made this a really great experience. I thank everyone for their patience and tolerance towards my English.
I should also mention that there was some difficulty in deciding what to award and at what level, as there were so many entries of a very high standard in terms of various Craft aspects. I would like to mention 2 films - I'm Mumbai and the Director Abhinay Deo and Tooheys Extra Dry and Garth Davis. In both cases I agree with the main jury opinion that I'm Mumbai has one of the most passionate Direction that an advertising project may have. And Tooheys is one of the best examples of great Visual Effects.
I also always assumed that Awards of such a well-respected calibre, are connected with a large number of "policy". I was absolutely impressed and surprised that during judging no one ever tried even to hint at the special relation to any works. In fact, if a Jury member had work in the medium we judged they were told to leave the room when their work was judged.
I'm also very grateful to the administration of LIA Awards for being more than kind from the very beginning and up to the end. Would specially like to thank Anna Fawcett, the President of my Jury. I've never had such a pleasurable experience, how reasonably and nice she led the judging session. Many thanks for a tremendous and unique experience, which I would love to repeat one day.
Being asked to judge at the LIAs was a great experience - the relationships made and the fact that we were so looked after by the whole LIA team. It was good to see the epic ads of Cartier and Perrier stand out from the crowd, they are pure class amongst all the new work that we are seeing.
As a truly
International event, the LIA gathered together the cream of our industry’s most
leading creative minds in Las Vegas to scrutinise work of outstanding quality.
The prestige of an LIA award should be coveted with pride as an exceptional
Unlike other awards we were able to recognise that the craft of Editing, Direction, Visual Effects and Cinematography can take various guises and as such can be given equal merit while being completely different.
A gritty, black-and-white, emotional Mumbai newspaper spot is no less beautifully directed than a Cartier multi-layered, post extravaganza or a humorous combination of live action/animation for Tooheys and I applaud LIA for recognising this fact above all the other award festivals.
Cinematography had some truly stunning entries and while it is arguably hard to separate execution with concept, I feel we fairly did this taking into account visual quality, relevance and the difficulties involved. The balance of Editing was also recognized by its diversity when you look at Lurpak, MTV and Martini to name a few. The skills of animation houses can only be described as reaching a new 'high' with a notable credit going to Platige Image, Warsaw's contribution for The Witcher 2 'Assassins of Kings' trailer.
Between the judging sessions I witnessed the Educational Initiative that LIA had organised for no less than 70 young creatives they had invited and flown in from all over the world - tomorrows generation were attending a series of intimate creative talks and discussions with Susan Credle, Ted Royer, Neil French and many more, including the assembled juries.... a plethora of experienced Creative Heads encouraging and advising the future 'players' of our business - such an initiative should again be applauded for its inventiveness and originality.
It was a privilege to witness and I congratulate the Winners and Finalists of this great event.
Judging Non-Traditional, Print, Poster and Billboard categories at this year’s LIA was an honour and though we were in Vegas, Sin City, it was relentless hard work.
We pored over 5000 plus entries over a course of five long days discussing, debating and arguing every single entry to finally award a handful of path breaking world class pieces of communication.
It was interesting to note that the Non-Traditional medium had fresher and bolder work than the traditional Print, Poster and Billboard media. We did not find any entry in the traditional categories deserving of the Grand LIA. A clear sign of the rapidly changing times.
Two of my favourites were the Grand LIA winner in the Non- Traditional medium, Nike+ FuelBand from R/GA New York and a Gold winner in Print, Volkswagen’s BlueMotion print campaign created by DDB London. Both pieces of work in their own very different ways dealt with complex problems, but the solutions in both cases were simple, beautiful and absolutely engaging.
Another unique initiative by LIA this year was the Creative Conversations. Seventy young creatives from across the world were invited to Vegas while the judging was underway. This initiative was funded by LIA. With this, LIA (easily one of the best organized shows) set the bar a notch higher this year.
Thanks a lot Barbara, Tony ,Wayne and the rest of the LIA team for your warm hospitality and making the judging session such a wonderful experience.
We the juries, chose award-winning works from amongst numerous entries which
filled up an entire hotel conference room. Surely, we can say we carefully selected the best of these entries. However, it felt as though those excellent works distinguished themselves from the rest, rather than they were picked out by us.
I could sense that almost all the awarded works hold some essence of "the future."
"The future" which I felt was not presented just in a single perspective, but rather with diversity. I have realized that we're now in the phase where the future can be selected.
Logical ideas are necessary for works to be shortlisted. However, at the same time, it was obvious that the awarded works were rather sensuous and did not need an explanation. This indicates that design can establish communication as a common language without words. Especially, I was reminded of the power of graphic design again.
Design which gives a positive motive builds a positive future. I believe that design could shape the future. We, the designers, still have many more things that we can accomplish to get this done.
The world can be transformed through design. It is a powerful tool that enhances the essence of a brand and communicates its unique image along with the company’s values and mission.
This culturally enriched LIA Awards 2012 judging session added value to the whole design experience. Designers from all over the world got together to prove that, although the cultural backgrounds may differ, there is an essence to designing, that is, a commitment to innovation and simplicity that can only profit from those cultural differences. This edition, in particular, showed great respect and appreciation for those differences, this way giving a special flavor to the event.
Thank you again.
It was interesting how in the year 2012 the biggest emotional reaction of the jury was triggered by the commercial Japanese poster printed in silk screening technique.
Over the past few years the world of digital has brought us many beautiful and funny pieces of work that, at the end of the day, really didn’t do anything. And, it has also brought us many useful pieces of work that that looked like the dog’s dinner and were impossible to use. But, this year it felt like these two worlds came together. We saw great work that used the medium in a natural way to create useful solutions like using Facebook to find missing children and save libraries. Other high points were using mobile to allow soccer fans to affect the outcome of the match and a mobile app that helped children in hospitals manage their pain. I hope this year’s work will motivate people to continue to create solutions that are both interesting and useful.
Digital became mainstream media. Many people wanted to add something extra to a simple digital idea, and the digital campaigns became complicated. I’m not sure if the users who live busy lives can be a part of such a complicated campaign.
When it comes to digital, I miss simple and strong ideas. I miss beautifully crafted pieces with a simple message. Am I going a wrong way?
However, I found that the digital jury members felt the same way. I was encouraged.
There were really nice entries this year, but we dared not choose a Grand LIA for the sake of the bright future of digital creative!
Thanks LIA for letting me judge all this incredible work together with some of the nicest and brightest minds in the industry. Everything is digital today, which maybe explains the amazing number of 1293 entries in the digital category. It was a very challenging but super inspiring task to look through all the work from around the globe. There's such a spread at the moment within digital, you have everything from apps that change the way we shop and exercise to actual life saving campaigns and top-level online TV-entertainment. Being a digital juror nowadays means you have to use your competences ranging from a complex technology platform to straight on traditional storytelling. Just the way I love it.
The most meaningful trend is the move from engagement to utility. It’s easy to award fun, interactive experiences, but some of the ideas we've judged are game-changing in how useful they are. The best way to describe them is they’re not ads. They’re closer to inventions or products (e.g. Nike+ FuelBand). There’s a definite shift occurring with our business. It’s no longer advertising. It’s not just for agencies. It’s creativity, applied in new, wonderful ways. Buckle up. Everything is changing.
As we started the initial sifting on this year’s enormous mountain of LIA entries, a funny thing happened. It happens every year, in every show. An idea that, at first glance, seemed great, suddenly reappeared. Then reappeared again, and again, with a different logo or language each time. Common forms and similar styles quickly created buckets that swallowed up these entries and rendered them to the pile of the somewhat less than truly unique.
I point this out because a lot of very strong work did not make this Book. Not that it should have. I feel proud to support what we awarded in the Print, Poster, Billboard and Non-Traditional media.
Bridging the gap from good to great takes unrelenting focus and drive. But to have your work rise from thousands upon thousands to be declared among the best in the World, by a common agreement of some of the greatest talents in the industry (a feat that deserves a shiny trophy all its own), takes a whole, different dimension of obsession.
So if you’re flipping through these pages to check out your winning entry, stop. Take a breath. Then drink it all in. You’ve risen from the heap through a field of incredibly profound thinking to stand shoulder to shoulder with a tiny group that can only be described as unparalleled. Bravo. And now you get to rock what is, hands down, the sexiest looking trophy in the biz, on your shelf for all eternity.
If your work isn’t in here, hopefully these comments help you push harder. Any tips? Sure. Billboard was thin. But I still pass a kazillion billboards every day. Each one a chance to communicate in a profoundly new, amazing way. And if you’re positive your six-minute, Non-Traditional case video is pure gold don’t even enter. Go back and cut it in half. Then cut it in half again. Edit. Edit. Edit some more. If you can’t spell out your genius idea in under two minutes, is it really that great?
Hope you enjoy the work as much as we did. And it inspires you to next year’s gold. Good luck.
The first half second can determine success or failure and decides whether an ad creates a fascination or not. The outstanding works of the LIA 2012 have that fascination. They clearly reveal that creativity is the most effective communication. These awarded works should encourage us to believe in great ideas and to fight for them.
This was an experience of firsts for me. My first time in Vegas. My first time judging the London International Awards.
One thing I learnt in Vegas - no matter where you are, no matter what time of day or night, there is always a gambling table somewhere close by.
There is a similarity between gambling and great work. It is a mixture of risk and courage. You are not assured to win every time you play a hand in the casino, neither are you assured to win every time you submit work in an award show. However, the work submitted is often courageous and risky. It dares to go in unchartered territories by breaking rules and by convincing clients to take a chance. That link between risk and reward is strikingly similar between these two worlds colliding in Vegas.
One of the best parts of the trip was the business end of judging. Everyone's strong point of views on why they liked one piece over the other was not only engaging but thought provoking. It was great to be in a debate that showed just how seriously everyone takes this. My favorite piece of work was Nike+ 'FuelBand' which incidentally won the Grand LIA in Non-Traditional. It went beyond advertising, when an idea inspires people and in this case encourages a healthier lifestyle in such a simple way, it deserves recognition. The Solar Annual Report was another great idea executed brilliantly that stayed true to the essence of the brand. They turned a boring annual chore into an unforgettable idea.
On a personal front being one of the few women judging was an interesting experience. I felt rather special as everyone treated me very well. Judging for 7 days, 12 hours each was exhausting. However, meeting people unexpectedly from 20 years ago, in this case Sonal Dabral, was a pleasant surprise.
Hopefully in the future I can bump into my new jury friends that I've made in Vegas!
It was four long days of hard work, in which we reviewed every piece of work in order to make the best Book. That's what went through my head as we reviewed the Winners over and over again: we wanted to be able to publish an inspiring Book, a Book that would motivate people to keep working on this, or to join this community, and that would make us proud every time we opened it.
That is, at least, what I felt when we were including Nike's "FuelBand" in the book: it is the kind of project that makes you want to keep doing this job, even after 20 years; the type of project that shows that a brand and its communication understand the age in which they are living, that they understand that there is a different way to work in which client and agency seem to be one and the same.
I hope you will enjoy this book and, if you disagree with any of the winners, just think that the Wynn/Encore casino bled me dry; that might make you feel better.
I’m not going to lie. Judging was torture.
Oh, I’m not talking about having to spend 10-12 hour days over five days sifting through thousands of entries to get to the short, shortlist in four categories – then finally into metal deliberations. While intense and mentally grueling, that part was fun. (Not to mention being able to hobnob with some of the brightest minds in the industry over dinner.)
I’m talking about the fact that the room we were in was freezing cold, and we were separated only by a glass wall from the well-tanned hotel guests sipping Margaritas poolside in the hot, desert sun. Torture.
But despite all the distractions, caffeine kept us all going. And in the end, the work that was deemed worthy of a LIA statue was brilliant. You’ll notice it is either brutally simple or incredibly inventive; the common denominator being it is a great creative solution to a tough business problem, beautifully executed. It is the kind of work that people actually cared about – and not just by those in overly air-conditioned judging rooms.
My second year at LIA and I tell you, what a fantastic group you all are. Barbara, Patricia, Tony and Wayne... You rock. Our Jury President Steve Back did a masterful job of keeping us moving forward. ‘Sonal, please vote.’ :) We had three straight days at 11-12 hours per, plowing through the work. Carefully I might add. Hours of video submissions and piles of print. And I mean piles.
I love the Non-Traditional medium, it’s where you get to see people really stretching their imagination and pushing things out. The thing is, we should probably stop calling it Non-Traditional at this point in time. Because at the end of the day creating work that is out of the ordinary is what we are all supposed to be doing right? Just sayin’. As you see on these pages we were very hard-core about the awards we gave out. Congrats to the Winners. There was much debate about your work in the jury room. You should be glad to know that if your work is on these pages. It deserves to be. We were tough. As we should be.
Another year judging in Vegas. Why do I do it? (How do I do it?) I do it because there is no better judging experience in the whole of our business. Sure, we all have a lot of fun, not just in the casinos, but in the judging rooms themselves. Hats off yet again to Barbara, Tony, Wayne, Patricia and the rest of the team for organising such a formidable week. For bringing together some of the very best people in the business today. And not one asshole. The change in perception of LIA over the past few years is quite remarkable. And its future looks rosy too.
This year around 70 young creatives from around the world were invited over to Vegas, at LIA’s own expense, to attend talks and lectures from various industry alumni. And if that’s not investing in your own business, I don't know what is. I hope our enjoyment over the judging period shows in this book. We may have had a lot of fun but we were tough bastards.
Arriving in Vegas, the first thing I heard getting off the plane was a bunch of 20-something American guys holler in unison "Vegas, baby!" Inspired by 'The Hangover' they were clearly excited to have a shot at living out their very own version of the movie. I resisted yelling out "London International, baby!" but was nonetheless super excited at what lay ahead - the best work from around the world and catching up with more of the world's best creative minds all mixed in with the craziness of Vegas.
You'll see that almost all this year's great Integrated ideas are digitally connected and demanded collaboration between agencies to realise their potential. And the best examples both game change what Integrated Campaign means (beyond yesterday's channel definition) and what our industry's efforts can mean to people and society.
On the flip side, despite the collaboration of some of the world's best creative minds and attempts to use all digital means, this year's LIA Jury failed to make a game changing impact on the Casino's bank. Never mind, with great thanks to the fantastic LIA crew, we had no shortage of fun trying.
Damn, that was hard. There was a lot of good work to judge.
The NEW is a tricky category. But as a team, we agreed on a philosophy towards advertising and a criteria by which to judge the work. We felt that the work had to challenge convention and engage culture in a fearless, yet simple and unexpected way. And if the result was something meaningful, like Pepsi's "Bottle Light," it made for an even stronger idea. In a way, we looked at the work we awarded, as an example of work we hope to see in the future.
It was hard, but I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity. I left Vegas inspired by the work and by the people around me. Thank you, Colleen, Faris, Zolty, Gareth, Andy, Barbara, Wayne and the entire LIA organization. Congrats on a great show.
I don't accept many invitations to judge awards, but the idea of The NEW intrigued me. As more and more creative industries continue to churn out the same idea painted a different color, I looked forward to focusing solely on work that should be setting the bar of what it means to do something actually new.
The experience turned out to be a tad disappointing. In a time where a teenager can invent and build a space rocket in a garage, it was sad to see how few are pulling off work that has ** truly ** never been done before.
While we did find a handful of pieces that were pushing in the right direction, I put out the challenge to the world to go farther and create something that everyone can look at and honestly say "Wow. I've never seen anything like that before."
Judging was incredibly well-run. Seamless. Which is amazing given the make up of the many and various cool cats being herded into multiple rooms on tight timelines to view days and days worth of work. And the display of all the work was perfect, too. No glitches & hitches at all. Full credit to Barbara and her amazing crew.
Colleen, Tony, Gareth, Faris, and Zolty were all great companions on our three-day adventure into the world of ‘The NEW’. And I think the shortlist really stacks up: world class ‘solutions’, one and all, to every conceivable kind of problem. And varied solutions too: from ‘The Sound of Football’, ‘Bottle Light’, ‘Pain Squad’, ‘Mirainihon Project’, ‘FuelBand’, etc
I guess the only thing that was apparent was that we didn’t have to face ‘The Shock of the New’. ‘NEW’ is now the norm. And everyone seems to get it. So maybe we’ll have to wait awhile before things are really shook up again. I look forward to that moment.
The NEW was created to champion work that might show us new ways forward outside the categories of the past, and in that regard this year produced a broad, healthy crop.
Product/Service development like the Nike+ FuelBand is an area many agencies are trying to explore, but Nike and its agencies remain top of the field.
Brave social experiments like @sweden show the impact of being truly open, of representing the polyphonic nature of any community.
The Dove Ad Makeover is a particularly modern idea, only possible because of media buying APIs and exchanges, but still a creative idea at its heart.
And the Pepsi Bottle Light project showed the best of the aspiration of Refresh - granting scale to a little known innovation, creating change for the better in a way that can be rolled out in many countries, and providing an ongoing utility from product packaging.
The absence of a Grand LIA this year didn't feel like something was missing - rather that we had four very different pieces, different directions, that all deserved further thought.
The NEW is both the most exciting and frustrating category to judge in any award show.
It’s exciting because, at their best, the entries show a path for the industry in helping brands create new ways to make better and more meaningful connections with people. And this excitement is heightened because the diversity of the best work we saw clearly shows there is not just one way to do this.
The ideas may be inventive in the way they create new products, services and experiences (and with them, quite often, new revenue streams). They may tell, or even build, stories in fresh, interesting ways. They may be great examples of how we can hack advertising and culture in interesting and more welcome ways.
But it’s also a frustrating category to judge because the vast majority of the work entered shows how we as an industry far too often define ‘new’: an incremental tweak to pre-existing advertising formulas. We somehow take all these amazing new opportunities to better connect people with brands and turn them instead into opportunities to spam people more often.
I’ll leave you with one thought for next year (that may well be a result of being pummeled into submission by what felt like an endless barrage of highly polished and near identical case study films over the last three days). Might we perhaps make what we do more meaningful and move the industry forward faster if we took the time and money we spent in making highly polished ads for ads (award show videos) and instead invested this in creating truly better, fresh ways to connect brands with people? If we do, I think not only will there be even more exciting things to judge next year but we’ll also create a healthier and more welcome industry.
Thanks again for having me to judge.
Being on the LIA radio jury was an amazing experience. It was a funny combination of relaxed and intense. And listening to 700+ radio spots (several of them many times) with your critical ears on will sap your brain pretty thoroughly. But so much of the work was so inspiring, so creative, so innovative, I walked away really fired up.
I've been making radio commercials for a long time, and I love when somebody finds a way to use such an old medium in so many interesting new ways.
Some of the craft and writing was truly phenomenal. So many good lines I wish I'd written, so many beautiful turns of phrase. I was especially impressed by work from other countries that was so well-written, even the translations were poetic. I never get tired of that.
The chemistry on the radio jury bordered on bromance. Everybody took their job very seriously and still had a great time together. Even when we disagreed, everybody listened. Except Ralph. That guy was a TYRANT.
It's a rare experience to be able to have really intense creative discussions with other people in your field, from the production side as well as the agency side. And it's a nice feeling when you find out someone you respect has a high opinion of the same piece you do, and you think "Hey, I might actually know what the heck I'm talking about.
Imagine five bald/balding guys sitting on a veranda in Las Vegas, each attached to an iPod, blank looks on their faces, lost in their own worlds with radio spots floating through their heads. This was the radio jury – the black sheep of the London International Awards. When the headphones came off, the conversation was filthy, the humor puerile, a pack of trolls snorting at their own naughtiness. But we were lucky. The work was great.
I was totally impressed with the 700+ international radio spots we spent four days with. It was like the entries had already been vetted, leaving only the good stuff. In fact, there was only a small handful that were surprisingly ghastly. The rest ranged from delightful to haunting to Diet Coke-spewing-out-noses funny.
The innovations category was a big, fat surprise. Every entry in the category jumped out like suicidal, roadside chipmunks. Clearly the Internet has raised the bar in terms of creative approach to the medium. The Radio Ghosts campaign for drink driving awareness was chilling in its both concept and execution. (Eesh, should have picked another word.) Each finalist in this category could easily have won the whole thing.
The Mercedes campaign has really stuck with me. The ideas were absurd yet accessible. And the writing was firmly committed to the world it had created. I transcribed the scripts before I left and found myself just mumbling them aloud to myself later on. I’ve since used these spots in my voice acting classes. So well-written, everybody sounds good.
From this judge’s perspective, this show is exceptionally well run and the work is amazingly top-notch across the board. And those statues! They look like they could kick the shit out of a lion or a fat little pencil.
I've had a life-long love of radio. Yet, to my everlasting exasperation, it remains one of the most difficult mediums to do breakthrough work in. But this year, we heard remarkable ideas in the "Most Innovative Use of Radio" category. Ideas that were so brave, so ambitious, that they made you completely re-think the possibilities of radio. Those ideas also came from all different countries. That's why award shows are so important. We wouldn't hear them otherwise. So inspiring.
Judging the Music and Sound Category at the 2012 LIA Awards has been a wonderful and inspiring experience. For one, because all my fellow Jury members are great professionals, and there was a lot of mutual respect amongst us. We all work across global markets, representing the four corners of the world, which made our discussions very interesting.
The LIA organisation cannot be praised enough for their hard work and flawless support. My heartfelt respect and gratitude goes out to Barbara Levy and her team.
The initiative not to have an Award Show, but instead spend the resources on bringing in young creatives to the LIA Awards is absolutely brilliant, and should be recognised as such. The industry is much more helped by relevant discussions, and learning opportunities for a young generation of creatives.
I should mention that the work submitted for our Jury was mainly from the US and Europe, which I hope may change in the future. Being based in China myself, I am very much aware of the great work that is done across Asia, and it would be good to see it represented more.
Many of our decisions as a Jury were unanimous, which showed how strong our professional concensus has been. Impressed as we were by much of the work in general, I do believe that we had hoped to see more originality in the Original Score Category. I suppose it goes to show that in music, as in with anything else, it may seem 'safer' to follow a more trodden path. As a Jury, we have awarded great Craft when we came across it, but we were really hoping for stand-out original work that pushes the boundaries of our profession.
The two great Awards worth mentioning are the Grand LIA for Chipotle 'Back to the Start', and the Gold for Coke Zero 'A Step From Zero.'
The Chipotle commercial 'Back to the Start' is flawless in every aspect, and the music does everything music can possibly do for the wonderful story. Coldplay does not lend its music for commercial purposes, and it says a lot that the band gave their permission for this particular adaptation of 'The Scientist'. Willie Nelson is as suitably brilliant a performer as one could possibly hope for; the song underlines and strengthens the creative idea, and infuses its message with emotion. A Grand LIA, if ever we saw one.
Having been a songwriter all my life, the Gold LIA for Coke Zero 'A Step From Zero ' is one that is particularly close to my heart, as well. It is very rare indeed that a song especially written for a commercial comes out as amazing as this one. The song is very strong, highly original, musically versatile, and beautifully produced. It is up there with the best of current day music charts. The song puts the heart and soul into the lovely story and the beautiful performances by the actors. A much deserved Gold.
I look forward to more judging at the LIA, more great work, and more inspiring conversations.
It was truly an honor to be a judge for LIA this year. I must say the Music Jury was pretty fantastic and it is going to be really hard not to dislike them when we are competing for the same projects in the future. We all come from very diverse music backgrounds and specialize in various styles of sound, but during the process we came together and had some of the most creative conversations about our craft I have ever had in my life.
Quality time was spent discussing the work and getting into the details about what we liked or did not like. It was all about new thinking...we were really interested in seeing well executed, new creative ideas. We even birthed a brand new category called "Innovative Use of Music and Sound" with minimal pushing.
I had a favorite this year in the Sound Design category. Having a German studio location, we have had the opportunity to work on some really amazing work out of that country. One of my favorite advertisers is Hornbach because they are always very inventive and creative with their advertising, but even more specifically with the way they treat the music and sound design component. This year was no exception, and a spot entitled "Symphony" was one of the most inventive combinations of musical instruments, sound design and live action. The sound married the visual perfectly in my opinion.
Judging this show live and in person with my peers was very rewarding. It makes a huge difference to be sitting in a room together openly discussing the work. And hey, it is Vegas...can't beat that! And Vegas would not be complete without having an "only in Vegas" moment. This happened on the last night of course, before I had a 6:30 am flight the next morning...we'll just call it a P. Diddy kinda night.
This was the first year that I participated as a jury member for LIA and I have to say that it really was an incredibly fun, unique and rewarding experience. I was on the Music Jury and my fellow members were not only some of the brightest people in the industry, they were an absolute blast to hang out with. We were missing one female juror, which was a slight bummer, so it was all dudes, which actually was fun and funny, as it became a smart-ass fest at times, but really, when we were in the thick of watching and judging projects, these guys were insightful and incredible to debate with.
In the end, I feel like we came out of the session with a really smart take on what is truly the best work for this Music medium. We even ended up creating a new category, as there were a few submissions that were so compelling and innovative, that we felt they deserved something that reflected them more accurately. The LIA bunch, Barbara & crew, made the experience not only awesome from an awards or industry standpoint, but they made it amazing to be there in Las Vegas having a lovely time with fellow contemporaries. It felt like 'adult spring break' that just happened to be judging some of the best global advertising/communications work.
I'd do it again in a second. Thanks, yo.
It was a privilege to be part of the Music Jury. LIA is one of the few festivals that have a separate Music and Sound Design Jury. I would strongly recommend that you send in your best work to this festival next year. You can be sure that it will get the attention it deserves. A room full of music experts actually watch all the work together and spend three days discussing it. That's hard work, but the LIA staff were such great hosts they made this whole trip an energizing experience.
To me award-winning work should be work that raises the bar. Work that is inspiring, creative and innovative. Something that grabs my attention effortlessly and makes me go "Wow I wish I had done that!" We've been discussing the craft aspects versus the idea. Some of the craftsmanship was just so outstanding that it needed to be awarded. However, for the music or sound design to really shine it needs a great creative idea. We're in the business of creating original stories that move people. The winner of the Grand LIA shows how music can play a vital part in achieving that!
I always tend to evaluate my judging based on two criteria. Firstly, it is essential to be proud of the work awarded. In this respect, my experience exceeded any expectations. We had a remarkably generous selection base and, if one will browse through the Winners and Finalists, you will get a feeling of how tough this competition was. Secondly, I think you must take home something valuable from every judging experience. As “Integrated” as a category is being continuously redefined, there was a lot to learn in that jury room. And I did learn a lot.
Judging excellent creative work in the hottest, craziest, noisiest place you can imagine:
A place where the loses and wins at the gambling tables were discussed in the same way, as the juries discussed the loses and wins of LIA statues. Where the party sounds from the pool were so loud, we had to turn up the volume of the case studies to disco level too. Where night feels like day and day feels like night - thanks to the perfect climate-light-atmosphere control in the hotel. A perfect playground to meet the most exciting, inspiring, daring jurors and to review and discuss the most creative, courageous, outstanding work. A perfect "over the top"- frame for perfect "over the benchmark"- work.
But, what does integrated mean in 2012? The "Oh no, not again" question from all juries.
Is a product-idea like Nike+ FuelBand already an Integrated Campaign? Or should an Integrated Campaign still be a campaign with a purpose and a message?
Is a single powerful communicative idea enough? Or does it need to include various media channels.
Is an event (poster, PR-stunt etc.) which spreads massively online already a campaign? Or just an event (poster, PR-stunt etc.)?
The answer: a clear yes…no..maybe…
The result: the strongest work which left the biggest impression on us won. Like always.
The great thing about judging a category like this is how mind-altering the experience becomes. It's a total blast and wickedly inspiring. You're constantly saying to yourself, "Wait a minute. Hold on. Did I really just SEE that? Did they actually DO that? Is that even POSSIBLE? Hell, is it even LEGAL? I mean, how could they possibly pull the whole thing off and get away with it? Better yet, how'd they even think of doing it in the first place? The audacity. Those bastards.
These days, the Integrated category seems to attract big, ambitious, culturally influential ideas that transcend the assumption that it's all about checking off channel boxes. They're ideas that manage to escape past the guards of Sanctioned and Compliant Industry Behavior and dash towards that distant, lawless land known as Never-Before-Been-Done.
They're ideas that are so big and brazen, they demand multi-media expression. They're bursting to get out and be heard. And then they embed themselves in popular culture, society and conversation and somehow change the world forever, even if in a small way.
A business-to-business idea that ends up becoming an official, congressionally recognized day, forever and ever ad infinitum. Really? Or how about a campaign that, by the time it's released, features people who are already dead (by design). Whoa. Or what about feel-good holiday messages sent floating down jungle rivers targeting Colombian rebel fighters, asking them to demobilize? What the f@#%! Or a bracelet that monitors your every move, translates it into overall health and well-being data ‹ while simultaneously connecting you with the every move, health and well-being of thousands of other bracelet-wearers? (silence). The list goes on and on.
Truth is, this cateogory has become about so much more than media Integration. It's probably time to rename it. Maybe something like "Marketing Innovation meets Integrated Media Storytelling meets Societal Influence meets Cultural Impact." Catchy, huh?
I went as a judge and came back as a student. It was great to work closely with some of the best creative minds in the world: Amir Kassaei, Adrian Botan, Mark D'Arcy, Justin Drape, Jim Elliott, Tay Guan Hin, Malcom Poynton, and Doerte Spengler-Ahrens. Together we immersed ourselves in more than 200 unique 'integrated' case studies from many different countries.
We enjoyed, studied and interrogated these works using an instinctive, spontaneous and collective process. It was great to learn how advertising ideas are impacting society and nations, integrating into society and influencing culture and shaping a new world… thus redefining the nature of the big idea. It was most enlightening. In the end, you realize that an integrated idea is not about integrating across all media but an idea that integrates with society. It was epiphanic.
I walked away both inspired and humbled.
The work was world-class.
Our jury (headed by Amir Kassaei) was world-class.
The LIA hospitality was world-class.
And Vegas, well, that was just debaucherous fun in a class of its own.
Judging has always been such a tedious and mind-numbing affair. Compared to the usual dark rooms sitting on uncomfortable chairs, we were treated with generous space, ceiling to floor windows letting in natural light and lounging on a sofa much like a living room. When it came to debating the work, it felt like we were old friends chatting over a cup of coffee instead of judges trying to get our points across.
Funnily enough, the biggest debate we had wasn't for a piece of work but the definition of the word "integrated". Just because a campaign has multiple channels doesn't necessarily make it integrated. Perhaps a truly integrated campaign is when the sum of its parts build to form a bigger message that's able to integrate with popular culture. The final winners selected managed to do that and a whole lot more.