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.
Two campaigns that stood out for me:
1. Not an easy act to follow after the successful 'Share Our Billboard' campaign for James Ready, Leo Burnett Toronto continue to produce an equally engaging and fun 'Pop up Billboard' campaign this year.
2. Mercedes-Benz's special billboards allowed motorist to see potential hazards from around the corner, as if they looking through transparent walls, a great way way to demonstrate the PRE-SAFE® technology. A very smart idea by Jung Von Matt.
Hat's off to both agencies.
I also want to thank a marvelous group of judges, whom are extremely tough, unbendingly fair, and more importantly, insanely fun.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let me begin by praising the incredibly talented and nice organizers of LIA 2011. Thanks Barbara, Patricia, Wayne and Tony that you got it all together so well.
Digital has gone from being an underdog or niche category, to be the category that is most critical to the brand's existence. The awarded work this year are campaigns that have touched people far beyond the advertising and media industry. Whether that is on a television screen, computer screen, mobile screen or a screen out on the town is less important. Digital embraces all of us in our daily life nowadays.
Big kudos to all the hardworking people behind the winning projects!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Entertainment Capital of the World provided the perfect backdrop to this year’s London International Awards.
A highly talented international jury was welcomed to Las Vegas to judge the world’s finest ideas in Film. It was a privilege to chair such a truly outstanding group of people.
Technology is unleashing so much creative potential. As screens multiply, a new playground of opportunity opens up for all of us.
Film in all forms has taken on a new meaning in our industry. As people, we have a fascination with moving pictures. Film is entertaining, fascinating, sensory and enriching.
I instructed the jury to look for films that stayed with us long after they had finished. Brilliant ideas, flawlessly executed.
At the end of the week we had culled the thousands of entries down to a body of work that I am sure will inspire and ignite people’s imagination.
In the end, it came down to three exceptional films that each stood out for different reasons. And all used the art of storytelling to create moving pictures designed to move people.
The Guardian newspaper wanted to communicate the paper’s “Open Journalism” approach. The paper reimagines the classic “3 Little Pigs” fairytale as a much grittier drama, where the pigs are either the victims or convincing fraudsters – or both. The film powerfully illustrates the importance of open platform journalism in the modern world and tells a compelling story to demonstrate the news cycle in the digital age.
Chipotle’s “Back to the Start,” tells the story of a farmer who rapidly turns his farm into an industrialized animal factory, before deciding to opt for a more sustainable future. The power of the story is amplified by a specially commissioned cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” performed by Willie Nelson.
And finally a master class in filmmaking from Canal +. “The Bear” dramatized the subscriber television channel’s commitment to cinema. This film has become a pop-culture phenomenon. The more you watch Canal+ the more you love cinema. The more the jury watched this inspirational film the more it became apparent we had found our Film Grand LIA.
I would like to thank Barbara, Tony, Wayne and Patricia for their hard work, and to my fellow jurors - it was an honour to work with such a world-class jury.
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.
It's been a pleasure to be on the Jury panel of the London International Awards for the TV/Cinema/Online Film category this year.
On completion of judging, I found that those works which I gave high marks were also highly regarded by other members of the Jury. This made me realize once again that great works are great, regardless of which country they were created in or in which language the messages were delivered.
LIA’s judging system has all the TV/Cinema/Online Film judges, view every entry which is time-consuming and demanding, but a brilliant system as an award.
I'm hoping that groundbreaking works will be entered from all over the world including Japan for years to come.
Thank you very much.
There is probably no other city in the world that I link as strongly with a film as Las Vegas. Anyone who enters a casino here can easily picture himself in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven. You can practically see Danny Ocean and his pals walking through the Bellagio. From September 24 to 27, 2012, eight men, together with the film jury president Mark Tutssel, met at the Wynn/Encore to rate 2000+ commercials. Not surprisingly, the list of winners corresponds almost 100% with my personal favorites. But in Tutssels’s Nine it is not a SWAT team that hits the jackpot, but rather a bear with a French accent. And, in my opinion, deservedly so.
I learnt a few new things in Vegas. Firstly that you can win at Blackjack with as little as 12 or 13. Remember if the dealer gets a 5 with his first card you are in a pretty strong position. I also learnt what an interesting and entertaining man Neil French is. Vegas is of course barking mad and non-stop. But a brilliant experience.
The judging itself was superbly organised. And my fellow judges were a fine bunch of talented reprobates. A great trip and I stand by the decisions we came to.
There are things that happen in Vegas, that should not stay there, but needs to be shouted out for the whole world. The body of work that the film jury selected as Winners and Finalists in 2012, makes me really proud. Inspiring storytelling, great ideas beautifully executed.
There were times during the process when I felt that we are not, as an industry, setting the bar high enough. Then you start to see the outcome of the diligent judging. You start to see the wheat from the chaff. By the time we had awarded everything, I felt the book was better than I expected after the first day of judging.
I hope however that in the future we will start to see better integrated films. By this I mean films that not only interrupt (in a good or bad way), but also invite people somewhere to do something. These films could be doors to a bigger campaign experience. And even though they'd be parts of an integrated entity, they still were great individual pieces of work. We saw some of this, but I think that in 2012 there should be more of that – more interaction, but with a great idea and execution.
The Bear by Canal+: Great piece of storytelling. When the product itself is all about showing us great movies, it communicates this by creating a great film. It was second to none in craft and the idea is just lovely. Everything works. And the more you see it, the more you love it. Fantastic work.
The Guardian ‘Three Little Pigs’: This film makes me proud to be part of this industry. A traditional brand is embracing the ways of the new world and communicates this with a product demo based on a story in a beautiful way. This made me very, very jealous.
LIA: I have only compliments in my bag. The venue was great. I felt I was warmly welcomed and the jury was filled with exceptional expertise in this business. A truly great experience. It was hard work, of course, but at the same time everything seemed to function very well.
I also think it's a really good idea to lose the traditional gala and invite the newcomers in to have a chat. I had some really good discussions with the younger pros of the sport. At some point the floor of my agency will be wiped with my ass by a young brilliant mind – that's a simple fact. The more brilliant the young one is, the better. You created an idea to make the new breed shine more – hats off for that.
Please ask me to be on your jury again.
Serious contenders. Gold was obvious. Grand LIA was much more debated. A bearskin versus three little pigs, two blockbusters that carried the argument, for some, late into the poker room. The Bear won, not by KO. A beautiful piece of work anyway. Great storytelling, funny idea, amazing direction and editing, production value, every detail made perfect. A popular film you can watch again with the same smile on your face. All the ingredients to make it iconic. But this bear is not only a good piece of work, it’s another good piece of work for the brand. After many great TV commercials over the years, watching a movie on Canal+ seems to be a better experience than watching the very same movie on another channel. Another example showing that the greatest works build brands, they create connections and change perceptions. The three pigs could have won but in the end there can be only one.
I judged TV at Cannes a few years ago and it was pure torture. Sort of Guantanomo Bay with Rosé. This jury, on the other hand, was a delight. Yes, the days were about as long as they were at Cannes and there were far too many terrible 'long form' ideas (note to those people who feel that they should turn a half-arsed script into a self indulgent 15 minute short film to make it seem arty and interesting. You're not fooling anyone). But there were no politics on this jury, no block voting and no squabbles. Just a bunch of smart people from all over, intent on unearthing the very best of the best. Mark Tutssel kept us focused. Neil Dawson kept us amused. And Canal+ 'The Bear' was the worthy winner on the day. Thanks to Wayne, Tony and, of course, Barbara. A great week.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
I had the pleasure of judging two consecutive years on the same jury. So that offered an interesting perspective. Definitely less blockbuster spots this year. But still fun.
What I really like was that the jury was open to embrace just random weirdness. If we continue to work in a set of rules where everything has to make sense we are in danger of going around in circles. Sometimes you need to forget the rules to come up with something fresh. And it was those pieces that stood out the most to me this year.
Thanks to LIA for letting me be part of this judging process. Being surrounded by a bunch of great creative people made it easier to stay away from the slot machines. So instead of hearing dingdingding, we heard some great radio spots that deserved to get an award.
Whoever thinks radio is boring or a medium where nothing innovative can happen is wrong. This year's work proved it.
When it came to the medals we talked about each and every single entry that made it to the shortlist. And yes, we had some heated conversations.
(Is now a good time to thank Ralph van Dijk, for not just being a great jury president, but also being a strong man that kept us in check?)
But once there was peace and decisions that made us proud, we celebrated what the London International Awards are really about. The work.
It's a funny thing, being a judge – because judgments often end up saying more about oneself than about what is being judged. Those three days in Vegas judging the LIA's forced me, and I think forced all of us judges, to turn the mirror around and ask ourselves what great new marketing entails. What are we doing? What are we creating? Why do we show up to work in the morning?
The best entries were the ones that had at their heart not just a great idea but a great marketing idea: an idea that spawned new content, new tools, new experiences, new business models, new product innovations.
Take the Hot Wheels case, for example: they drove demand for their toy cars by simply creating (and selling) branded rolls of tape with track printed on them. Or the ultimate winner, American Express' Small Business Saturday: the marketing was the merchandise, and the merchandise was the marketing.
Hats off and congratulations to all the winners. Thanks for making us think - and squirm.
It doesn’t matter
LIA = London International Awards
LIA = Las Vegas International Awards.
or some of juries may feel
LIA = Liver Irritation Awards
But we, all juries, make sure
LIA = Leading International Awards
Another year is in the books. Long hours... Lots and lots of work... And an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the best radio ad people in the world. Barbara and Company are the perfect hosts and they take wining and
dining to a new level. An absolute pleasure. And if I take anything away from the weekend in terms of the work we reviewed it will have to be the surfacing of innovative uses of radio.
In my opinion, we've seen very little of that in a long, long time... And so last year we LIA judges requested that a new category be introduced: Innovative Use of Radio. I think the timing was fortuitous. Several entries blew me away for their out-of-the-box thinking. I found them to be truly inspirational and I'm excited to see what future work, and the resulting recognition they bring, do to bring more energy and 'heat' to the medium.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” - Bob Marley
Having the privilege to be a judge in the 2nd year of the London International Awards Music Category was a pleasure, an honor and distinctly different from last year in several aspects:
* The categories were re-defined, allowing the jury to spend more time judging and discussing the work, rather than questioning if something was entered in the correct category or not.
* The judges viewed all the work together vs. online separately, leading to a more dynamic and “in-the-moment” reaction to the work.
* The judges had experienced the process once before and thus helped shape the discussion and trajectory for this year’s judging.
Lyle Greenfield, this year’s Jury President, set a tone for the judging that created an atmosphere that led to inspiring, stimulating and dynamic conversation about the work. All of the judges are on top of their game and it showed during the discussion and voting for awards.
The LIA staff made the judging experience a great one. Not one technical glitch in a complex viewing and judging process, and as gracious as they could be.
Thanks to Josh Rabinowitz for teaching me how to play Blackjack.
It was refreshing to see so much skilfully crafted work in such challenging times as these - with budgets being slashed and less time allocated to each job. There are some very talented people in our industry and a lot of this work proves that.
Joining the jury for the Animation and VFX categories has been a pleasure and a revelation. The LIAs are surely the most comprehensive awards in our industry and this is reflected by the rigorous way in which the judging process is coordinated. The work itself was inspiringly varied and, in many cases, very high-end. Despite continued economic uncertainties, the best animation and VFX companies have shown that great execution is not only possible but essential in making a client's communication cut through. I think all of the work nominated this year stems from a simple idea dramatised by inventive technique and strong storytelling. I'm happy to see that those timeless values are alive and well.
Judging the LIA awards was a refreshing break from day to day production pressures, and a reminder of why we're here in the first place - to invent and create something that engages or evokes. I raced through the entries as quickly as I could, like speeding along a highway of work, images blurring past.
Every now and then something would make me slow down to appreciate it, and once or twice I completely stopped to admire the view, and shook my head in admiration. That's what great work does - it makes you stop and think, it inspires you to go do the things you want to do, pursue the ambitions you long forgot about, and reminds you that the journey needs to be, deserves to be, enjoyed as much as our destinations.
For all of the new techniques and digital innovation demonstrated in the entries, it remains the great concepts, the spots with genuine personality, originality, and character that impress by far the most. Even the technical craft seems to shine so much more when it's backed by a great idea.
As film makers we express ourselves and the world around us either by poetic or descriptive means. We obsess about telling a story from a unique viewpoint that will beguile and transfix the audience. Technique plays a pivotal role in how we achieve this very aim.
Judging the Cinematography category has not been easy - the level of achievement in this field has been outstanding. The cinematographer is the catalyst from script to screen. Until that first frame is shot it's only ideas, concepts, scripts and hopes.
Bernard Hermann once wrote "Music must convey what words cannot say". I think the same can be said of lighting a scene and the lenses we look through to impart an intimation that cannot be conveyed by word alone. It is an art form that is seemingly limitless in its possibilities.
Cinematography is also becoming a far more esoteric category to judge. With the advent of serious post-production VFX it has become far harder to know what is true to the camera. I was once told that a rule of thumb when judging cinematography is to look for the exterior scenes. Although this shows a good understanding of metering I feel that outside photography is actually incredibly limiting for the cinematographer.
Personally I love the moment when you walk on set, the lights go on and suddenly you are transported to a moment, a mood or a completely new world born out of illumination. This for me is where the true art lies, creating depth, scale, shapes, tone and mood to deliver a visual aesthetic that conveys an idea or storyline in a heartbeat.
Together with cleverly designed camera moves, intriguing use of lenses, dynamic frame rates and subtle metering the cinematographers world is born. It is a dance that when the timing is right breathes an incredibly vivid life.
I remember the early days of Photoshop as if it were yesterday. Somehow it’s difficult to find the right words to describe what I felt when I saw an artist manipulate an image on a computer. A friend of mine worked as a typesetter and had access to a Mac classic. Looking back, the screen felt not much bigger than an actual smartphone screen but supported only black & white with very poor resolution. Even Photoshop had no layers and general limitations were massive, it was obvious to me that this technique would change the graphic industry – and finally it would change my entire life. I couldn’t stop thinking what I would do with a machine like that. It wasn’t just a machine and an application that had been released – it felt like Gutenberg who invented the moving letter was reborn as a trio: Steve Jobs, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke (Adobe) and brought their invention directly to me – and for me. It felt they just redefined the entire universe.
I used to take photos, develop them myself and sometimes I added Letraset letters – character by character – handcrafted. Once it was done no changes were possible. Now everything felt possible – and more.
Today about 20+ years later watching the entries for the LIA TV/Cinema/Online Film - Technique, this specific feeling comes back sometimes. Technique strongly influenced the entire film industry and its creative output. Technique within the film and advertising business means much more than just correcting colors or retouching a film sequence. It gives us the ability to tell a story as is hasn’t been told before and to carry the audience where it has never been. And finally it is more than a pleasure to see that creatives out there don’t get tired of working on new looks, developing new techniques that turn unimaginable into extraordinary visual experiences and use this ability with a strong combination of taste, passion and faith.
Some of this years entries showed me again why I still love what I’m doing in a quite exhausting industry.
So make yourself a drink, lean back and enjoy the compact selection of finest incredible work of all the talents out there. It was really a honor to be a member of the LIA jury.
Keep on exploring folks!
Over the past few years of my involvement with the London International Awards, I’ve never ceased to be amazed by the talent represented, pulling together a diverse group of directors and cinematographers from all over the world. It was an honour to judge such a worthy pool of creative talent, and a great experience to see the work of my peers, some of which I might not have seen otherwise. None of us works in commercials for the sole purpose of advertising, we choose the medium because of the vast range of creativity it affords us, and I believe I saw that range well represented in this year’s entries.
In the current climate everyone of the animation and VFX nominations is kind of a miracle... the best of the work triumphing over challenging budgets and schedules. As ever the stand out work focused on conceptually tight ideas where the animation and VFX served a bigger creative idea. Well done all involved.
This was my first time doing LIA, and hopefully not my last. The great thing about juries is that you are continually reminded about the quality of your own work. You watch thousand of pieces of work in a row. You see something that’s maybe not that good, and you feel that little bit more secure, if not borderline smug. And then ‘Boom’. It all turns to custard. You see something great, something that makes you laugh, and think ‘I wish I’d done that’.
And that’s what happened in Las Vegas. There were some great moments. Enough to come back and give a report to my own agency. We were a great jury, fair and balanced. We worked hard all week. The only thing that went wrong was finding that one killer, gob smacking best of show. Maybe it was a bad year. We’ll never know. Either way there is great work in this book. Congratulations if you’re in. It’s an achievement. And if you won metal, that’s even better.
As for me, I’m back at home now trying to raise the bar. Serving on a jury does that to you.
It was a very interesting jury experience for me this year at the London International Awards. The first funny thing I noticed was judging the London awards in Vegas. I guess the weather is nicer in Vegas, or so I've heard. We rarely saw the sun and the lights replaced the moon.
The jury was first class. There was tons of work to plough through and debates over significant pieces only got more interesting and fervent as the hours passed. We all agreed there was nothing quite revolutionary enough to warrant a Grand Prix this year, but plenty of compelling communications that deserved gold.
Once again, Skittles was hilarious, IBM Watson proved innovation can talk, Domino's served a new topping called honesty and "who killed Deon?² used clever interactive videos to implicate viewers in everyday crimes. But no show stoppers, so no Grand Prix.
I'd like to send a big shout out to our Chairman Andrew who kept it rolling and made the week fun with his anchorman antics and talent.
Thanks to everyone at the LIA, the most high-tech, buttoned-up awards I've ever had the pleasure of doing jury duty for.
As I write this, the judging was three weeks ago. And the one campaign that stood the test of time in my overloaded brain was Sony Ericsson’s Product Testing Institute Campaign. We awarded it a gold. Not because it was a brilliant new concept. Or an executional tour de force. Frankly, it was a client’s dream - two minutes of hidden camera-ish product
demo. But the how of it was wonderful. A very tough jury watched all 6 films - each more than 2 minutes in length - multiple times.
(Note to entrants: just because you can make web films longer than :30 doesn’t mean you should. Our jury was so sick of lengthy blather, we awarded a few :15s for the sheer joy of short.)
Judging was fun. Andrew was a tough and kind Jury President. And the LIA people sure knew how to take care of us. I sure don’t get treated that well in my real life. Great digs and amazing dinners with talented people from around the globe (Hi Usagi! Hi Pete!). I never did get around to gambling, I was having such a good time talking. And learning.
What a privilege it was to judge the LIA's with such a world class jury. We had such a great diverse, low ego group that found itself quickly on the same page and happy to discuss anybody's point of view on the work when there were differences. I thank them for this.
Film and Integrated is my favorite categories - in particular Integrated - and I was honored to be asked to chair. Integrated isn't just about checking off a few different media types. It's about a big branded idea pushed through touch points that strengthen the idea and the brand at the same time. Purposeful choices of the where, the when, and the way a brand interacts with consumers all brilliantly executed is key. Of course it always comes down to that simple feeling in your gut of "I wish I'd done that". We saw a lot of great work and shared a few drinks and in the end we celebrated an industry that is bringing powerful change and innovation to business and culture.
I thank LIA - Barbara, Tony and Wayne and our jury for making it such an inspiring experience. And I congratulate everyone that did the work that we chose no matter what metal or mention.
This was fascinating to see so much work together and back-to-back. Whether it’s in the category of Directing or Lighting I was looking for the same kind of things…the ideas, the interpretation, the vision, the execution. Creativity is the lifeblood of our industry and in commercials especially many of these factors have to come into play and work together to make a great piece of work and ones that stand out and are memorable. This is why both roles are ‘crafts’ that require instinct, talent and more often than not experience; it’s like anything… the more you do it the better you get.
So inevitably when you see so many commercials together, the cream tends to rise to the top and this body of work was no exception; I won’t talk about individual spots but you can rest assured that the short list of finalists were more than deserving of their elevated status. There was some outstanding work this year. The only downside for me apart from a fair amount of mediocrity was there was a small amount of work that really wasn’t up to standard and should never have been entered. My advice? Save your entry fee…
Apart from that I had a lot of fun and found some of the work truly inspiring…
It was a long flight home from judging the LIAs. I slept well, for a change, thoroughly exhaustedly by days and nights of consideration and contemplation. And a drink or two, when it all got a bit much. But the first thing I did when I arrived back in the UK? I asked for a link to the shortlist.
I wanted to have all that brilliant work, close at hand, all that genius from around the world, captured in a precious stasis, in video amber. Gollum could keep his magic ring. Except, unlike Tolkien's corrupted soul, I didn't want to keep it, I wanted to share it... send that link on to everyone I knew... "have you seen this...?"
LIAs, for your inspiration haunts my every waking hour... and for that, I'm grateful.
I was not sure what to expect of The NEW Category, since by its very definition, it would always contain work that does not quite fit anywhere else. What I discovered was an inspiring body of inventions, large and small, which disrupt society in positive ways. Our small group of judges, all of whom inspired me, took the challenge of judging The NEW on with
gusto, spending time sketching ideas around criteria as we judged the work. We soon entered a flow where the work impacted the criteria as much as the criteria impacted the work. We were especially excited by work that evidenced a partnership between Design + Technology. We found that the best work involved different types of ‘hacks’, that would force people to examine the familiar in new ways. It’s great to have a category like this, one that can birth future categories like product innovation and interactive installations. The NEW is like a little speedboat that will set the pace and course for where we are headed. And based on the selected work, things are looking very bright, indeed.
Three amazing days among radio royalty – probably the highest concentration of creative talent and radio savvy I’ve ever experienced. It was a privilege to be in that room.
And it was a tough room. Only the best of the best made it through; this jury was merciless with the merely-very-good. But to put things into perspective, every single one of the hundreds of entries was better than most of what I hear on my daily commute.*
It wasn’t a year for new landmark campaigns. But it was definitely a year for variety. We gave statues to, among other things, a seven-second hot sauce ad, an HIV PSA promotion that wasn’t a “commercial” at all, and a good old-fashioned poop humor spot.
I was especially gratified by how hard everyone worked to assess the non-English entries. When they come with clunky English translations and/or performances, it’s easy to be dismissive and unfair. We were not. And we discovered some gems.
Hats off to Ralph for his impeccable leadership and insistence on 11am lattes. Mad props to the IT guys and their ingenious judging technology. And thanks, especially, to Barbara and Patricia who know me so well but invited me nevertheless.
* With the noteworthy exception of one breathtakingly tasteless car campaign that was probably scammy anyway.
What an instructional, and inspiring experience. I was honoured to Judge.
What impressed me most was the fact that there was no guarantee to be in this book, even if you scored high at other award shows in 2011. Every piece of work had to earn their merit all over again.
Which makes the LIA a very independent, bold and therefore very special and tough competition.
Be very proud, if you are in!
A big "Thank you" to Jaynata's iPhone sound-library, Pablo's temper and of course to Barbara, Tony and the whole LIA staff. Sorry for hating The Beatles :-)
Maybe next time.
Las Vegas is an exciting place to judge an advertising award show. Although instead of windowless rooms pumped up with oxygen we had sunshine, a swimming pool and fresh air. Well, during daylight hours at least.
There was a good spread of work from around the world, arranged on long tables. And experienced players prowling cagily around them. With winners as rare as a slot machine jackpot.
The jury was, however, generous with its time and comments. Every word of copy was read. Every video watched. The judging technology proved a help not a hinderance. And everyone involved made the process go as smoothly as possible.
Ultimately, despite what was happening just outside the judging room, it was ideas and execution that prevailed. Not luck.
Overall, it was an unbelievable experience. It was such an honour to be part of this group of talented people that I look up to and an even greater honour to sit side by side with them as judges for LIA.
The whole judging experience was astounding. The organization of the event made it easier to focus on what we needed to do. Judging isn't always easy considering the amount of creative work that was submitted and the hard decisions that we had to make but it was all worth it.
The talent that is out there is unbelievable. It makes me want to work even harder, knowing that other people in the industry put so much smart thinking and effort into making their work amazing.
I loved every single minute of it. And to top it off, I gambled for the first time and walked away with 400 dollars in my pocket. All in all, a pretty amazing week.
First a few words of thanks for the warm and careful reception we had during our stay in Vegas. While much work was done, the atmosphere and the care with which we were treated made those long working days a very pleasant time. This time I would say that: What happened in Vegas - should be known out of Vegas.
What we found about the work, and took us many hours of discussion, is that most of the time the cases were average ideas that were presented with too many explanations and turns.
And the reason we only chose a single Grand LIA is very simple. Most of the work was good and solid. But only the winner of the Grand LIA stood out much more above the level of the others. The gap between this work and the other Statue Winners is so great that it had to be the Print Grand LIA.
I had a great jury, smart and very well selected. I want to thank them for their intelligence, good humour and patience. I believe the results we achieved are fair. And I'm happy with that.
The Music Jury in 2011 was comprised of leaders in the field, including Partners or Owners from 4 major global music houses, 2 Major Advertising Agency Music Producers and one client from the Music and Production Side. The debate and final decision process was thoughtful, respectful and certainly dynamic. We felt as a group that overall the Music Adaptation Category had more depth than the others, although the other categories had some strong entries as well. The judges were impassioned about the work and gave equal consideration to everything. It was a sincere pleasure to be part of the Jury.
All hail the leisurely consideration of some of the best work in the industry. As a judge, the best part of LIA is having the time over several days to sit in a room, with a number of your peers and consider the work of still more peers, in a leisurely, considered way. Ultimately it becomes very self-reflective. And that's a good thing, because it ups your own game. We all spend so much time in our professional lives evaluating or pushing ideas that we have vested interests in, that the opportunity to review work where you don't have a dog in the fight, is sort of the ultimate professional luxury. It's all face value. There's no back story and no agenda. It's just the work. And again doing it in a conversational environment, rather than a dark room with a clicker makes LIA one of the better and more thoughtful judging processes I've ever participated in. And then of course there's Vegas, but that's a different story.
The Judging Experience 2011 / LIA Awards, Music:
In the 26-year history of the LIA Awards, this was year 2 for a sperate jury judging in the Music and Sound categories. I was excited to be a Juror the first time around, and honored to be Jury President this year, along with an extraordinary “supreme court” of professional colleagues whose experience and credits are unmatched in our industry. I bow to their genius and passion!
Over all, our judging went smoothly, with no fist fights or gunplay— though there were a few heated exchanges. Well hey, a lot of what we do just “hits you” (or not) in a visceral, subjective way. And that’s okay—it’s supposed to.
Here’s an example: A brilliantly simple and graphic commercial for Absolut Vodka called “Absolut Alembic” had been submitted in the Sound Design category. Without a doubt the unique electro-percolating sounds scoring the eloquent liquidity of the visual were artfully “designed”. And yet they were also musically arranged, creating an unmistakable progression of musical notes. This fact caused our jury to enter into a vigorous and lengthy discussion over whether the spot should be moved from Sound Design to the Original Musical Underscore category. And that, at long last, is what we did. (Which partially explains why we drink vodka.)
After our Jury had completed its work, I was asked if I’d detected any particular “trends” in music based upon what we’d seen / heard. Challenging question! At first I felt inadequate to the task of summing it all up. And then I realized that one of the things that had impressed us most about our list of ‘finalists’ was the extraordinary diversity of musical styles and influences. The work was not enslaved by any obvious directive (‘Make it sound like a club track!’ ‘It should be like an indie rock band!’).
Instead, the spectrum of musical styles, genres and interpretations was vast and invigorating. I was often startled, thinking to myself, ‘Shit, how’d they come up with that?!’ Or, ‘I wish we’d done that!!’ That’s a good thing, right? A few examples: The mesmerizing use of solo cello as a rhythm instrument in the entertaining VW Passat “Change Room” spot; a ridiculously funny show tune called “Love Your Vagina” for Mooncup; the exotic, chugging arrangement of a traditional Indian folk song performed by a Bollywood-style choreographed chain-train of men-in-motion for Indian Railways; the way-over-the-top R&B sex-you-up ballad send up for Bundaberg Five; the heart-pounding, nerve-wiring deconstruction/rearrangement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major for the FIAT “Toluca” film …
Sometimes I say It’s amazing what you can see with your ears. At this year’s LIAs, there were amazing sights to behold. Check ‘em out, turn it up and you’ll see.
The surreal and sprawling spirit of the place clashing with our ambitious debates about the most creative and valuable works for our industry made this event a very special one for me.
In order to find the category leaders in the expanding and ever evolving stream of the digital we had to discuss the hyped vs. the real, the technological stunt vs. the timeless, the beautifully packaged vs. the profound, and the cerebral vs. the fresh and simple.
I am honoured to have had the chance to participate in this debate with a group of splendid people. Thank you. And thank you LIA for making this happen!
You know just like a fruit tree that bears a great crop every other year, this year felt not like a vintage year for digital. Techniques dominated the entries and it seems people are tirelessly trying out all sorts of stuff just because they're possible. Connect it to Facebook or Twitter or both with a live feed through an AR app and stick the results in an awards film…
I was missing the simple executions, simple ideas and stories, the work that makes me feel faint with jealousy. Nevertheless we found some real marvels in the 822 entries. And one thing stood out for me: all the gold winners had on some level appeared “in the wild” outside our ad circles, penetrated popular culture, be it the campaign for the The London Metropolitan Police Anti-Knife Crime "Who Killed Deon?" or the incredibly infuriatingly amazing Edding Wall Of Fame site. Both pieces were made for real people and had real impact.
We also came up with some new categories that might be worth considering for next year: Best Use Of Face Embedding Technology, Best Use Of Robot, Best Use of Old School Flash and the My Kids Loved It category.
Thanks for having me LIAs. I will never forget the giant country singing frog. Ever.
Environmental design saw a surge in entries this year. Even the typography category revealed a number of spatial designs. It’s indicative of graphic design’s has moved into larger-scale and more extensive forms of communication. Designers have more freedom than ever to choose the most appropriate media for their message, and they’re thinking a little bigger to get that message heard.
As wonderful as creative freedom is, it can be tough in this expanded world. Audiences are often no longer wowed by a brochure, poster or website in isolation. Working across platforms means the creative team needs to be at the top of their game in every field; the ‘master’ rather than the ‘Jack of all trades.’ That requires multi-disciplinary experts and real vision to get these different backgrounds on the same page.
The winning entries were full of big, holistic thinking, communicating on many levels, and often in surprising places; out in the parking lot; in store changing rooms; on the basketball court; even in a fantasy tailor shop. Hats off to thinking beyond the page and screen and embracing communication in its broadest sense.
One overarching theme in Design and Package Design was that many of the creatively strongest entries were more about the process and opening this up to interaction with consumers or co-creators, rather than the crafting of the end-result. So there is still great opportunity here for the design industry and design-savvy brands to do more in classic brand identity and package design, and do it really well. Even if the media landscape is changing and creative discipline boundaries are moving there will always be a need for strong, simple ideas, that combine function and form intelligently to create innovative designs that make every day life a little more understandable and beautiful.
Thank you once again for a very hospitable and inspiring few days in Vegas!
What stood out for me among this year's entries was the strength of activations for integrated campaigns. This was achieved in both permanent and temporary environments and installations that thoughtfully explored the use of different technologies married to more immersive brand experiences. The tech and media seemed to play a more supportive role in creating personal, memorable experiences rather than being a draw of its own less gimmicky and more integral to the concept. The experience Nike created for kids to learn the signature moves of their favorite basketball players employed tracking video, green screen technology, and personalized posters as take-aways that brought technology and learning in a powerful way.
It wasn't all about media and technology at events though, across many categories, there was evidence at the top of very thoughtful applications of design for print. For instance, the Homemade is Best cookbook was an excellent example of a smart concept married to beautiful photography and engaging design. It tapped into Swedish baking culture as the focal point of a campaign to promote IKEA kitchen appliances. Just ink on paper, but I wanted to try them all.
Define design? I wouldn’t dare. Many smarter than I have tried, but like US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who wrote "I know it when I see it" when challenged to define the term pornography, I am challenged to define design as a category when faced with thousands of entries spread across a large ballroom in a Vegas casino.
As jurors on a tight schedule, we must follow our instincts—choosing which entries will move through the first-round elimination and which will be slid unceremoniously under the judging tables never to be seen again. At that moment, a potential award-winner is one that catches the judges attention, an instant stand-out in a sea of disparate communications comprised of an odd mix never intended to be seen or considered together.
In consumer communications, design can mean everything and nothing, similar to other offering terms like brand, innovation and digital. The granddaddy of all—advertising—is being used less and less as it suggests an old or limited way of doing things. Each of these terms requires qualification by any user for a coherent conversation with a new acquaintance. In the broader cultural sense, design can refer to indie band t-shirt artwork, or can refer to "intelligent design," a Creationist term referring to a truly robust offering led by the supreme "intelligent designer" who directed creation of, well, everything. Thus, the conundrum: design can refer to a big picture, organizing principle or an end of the food chain tactical execution. Defining design as a category in an advertising award is challenging and a little convoluted, but the confusion accurately reflects the role of design and designers as an offering and occupation in the consumer communications world.
This year we received a large number of design entries in the temporary Environmental Installations/Displays - brand activation category. Many were strong brand executions on their own merit, but some were specifically targeted activations in much larger integrated campaigns. The inclusion of so many of these entries alongside the more traditional graphic design entries resulted in not only longer judging periods, but also required the jury to consider design's role more broadly than the conventional category pillars of the awards process.
Design, like art direction, photography, etc. is inherent and active in most every entry across all categories in the competition. I missed seeing web design this year in the design category. It must have been relegated to the "digital" category. I’m feeling ghettoized. This brings the observation: as the traditional advertising industry desperately tries to evolve, as campaigns become more "integrated," as brands experiment with moving their traditional one-sided communication with consumers to multi-channel "conversations," multi-disciplinary creative teams are required to work together seamlessly. Maybe we should consider multi-disciplinary juries.
I wonder what would happen if the juror mix in one of next year's categories resembled the dynamic of a typical juror’s breakfast table. Jurors filter in—some stagger—each morning and sit at one of the big round tables overlooking the “European Pool.” We all seek solace and strength in coffee, tea, bacon, homefries….. A few jury pals find each other and sit together, but the tables slowly fill with a mix of chatting jurors from all disciplines present.
We may represent different disciplines, but we are united by our creative professions and as judges by our desire to seek out and identify work that inspires us and possibly makes us a bit jealous. But each discipline does have its own language, its own shorthand. I wonder what type of conversation—or heated debate—would ensue if next year all of the designated gold and grand prix winners were submitted to a jury comprised of one person from each of the categories. What would the awards be called?
Another year in the wonderful company of Barbara, Tony, Wayne, Patricia and their team. Another year of some amazing work. Another year of staying up a little too late. Another year of debating what Non-Traditional is. I hope I get to come back and do it all again another year.
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 !
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!