I have been privileged to be able to be the Jury President at the London International Awards 2014.
The Design and Package Design Jury had a world-class panel. It was great to be in the company of experienced judges who worked hard and took their duty very seriously to award the best in the show. Good debates were had by our strong and opinionated panel and all had the ability to hear an argument from somebody else's view and were even fine with being outvoted. The winning pieces reflected innovation, great concepts and a high level of craft.
This year we decided not to give a Best of Show - a Grand LIA. Even though there were several outstanding pieces which certainly deserved being awarded statues, we all agreed that there was not one single piece that one would refer to in years to come as having changed the industry.
Looking at all the winners this year, it was clear that design has a powerful place to play when integrated in all media where it has an influence in making the work more powerful, distinct and memorable.
Design is as powerful and relevant as ever.
This was one of the most difficult judging sessions I’ve ever been associated with. Not because I was the Jury President (my first time). Not because the judges were difficult (Lizie, Mel, Jon, Jesse and Raphael were cool like DJ Kool Herc). Not because the work entered was bad (there was a lot of work I wished I had done).
But, because this was LIA’s first Branded Entertainment Jury ever dedicated solely to Branded Entertainment, and so we wanted to set the tone not only for LIA, but for the rest of the ad world.
Given this task, I noticed that we were very stringent with our rules and regulations in determining exactly what was and what was not Branded Entertainment.
Because of this, you’ll find a lot of work didn’t make the cut. Not because it wasn’t mad dope, but because it was deemed a traditional TV commercial or a piece of content (there is a difference between branded content and branded entertainment).
While there were other criteria, the one box that would move the work to the head of the class was when we felt someone would pay for it. And by pay for it we didn’t mean would a client pay for it. We meant would a consumer pay money to see your movie? Would ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX pay you money to produce your TV show? Would a cat who just bought an iPhone 6 spend money to download your app game? Would a radio station NOT accept your money and play your song simply because it was off the skillet?!
Fortunately, there was work that was worthy of Gold. Unfortunately, we didn’t feel anything was worthy of a Grand. This had less to do with the quality of the work entered, and more to do with this new medium and more of our peers wrapping their heads around exactly what Branded Entertainment is.
God willing, our selections, along with my explanation above will help.
That being said…
AKQA London’s “Nike House of Mamba,” Dentsu Tokyo’s “Sound of Honda,” Jung von Matt Hamburg’s “Supergeil” for EDEKA, JWT Bangkok’s “Secrets” for Oriental Princess and CAA’s “The Scarecrow” for Chipotle were all in the conversation for a Grand.
Godspeed - Jimmy
Firstly, thank you to Barbara and the LIA team for such an enjoyable and rewarding judging experience.
It was a privilege to chair such a world-class jury and I’d like to thank them for their eminent expertise, their commitment to detail, their passion for the medium and for being such entertaining company over the judging period.
There were hundreds of entries for the Jury to consider. With days of audio and case studies to sift through.
Judging at the LIA’s is thorough. Every piece of work is heard by every judge so nothing slips through. When it comes to statue discussions – every piece of work is debated, discussed and considered – and every juror has a point of view.
From the more traditional work, we saw some neat, tidy spots, which were executed with confidence. A self-assured Subaru spot that parked itself prominently in a commercial break, an M&M’s spot which had the confidence to let the ‘pauses’ play the story – and the success of the Energizer Lithium spots, (featuring a heavily accented voice over) depended on some very brave, confident casting.
While quality of concept and skillful execution are still held in high regard amongst the traditional spots, this year the radio category was redefined to reflect the increasingly important role of audio as it expands across digital and non-broadcast platforms.
As advertisers look for new ways to reach audiences it is refreshing to see a growing number of entries embracing innovative use of audio. There were entries targeting people under water, in tunnels, on phone loops and even one entry targeting extraterrestrials.
The statue winners this year showed confidence. Confidence in the concept, confidence in the craft and a confidence in the medium to innovate.
No Grand LIA was awarded this year. Not because there was no entry worthy of it – but because there were multiple entries worthy of it. As a jury we could not single out one of these Gold statues and elevate it over another.
It is with great pleasure that I share with you my thoughts about this year’s LIA Non-Traditional competition. This award is symbolic of the most innovative and ground-breaking thinking and it is, without a doubt, the category that gives the world a glimpse into the future of our industry.
As technology continues to change how the world communicates and interacts, future-facing agencies are embracing new ways to reach people.
Every person in this industry finds themselves in an exhilarating new universe which presents us with an infinite canvass and a world of limitless creative opportunities.
The jury was looking for ideas that broke the mould. Innovative, beautifully crafted ideas that reshape the way the entire world thinks about brands and business.
We as a group of jurors were spoilt for choice. Nestling in this category were the finest ideas of the calendar year – Internavi “Sound of Honda/Aryton Senna 1989”, ABTO - Brazilian Association of Organ Transplantation “Bentley Burial”, Harvey Nichols “Sorry I Spent it on Myself”, British Airways “Magic of Flying”, P&G Always “#LikeAGirl”, and Foot Locker “Harden Soul”.
We are in the ‘Business Transformation Business’. And there was one ingenious idea that completely broke with tradition, and in doing so, created a whole new business model, transforming the fortunes of Intermarche, the third largest supermarket chain in France.
They had an incredible non-traditional idea to cut down on food wastage (we throw away 300 million tons of food every year), by deciding to sell (30% cheaper) the non-calibrated and imperfect fruits and vegetables – the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot and the Unfortunate Clementine.
This brilliant Grand LIA campaign is saving tons of edible food from going to waste while making us all reevaluate the consumer culture.
Every supermarket in the world should be doing this immediately.
The results of this brave, audacious idea demonstrates how communication has changed over the years; campaigns no longer need traditional channels to be impactful and create human value.
Non-Traditional is a blank canvas, one that is stripped of any pre-conceived notions of what a communication idea should be.
It was a joy to judge.
I would like to thank Barbara Levy and Wayne Youkhana for the immaculately executed judging process. LIA is one of the world’s finest festivals of creativity.
And last but not least, the Jury. They were simply world-class.
Teaching and mentoring are things we talk a big game about doing, yet budgets and time usually become an excuse not to follow through. Allowing young creative talent to observe the final judging days was a fantastic idea. It kept us positive, thoughtful and respectful when it came down to awarding the prizes. And we hope they all learned a thing or two about what it takes to create something special.
The first Gold was for Nike’s “House of Mamba.” It seems like it's only a piece of creative technology, but it’s an experience that connects the fans and the players on the court like nothing before. Being a huge sports fan, it was like seeing what a game might be like in the future. And that made me smile.
The second Gold was for Samsung’s “S-Drive.” We all know that influencing a change of habit is the hardest thing to achieve. If you take the insouciance of young people, the freedom they associate with driving and the social connectivity enabled by smartphones, you’ve got the worst possible equation. Where there could have been nothing more than a lecture about safe driving, the brand managed to activate the audience by bringing to the driving experience an actual value that resonated with young people.
As for the elusive Grand LIA, while both of these winners were amazing, they also won in other categories. Of course, they are “new” for their categories, so either could have been awarded. But are they new for the world? Does that matter? It’s a fine line, but in our collective opinion, we thought it might be better to keep the bar for this category at an almost unattainable height. Almost.
The 2014 Production & Post-Production and Music Video Jury were a tough group. Debate was heated, loud (Laura T) and valuable points of view were fearlessly expressed. Content was brought back, elevated and occasionally demoted.
From the huge volume of entries this year, the shortlist was clearcut and the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were all unanimous winners. Chipotle “Scarecrow”, Volvo “The Epic Split”, Lacoste “The Leap”, Lurpack “Adventure Awaits” and Dolceca “Swimming Mangoes” were all stand-out favourites.
We decided not to award a Grand LIA this year, as no project got the 8-hand, no-quibble vote of passion a Grand LIA merits.
So, job done. President signing off with a big thank you to the LIA team for inviting me, and to my co-jurors, Andy Gulliman, Cecilia Salguero, Stefan Fruth, John Spary, Laura Thoel, Rob Galluzzo and Anna Fawcett, for giving their time and expertise.
A couple of years ago this category was named Integrated and after long discussions and a lot of thoughtful arguments we the Jury and LIA decided to rename it in to the Integration Category. Why?
Because we believe that this category should not be about Technique.
Because we believe that this category should not be about coordinating an idea through different Media Channels.
Because we believe that this category should not be about Craft and the Basics.
Integration means that you have to come up with an innovative solution for a marketing problem in a way that this solution, this idea has the momentum and the potential to integrate itself in to society, culture and communities.
That is a very high bar but that is what LIA is all about. Setting the highest standards for our Industry.
Nevertheless we will continue to discuss and rethink this category to make sure that we are capturing the whole essence of Integration in all it’s different aspects and forms.
I hope you can agree with our selected Winners and hope that this list of amazing ideas will inspire a lot more ideas which will prove that an idea is only a great idea when it integrates itself in to our culture, society and communities.
I felt a big need for the Jury this year to really understand the relevance and greatness in the things we awarded. That might not sound like rocket science as it’s something that’s always a critical criterion in judging.
But it is a bit different at LIA. They find a bigger spectre of creatives and people in the jury tend to view the work with different glasses, which makes the judging special compared to many other shows. And it did turn out different – with the big mix of experience and talent in the jury room we all looked at things from different perspectives and angles.
That sent a lot of stuff away, even in the first rounds and what was left for statue voting were campaigns where you could easily spot the greatness. You could understand why it was good, what made it great and engaging – whether it was made just to be entertaining, a useful tool or an inspiring piece of craft.
And yes, the Grand LIA – this amazing piece of work out of Dentsu Japan for Internavi, proved that even the most advanced, and for most people confusing (read impossible to understand) piece of technology, like telemetry data, can be made engaging and inspiring for everyone. With the combination of high tech digital features, like a million lamps, sounds from an IRL race track and a bad ass Formula 1 driver, the Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989 Campaign literally blew our heads off. We never even discussed another Grand LIA, and we all went home thinking we had to do better, work harder and be a little bit more Japanese in the way we craft things.
It goes without saying that I believe music and sound are of primary importance. Of course, every aspect of the production and post-production processes are important from the initial creative concept, filming, editing, animation/VFX, music, sound and final mix.
What I think separates and elevates Music and Sound above all else in my view is the global nature of music. Music and sound are truly our only forms of universal language. An image by itself may be viewed as comedic by one culture or community and that same image in another culture or community may be viewed as incendiary. Music and sound, when well executed, tend to bind and bridge cultural and communal differences. I love working in an art form that constantly re-invents itself.
I have nothing but positive things to say regarding our 2014 LIA Music & Sound Jury panel. A majority of the submissions were great and worthy of consideration.
We had a spirited group of jurors with varied experience and opinions. After an initial day of getting to know each other amid different individual personalities, we consistently had some of the most intelligent and thoughtful conversations about music, sound and media I’ve ever been a part of.
I enjoyed my role as Jury President. Facilitating discussions amongst this group was quite easy because of everyone’s depth of experience in the field of music and sound.
It was an honor to award a Grand LIA this year to Creative Artist Agency for Chipotle “The Scarecrow”. Truly an amazing piece of work that was indeed worthy of LIA’s highest honor. Fantastic song choice, song adaptation was flawless and the combination of the two worked to elevate the overall creative concept of the project. Amazing work – plain and simple.
Holding the LIA judging in Las Vegas is something quite unique. Unlike the corporate feel of other shows this one allows the juries to relax, intermingle and swap stories and ideas in an environment that essentially doesn't have a handbrake. The TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury embraced this atmosphere, no one was afraid to speak up, there were no agendas and like me, all they wanted to see was the best work getting its due recognition.
Also, having young creatives experience the judging first hand so they can see and hear for themselves the passion jury members have for great work is a great innovation and adds to the integrity of the awards.
One observation was there were fewer mega budget block busters in traditional film compared to past shows and more well crafted films of stunts, but really the jury focused on the important stuff, a brilliant idea or story that was equally brilliant in execution.
The judging was more like a filtering process that through multiple viewings allowed the good work to get stronger and the weaker stuff to dry up and blow away into the Nevada desert.
The work that made the shortlist was exceptional, to get metal the film had to be outstanding. The international make-up of the Jury brought a ton of experience to the judging and as a Jury, LIA couldn’t have wished for a better group. Well done to them and well done to the winners who have truly raised the bar for all of us.
Three campaigns stood out for the Film Jury when it came to awarding the Grand LIA. In no particular order, Honda’s great piece that brought Ayrton Senna back to life in his Honda powered F1 car around the Suzuka racetrack, department store John Lewis' beautifully animated Christmas campaign featuring a Bear and a Hare and a very funny campaign from Old Spice that showed how a guy's hair could get great results for them when it came to attracting the opposite sex.
As funny as it was, the first to be trimmed from this select group was Old Spice, leaving Honda and John Lewis to slug it out for the top gong. From the first round of voting for the Grand LIA, the jury was evenly split but after much discussion there emerged a clear winner.
Whilst Honda's effort was captivating, imaginative and beautifully crafted, it was felt that Senna’s Power of Dreams had not substantially moved the Honda brand on. Probably due to the fact that Honda has had in recent years a history of dazzling campaigns that have not only raised the bar for them as a brand but also for our industry as well.
On the other hand, Bear and Hare for John Lewis was seen to be a braver approach. Instead of an idea that championed what was available in store as every other retailer was doing during the most cluttered advertising time of year, they went out with a fable selling the joy and magic of Christmas. This film had everything going for it, a brilliant idea, beautiful animation, a wonderful music track and to cap it off it was also outstandingly successful from a sales and business point of view. All this added up to making Bear and Hare a deserving winner of LIA’s TV/Cinema/Online Film Grand LIA.
If tomatoes are a fruit, wouldn´t ketchup technically be a smoothie?
The great thing about Jury work is that you sit together with the creative leaders of the world and can deal with great questions like this. And others too.
What is the status quo of Print and Outdoor in the year 2014? What is the criteria that makes it worth a LIA Statue or even the Grand LIA? What is the direction that is groundbreaking and trendsetting for the future?
Every LIA Statue awarded is an indicator for where communication should go, an influencer for future solutions and a motivator for creatives.
So what was the work that cut through the clutter?
First of all, the work that combined new technology with maximum emotion and impact - for example the “British Airways Billboard” from OgilvyOne London. The world’s first ever billboard that reacted to planes flying overhead. Something truly engaging to remind us all how magical flying really is – with a little boy pointing at the real planes live.
Second, the opposite: the work that challenged and changed the use of regular outdoor-media spaces in a new way. Like for example the “US Open Tournament” by Leo Burnett Toronto. It literally translated tennis into communication by creating a billboard that only used tennis balls. A highly eye-catching and buzz generating piece of communication from the heart of tennis: the tennis courts. Or like the OBI DIY-Store “Renovated Billboards”, in which facades of houses were renovated – but only in the exact size of a regular advertising billboard – to advertise how nice a home could look with the tools from OBI. Both examples were also beautifully crafted and lived from the combination of real handcraft and new thinking.
Third, pure idea at its best. The “Human Traffic Signs” from Lowe China Shanghai. Where, as part of the Buick Road Safety program, this print campaign features real traffic accident victims to warn pedestrians and motorists to avoid the same disasters. The victims’ amputated bodies, or the family of the deceased, say it all as they pose as human traffic signs. Or the “Wall’s Campaign” by DDB Latina Puerto Rico, where in the most simple and therefore most striking way the sweet treat a Wall’s Ice Cream can help you to overcome things.
Last but not least, the beauty of craft. Like the “NY Lottery Campaign” by DDB New York. Great insight, copywriting and illustration at its best.
So, why do people say “tuna fish” when they don’t say “chicken bird”?
A question our jury could not answer. But the real question is, what is the world’s best benchmark and trendsetting work?
And please allow me to add in a sincere and respectful way, that this year’s jury experience - working together with the best international creatives was the best one I ever had.
LIA has an outstanding judging process and inviting young creatives to watch and listen to the judges deliberate is a stroke of genius. I won't be surprised when other international awards shows follow. Barbara's pure commitment to creative and craft is not just refreshing, it’s humbling.
The LIA does an amazing job of inspiring young creatives in the industry. The chance to hear the stories and insights of industry leaders is invaluable. But I think the thing that makes it really great is that it's more engaging than just hearing a speech or talk - there is a conversation between young talent and industry leaders throughout the week, and the leaders benefit from hearing what the young creatives have to say as well.
The thing I love about being on a jury like the juries at the LIA is the discussion with the other judges about the work. It's always so interesting to hear the perspectives of smart people about what work is really pushing things forward, and where the industry is going, so for young creatives to be able to hear these conversations first hand it is an awesome experience. Also, it was great for us as judges to hear the perspectives of the young creatives at certain points in the judging too. There were a few great points made from the young creatives watching the Integrated Jury Metal Discussions.
The LIA (Radio and Audio) judging is structured to make sure that the judges really have time to consider the work. We all hear the work individually, with our own devices, so we can take as much time as we want to listen and re-listen to things, go back through translations for foreign-language spots, or whatever we need, on our own schedules. Some shows are very rigid, and everyone listens to all the work together, which can be slow and frustrating. For the final round to award trophies, there is a good structure, but the jury president (in our case the immensely talented Jo McCrostie) has the freedom to invite discussion or let people champion particular pieces of work they feel the jury has unjustly overlooked. It all makes for a lively, intense process, and everyone walks away feeling like all the work was given its due. As a judge and a student of great radio, that’s very satisfying.
Last year, the decision was made to expand the Radio category to Radio and Audio. That may sound like a minor thing, but the industry is changing so quickly, with so many exciting new ways to use audio beyond just traditional broadcast, that it was necessary to be inclusive of all the great work out there, and as a judge, that really helped. We got to hear really innovative things, and consider them in the right context.
I cannot remember ever attending an award show that didn't talk about the future and how its giving the world (okay, ad folk) a glimpse of it. One show is going beyond the rhetoric. The LIA's.
LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ is rather unique and could well end up doing more good for the future of our industry than the efforts of larger shows. Without question, they spend more time and a great deal more money on the very people who'll be creating that future: sixty of the world's brightest young creatives.
LIA pays for them to fly to Vegas during the show's judging. They house them, feed them and design a week of inspiration around their existence (If only we were so lucky way back when).
These hungry young sponges do not just absorb, they give as good as they get. It's a pleasure to be on the receiving end. They even get a chance - the only one I've ever heard of - to watch the juries deliberate the metal rounds. (They're sworn to secrecy during the proceedings and get to comment and question after the fact.). It's brilliant. Hats off to all the dedicated folks behind the scenes making it happen. Any and all of us a bit longer in the tooth should support this show in any way we can. Believe me, we get out of it just as much as they do
When you’re new in the business, being exposed to talented people is invaluable. Usually, you have to be lucky enough to find yourself in an energetic, successful environment, surrounded by fellow creatives who are both good at what they do and generous with their time. Or, as I discovered this last week, you can be a young creative invited to LIA judging where you get to watch, listen and learn as the industry’s best, break down and evaluate thousands of ideas.
I think there are things some of the other shows could learn from LIA in terms of how they involve young professionals in the process.
LIA brings together meaningful juries of top notch experts in each discipline and the discourse is always, at least in my experience, lively, thoughtful and pretty deep interactions and discussions. This is my third Music LIA Jury and I've been equally impressed with the make-up of each one. Kudos to LIA!
This year was my first involvement in judging at London International Awards. I was a bit concerned about being in a room watching spots all day with people I didn't know - but I have to say it was an amazing experience! The quality of the work was outstanding and often inspiring. The discourse with the other judges was really interesting and engaging, we had a great time and there was some healthy discussion all around. I also enjoyed the group events with cocktails and dinner, I really got to get a feel for the organization and hang out with the young creatives.
Once again the LIA has gathered together some the most recognised creative leaders of the advertising industry. The enviable list of jury members is a credit not only to their position as one of the top Awards but also the scrutiny that is applied behind them…. to win here is a huge achievement as your work is seen and judged by the very best ! Ask yourself which festivals give something back to our business and you'll then start to appreciate why we should support LIA. Sixty young creatives are flown to Vegas to attend intimate talk sessions with a plethora of Global ECD's, Chairmen, CCO's, Exec Producers, Clients and Entrepreneurs. Its informal, relaxed, inspiring but most of all its an investment made in our industries future and unique. This year the standard of entries remained very high indeed particularly in Direction, Editing and Cinematography and the ability to recognise the diversity of work with multiple golds, silvers, bronzes, etc. is a testament to the fact that merit can be shared when due. Animation and Music Video entries had obvious winners as did Production Design. But in spite of being genuinely uplifted by quite outstanding work in times of cutbacks and compromises the Jury decided that the Grand LIA should remain it its box. As for Vegas: the saying goes 'what happens here, stays here' but judging by some of the girls around the roulette tables I have a feeling that many guys took something home with them !
I was happy to be part of a great Jury with very smart, fun and passionate people. We all took really seriously the job we were doing and the discussions over the work we were judging were really deep and interesting. We were strongly committed to making the best work prevail. I left Las Vegas super inspired.
Having just returned from a week in Vegas, I can reveal that there was more to Sin City than featured on any of the 'Hang Over' movies.
I was invited to attend the LIA event as a Judge on the Music Video and Production and Post-Production jury; a full four days of watching and accessing the work, which was a pleasure and not a chore thanks to the LIA judging system and the professional characters that made up our jury. During this week, I spent time with a great set of people who are all captains in relevant parts of our advertising industry.
But it was the ‘Creative Conversations’ that I found the most inspiring. This is the LIA's Educational Initiative and way of giving back to the industry. Gathering 'Young' Creatives together to attend inspirational seminars will obviously educate and make the 'young' more powerful, but I believe its fundamental benefit is that it has created a community that will remain connected whilst their careers grow.
I wish I'd had that on offer when I was 'young'.
I enjoyed beeing a Part of this great Award. Such an amazing idea to fly in young Creatives from all over the world to participate this and learn for there future Advertising world :-) Thanks again to Barbara, Patricaia and her wonderful Team
As a Judge, LIA is one of the best Awards. It goes like clockwork. The system in place to vote and tally is first rate. At the end of the day you can meet up with everyone because LIA organises dinners and get togethers for everyone to socialise. It feels like a community and makes the week very pleasant and stress-free. Creativity is still the most important part of this festival, and it shows.
Thank you so much for inviting me as a member of the TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury this year. It really was great fun and a great experience for me to judge the LIA. It's different from other award shows that I have been judging; unlike Cannes or any of the others. I like your people and your hospitality. Our jury members were really great and experienced people in judging awards. I liked the freedom we had on judging and how helpful LIA was on the judging process. I even like the dinner that you set up for all the jury members to meet and chat. I would really love to be here again in the future in Las Vegas.
As for the young creatives, I did talk to the Thai girl who participated in the ‘Creative Conversations’ event this year. She told me, this is the best thing in her advertising life. She said, it was really a rare opportunity for her to sit in the Jury room and hear the discussions from the best creatives from all over the world, talk about works and great works.
Sharing so many working hours with colleagues from all over the world in such an incredible place, i.e. Las Vegas, has been an unforgettable and truly productive experience. There was a really laid back and pleasant atmosphere where all of us jurors, trying to bear in mind cultural differences, had to come to a conclusion regarding the best advertising and value local ideas at the same time.
Moreover, I think the fact that there were some young creative admen present to validate our votes was very significant for the jury: we had to be didactic in our line of argument and clear in our decisions. I just hope that the experience was as productive for them, as it was for us, the jurors.
To the young creative: Everyone has a unique approach to things. Hearing from well seasoned folks gives you fodder to consider as you (the young creative) develop your "uniqueness.” Hearing how work is evaluated purely on its creativity is most important. It is a good reminder that you are doing a form of art. The great pieces of work that are awarded have a high bar for the craft and execution and delivery of an idea. There are very few things that have gone through compromise. Your career will be filled with compromises, but never forget your talent and why your being paid as a creative. You have an artistic expression others don’t.
Bringing the young creatives into the trophy voting is an amazing idea. It's when the jurors are most vocal and passionate. It's the pointy end of the whole session and when the smallest margins determine success or failure.
This is an impressively run show. The TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury this year was tasked with watching a massive number of ads in a small space of time. It was a small and intimate jury so by the end of the show we were like brothers in arms having completed a tour of duty together. On the plus side you'll have great war stories to tell!
What sets LIA apart is the caliber of the judges and the fact that young creatives from around the world are invited for a behind the scenes look at how the show operates and how the judges come to their conclusions. What an amazing opportunity. To get an audience with a speaker like Rob Riley and hear his story and what he looks for in recruiting talent and what it takes to be the best - that is real motivation. I think it's great that the young creatives are brought in to listen to the judges debate the work, to peel back the curtain on the subjectivity. At a certain level, the differences between say a Bronze and a Silver can be one vote. I think it shows just how hard it is to win at LIA. The work that won was vibrating at such a high level, that it almost felt effortless. Of course, everyone involved with bringing that work to life knows just how hard it really is to get something truly exceptional out the door.
Barb and her entire crew are top shelf folks. They run a great show and it was an honor to be a part of it. Congratulations to all the LIA winners. You deserve it.
What is special about LIA?
LIA judging was like climbing up to the summit starting from a field of many colorful flowers. Selecting a few percent of finalists among the variety of creatives and awarding a Grand LIA to only one of them - the jurors’ opinions are not always in agreement, however, I was impressed by the integrity of the uncompromising view points in judging. They were “original”, “heart moving”, “having something new” and “intricate”.
To what depth of mind level can we move people’s hearts? In judging international awards, I often keenly realize that it is not enough for commercials to move the targeted market. Needless to say, those creatives that only move the market superficially cannot be competitive. They have to be something that can move the market from the depth of the heart. To be extreme, the creatives need to awaken the market with strong impact and should remain in people’s memory for a few years with deep insight, thoroughly considered creative ideas and intricate production. By realizing this, these creatives can maintain a good branding in clients. I was struck by this obvious notion here in LIA.
I think it is different by category; but I was very impressed by how fresh and efficient the voting process was. We all sat down on a U-shape sofa, looking at a single monitor and voted, using an iTouch from the first to the third screenings. Needless to say, the final winner was selected in an analog way, by raising our hand after further discussion. I thought this was fantastic!
*We voted all day from 9:00 to 19:30 with a lunch break. Finally, the next morning we had the summary count to look at. We all appreciated the LIA IT staff and their fantastic work.
Nowadays, it becomes common that such traditional media including TVCM, Design, and Poster collaborate with new interactive media. On the other hand, it remains important that we create something that can move people’s hearts by believing in the power of TV, Poster, and Design alone and by elevating the level of perfection in each medium.
The Grand LIA winning TVCM this time was only a part of an excellent Integration Campaign including Digital. However, seen as a single TVCM, its level of perfection was very high and so heart moving. Featuring the festive feeling of Christmas, this TVCM delivers a message that “something appealing to people’s hearts can cross over times, not only nationalities”.
This is a trivial thing, but I realized that if you want your entry to make it to the final judging, the subtitles should be big enough and long films should be good enough. Also, you have to be careful, case study videos are not judged in this medium.
*Inspiration for Young Creative
What was really remarkable was that young industry professionals could attend all kinds of lectures, covering different categories, not based on nationality or culture, while also observing the final statue discussions.
One question though. It is the London award, so why is it held in Las Vegas? Is it because by avoiding such an expensive city, like London, they could invest in events like ‘Creative Conversations’? Plus, maybe someone loves casinos.
I've had the honour of serving on many award show juries. The one thing that struck me most about sitting on the LIA Radio Jury was it's intimate size (there were only five of us). There was a trust and respect established right out of the gate because our size required active participation by all. In fact, our "David" size was responsible for the "Goliath" discussions about the work - a dig down deep gratifying experience like no other. The net submitted works were examined, cross examined and then re-examined and ultimately awarded by unified agreement - the jury was pretty much aligned on all fronts.
Judging Radio at LIA is such a unique experience (and I don't mean because you get to do it on a patio by the pool). It’s three parts a solo experience and one part group effort. What's really amazing is that by the time we got to the group discussion and metal round, we were all on the same page - a testament to great ideation, craft, story telling and an intimate jury of five who, because of our size, dug down deep and really rallied around the gems that stood out. When you think about it, most people's radio listening habits are not dissimilar to that of the LIA judging process; when you listen to radio you're more often than not, on your own - if what you've heard resonates then chances are you're discussing it as a group around the water cooler?
We discovered ideation without border, innovation that celebrates where we as an industry we are headed, and craft often met with, "I wish I'd done that". Radio is such a wonderful opportunity medium for clients and creatives alike; when done well, no screen in the world can compete with theatre of the mind.
LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ gets you closer to the most respected names in the business. You’ll learn from them professionally, and see what makes them tick as people. It’s like a backstage pass to your favourite gig.
You get to see the top ECDs from around the world in action - actually judging the work you or your agency have entered.
In one judging session, you’ll learn how to appraise your own ideas more effectively and understand what judges want.
With smaller groups, the judging is more robust and thorough than many other shows. You can’t hide or go with the consensus. You need to justify every vote you provide.
LIA is an extraordinary show that is well respected around the world. And as it is out of the immediate glare of pressure and publicity, it gives judges more time and space to think things through. It’s also interesting that when we are there, surrounded by so much excess, the advertising is the most sober and straight-laced thing in the city. It feels like we are retreating to the library every day, while outside there’s live re-enactments of The Hangover, Oceans 11 and Casino Royale. That’s the charm of it.
The ‘Creative Conversations’ are brilliant. Having young creatives observing the Statue Discussions is a fantastic idea, which shows worldwide should adopt. It’s about time we went beyond the darkened room idea and took the mystery out of the debate. Creative Directors tend to be pretty articulate, so there are always interesting discussions at metal stage. Knowing we are ‘on the record’ might just make us more accountable and lead to better results.
The judging is so well organized and everything technically works. I love how international the jury is, you truly get representation from every part of the world and I always learn something from hearing judges with different perspectives from their various cultures speak.
This is my first time judging LIA and seeing it first hand I have to say I am absolutely blown away with LIA's commitment to the young creatives. The programme they have put together definitely is unique. The excitement and energy coming from the creatives is as extraordinary as it is inspiring. It reminds us all that we have a responsibility to help educate and guide the younger ones around us. I for one, have had some marvelous guidance throughout my career and still do. It's the only way to learn and improve and something we must all pass on.
What I love about LIA is that it doesn't just celebrate the end result of excellence in creativity, it also celebrates the whole process.
The most unique bit about LIA judging is having the young creatives in the jury room during Statue Discussions. During this, they get to see how hard it is to win a Gold here (in fact how hard it is to win a Bronze!). And if they can learn to cross examine their own work in the way they saw a jury do it here, then their work can only get better.
The LIA judging process is unique, in the way it allows young creatives to sit in on the final phase of judging, when it is decided which of the shortlisted ideas move up, and which are Bronze, Silver and Gold - and most importantly, why. There was much discussion, amongst our jury anyway, which would have been quite illuminating, I am sure. And during the breaks, they also have the chance to meet and talk to some of the most important creatives in the business, which must be hugely inspiring.
LIA is doing an amazing service to the industry by inviting young creatives into the room during the final rounds of judging. They get to hear the leaders of our industry debate work and share insights on what is truly special and what is merely very good. This peek behind the curtain will no doubt give these young creatives an experience that will make them wise beyond their years.
I didn’t have time to attend ‘Creative Conversations', but I can definitely say that they’re good for young creatives from all over the world. It's a really good opportunity for the young to get some nutrition from the legendary figures in the advertising and marketing industry.
Sitting in on the judging process is beneficial to young creatives because this is the only Award Show where they get the chance to experience and hear the valuable comments from creative gurus on each works selected.
Thanks again for the great Las Vegas Experience. And, by far more important, making a difference in the award shows world. Judging the LIAs does’t not feel like punishment or a waste of time, it’s also a personal learning experience. The relaxed atmosphere, the small juries that lead to worthwhile discussions, the idea of replacing the awards show evening by inviting young creatives instead. All this makes the LIAs stand out from the too obviously business-focused competitions. And each of you make the LIAs what it is. Not another cxxxxx competition, but THE ONE AND ONLY. Generally ad shows are about themselves, the past, and yes, let’s be honest, money; pleasing all the ad-industry-warriors with either Gold, Silver or Bronze infusions of self-importance, while they lick their wounds. With the implementation of the ‘Creative Conversations’ the LIA dare to look forward and make an honest contribution and financial investment to the future of our global tribe. It makes a lot of sense to me, as a contemporary award show should not be about judging brand stuff alone, it should be a brand itself. This makes LIA stand out. Of course, besides this, Las Vegas isn’t one of the worst places to be.
In the name of the „industry“ (ugly word): thanks.
LIA was a fantastic judging experience. Having the young creatives involved in the judging process really kept us on our toes.
An audience was a great way to make sure we clearly expressed our reasons why we thought a piece of work was great or not so good; so not only was it beneficial for the young creative, but also for us old creatives.
I left much richer from the experience of judging with such a wonderfully smart jury, but poorer (monetary-wise) due to it being held in Las Vegas.
Judging industry awards in the craziest city on earth is perhaps the most sane thing we could do. The audacious idea of building an adult playground in the middle of a desert makes you appreciate how conservative so much marketing is today, whilst the excesses of Vegas remind us why its so important that we strive to work with brands to do good and meaningful things for the world we live in.
Speaking of meaningful, amidst the past few years of technology and data hubbub, it's easy to forget our industry will only be as good as the next generation of creative leaders, not the next technology platform, algorithm or data set. Ultimately, it's the ideas and designs led by the next generation of creatives that will move consumers to buy, subscribe or contribute to brands in ways we're yet to discover. Sure, the new wave of digital technology and data will play a role, just as technologies like TV and Radio did their bit last century. When it comes to connecting brands with consumers, it’s how you use these things creatively that counts.
So while award shows and our week of judging focuses on the best of what's come before, it's exciting to see LIA's ‘Creative Conversations’ program throw a spotlight on what's yet to come. ‘Creative Conversations’ is a series of intimate conversations between some of the world's foremost creative leaders and around 70 'under 30's' gathered in Vegas from around the globe. Held during the week of LIA judging, this year's attendees even got to sit in on several of the juries' 'metal' discussions, hearing first hand the points of view that decide Grand Prix from Gold and metal from mere Shortlist. What a fantastic investment in our industry - we owe huge thanks to LIA.
The inspiration and insight was written all over the next generation’s faces. And the same goes for the LIA jurors after the chance to chat with the next generation over lunch each day.
As for the work awarded this week during the 2014 LIAs, it's every bit as exciting and is sure to spark even more widespread creative conversations, especially as we see today's creative ideas push the definitions of categories at every turn.
Congrats to all those behind the winning work - here's to the inspiration it offers for whatever and whoever comes next.
One of our agency’s young creatives got to participate in ‘Creative Conversations’ last year. The highlight for him was being a fly in the wall in the judging rooms. What a great way to inspire our industry’s next generation of creative leaders.
- "When is the award night?" One of my colleagues in Israel asked me.
"There is no award night." I answered.
- "So, it's taking place in the morning, then?"
"No. No show".
- "No show...Hmm...so they probably make loads of money. Way to go LIA!" (which is such an Israeli thing to say...)
"Well, they do spend the money, but on something else. They have established ‘Creative Conversations’, which is an educational program for young creatives from all over the world."
- "That sounds nice. So, what? Do they print some kind of a book? Online lectures? What?"
"They fly them over to Vegas."
- "Fly them over? To LAS VEGAS???"
"Yep. All 60 of them. Fully paid. 5 days filled with talks and discussions with the global industry's top creative people, taking place in a gorgeous hotel in Las Vegas during the LIA judging week, so they get to sit in on a judging session and statue discussions, mingle and connect over cocktails, dinner and some low rate Black-Jack tables. Isn't that amazing?"
That was one of the few times an Israeli (and an ad-man) was left speechless.
This year I was honoured by LIA to send "kids" of my own - two young creatives from the Israeli advertising industry, to experience, learn and better themselves and local creative agenda.
‘Creative Conversations’ is such a unique program that invests in the next generation to keep on improving this industry, that for us is far more than a profession. It is a way of life. It is upon us, the old farts of the industry, to share everything we have worked so hard to learn, with those to follow, so we'll know that creativity is in good hands.
When you judge a show like LIA, you quickly realize how many incredibly smart, talented people there are in the world. I consider myself to be a highly opinionated person for better and for worse, but found myself truly swayed by many of the brilliant articulated cases made both for and against work. I am honored to have sat in the same room with such a great group, the young creatives included, because many of the points made by them were as astute as any.
We had young creatives sit in on our Statue Discussions and I think we got as much out of it as they did. All week we were battling with the definition of our category that we were judging: Integrated vs. Integration – awarding great work across numerous channels vs. awarding great ideas that influence and integrate into society even if they were just in one channel. As the young creatives came into the room we asked them their definition of our category and they played back the exact issue we’d been battling with and had some great opinions that helped how we judged the statues. In discussions about work that felt small, but had great social implications, we asked the young creatives’ opinions and they reminded us of our responsibility as jurors to promote ideas that could change the world for the good, no matter how big or small. Even in Grand Prix discussions we included the young creatives, and they had great input. I think back of myself as a young creative and think how invaluable siting in that jury room would have been. Kudos to LIA for helping grow the next generation of creative superstars.
By inviting young creative talent from around the world into the very heart of the awards show, LIA has done something unique. It's certainly the first time I've ever sat on a jury, in which the decisions and discussions were being followed by an audience of young creatives and in tandem with the ‘Conversations’ the creative teams have throughout the week, it's an invaluable exposure to some of the most senior thinkers in the business. As a juror it was also a lot of fun. It's the kind of experience I’d have given my eye or teeth for as a junior.
Digital is one of the categories in which the initial selection of the work can be done remotely. Instead, LIA chooses to have the Judges be on location, which fosters discussion as well as the opportunity to get to know industry peers; I had an amazing time being part of it.
I was quite amazed to learn about the opportunity LIA gives to the young creatives with the 'Creative Conversations' program.
Inviting young creatives from around the world to learn about the creative industry through lectures and attending statue discussions differentiates LIA from any other awards show organization. Being a young creative, it is a chance of a lifetime to meet industry leaders and see some of the best work of the year in a casual and social manner.
Most of all, young creatives get a great impression on how to make a convincing case around a piece of work by seeing the level of finesse and effort that goes into explaining a project. Submitting work for award shows like LIA is part of the job that they are interested in pursuing.
It’s a great idea to bring the young creatives in to observe the statue conversations. Most creatives don't see the inside of those rooms until much later in their careers, and until then you're left to wonder how that process unfolds. By allowing the young creatives to witness the deliberations first-hand, LIA is giving the next generation an inside track in their understanding of what judges gravitate towards and the kind of case studies that resonate. I think it was inspiring for them to not just see the work, but to also get a better sense for how best to tell their story.
The LIA, is truly a unique experience. The idea of bringing all the judges face to face starting with the 1st round is clearly the way to go. It allows all the judges to really discuss and talk about the great work. The event is one of those unique experiences you can't get anywhere else. Meeting peers from the industry around the world and most importantly in the week, I've made some good friends.
'Creative Conversations' is a wonderful program that LIA has created. Rarely do young creatives get to engage with senior creatives from around the world in such an intimate setting. This program allows young creatives to truly see behind the curtain, seeing the way we think, and hearing the questions we ask. It also allows the young creatives to ask us hard and personal questions they rarely get a chance to do in a workplace environment.
Not only were there world-class speakers and thought leaders at the LIA, what I think is amazing and that I hear from the young creatives is that they get access to these speakers, and that that exchange of ideas that happens really sparks some interesting conversations that really makes an impact. The young cowrie creatives have an opportunity of a lifetime to discuss, provoke, fuel conversations and acid test their own ideas and thoughts on the industry and where it might be headed; all In Las Vegas. Imagine that!
Listening to us judges discuss and judge work will help young creatives to better understand what makes an idea great, and what separates them from the good. There are a lot of clever people judging, myself not included, and listening to how they dissect ideas is something everyone learns a great deal from. I learn a ton on every jury I sit on. Also debating what makes an idea great will greatly help them to faster get to better ideas, I believe. What also must be quite inspirational is to learn how much time is spent discussing the potential winners from a bit more of a conceptually robust point of view. Debating the dna of an idea probably either sounds incredibly interesting (if you’re interested) or like nonsense. You have to treat all submissions with a lot of respect. And mind you, this isn’t rocket science. It’s far more complicated than that.
I think that the most important thing for creatives is to be able to respect people (audience, client and team) in the RIGHT way. To do so, you should HEAR everything carefully. It is more important than to speak. You don't need to have the "God's Eyes" to create something, but the "God's Ears".
I was able to have a very productive week thanks to an outstanding jury team and staff members who provided us with a very pleasant environment.
As a Japanese juror, I felt a little sad, because there were not many entries from Japan. However, I feel that the works that should be evaluated were evaluated properly.
Congratulations to all the LIA award winners.
I was truly honored and lucky to be a part of such a great jury.
It was actually a fairly large task to go through over 1,100 entries individually, but the unique jury setup at LIA allowed the judges to truly bond and learn from each other. That afforded us a depth and breadth of understanding the work, which in turn allowed us to debate the relative merits of the work and discuss how our industry uses this ever evolving medium.
I really like the way the LIA flips conventional awards shows upside down and doesn’t actually feature an awards gala. Their commitment towards highlighting and inviting young creatives to attend the judging week is inspiring, because nurturing the next wave of talent in our industry is something we should all have a vested interest in.
Just wanted to drop you a note to say a big thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the LIA Judging 2014. I had such a great time, met some amazingly inspiring people and saw more good work in 5 days than ever before. Thank you LIA, for not only inviting me to Las Vegas – nice – but also for giving me the opportunity to chew the fat with some of the world’s most creative brains.
Our jury was indeed full of smart and fun loving people from around the globe. We bonded over a few beers and tested each other’s passions with heated discussions debating the merit and quality of many entries. From the thousands of ideas we saw there were many that aimed to solve some of the world’s social problems, which was both inspiring and humbling.
There were also those who ventured to Tinder in order to market their message hoping to grab the hearts of the juries, but we unanimously swiped left in favor of awarding the chips to an idea that married telemetry, technology and sound to create an emotional reincarnation of the world’s fastest Formula 1 lap.
It is a breathtaking idea to ask young creatives to join an official jury session. There are no harder discussions and more real advertising life to discover than in a room together with a couple of ‘big heads‘ trying to filter out in cyberspeed the best work out of tons of crap.
In a few words, the festival organization, jury and every single detail was impeccable. I had a great time. Being on the design jury was a surprising and lovely experience; such talented and nice people.
LIA has been taken to a super high Level; no politics, its just about the work, the good work, and the Design jury worked hard to put the best, very best pieces together. It was very inspiring being part of this group, seriously.
Judging was fantastic!
The level of the work submitted was astonishing, and I loved my jury group. Diverse in all aspects - it was a miniature of the world - and extremely professional. We fought our wars, yet all agreed on the winners in the end. We even agreed that we should have an agency together, the seven of us - that’s how much we enjoyed it.
I also had a lot of interesting discussions with the other jury groups, Digital in particular, and it is always very interesting to see how the category perspective can change the way you look at a piece.
With LIA bringing in this amount of superstar talent, I can’t see how the festival won’t continue to grow in both size and reputation.
I was selected as a juror by LIA for the first time this year.
My specialty is package design and I give “utility” more priority than design itself or its concept. I always try to design with meticulous care for user-friendliness, texture, quality of material, from users’ point of view.
Package Design is the category Japanese entrants exhibit highest quality and there were many entries from Japan. My judging went into details reflecting my daily operations as an art director and a package designer.
However, most of the other jurors of this category were directors from design companies and agencies and their main focus in judging was purely excellence and excitement of the direction, and dynamism and beauty of the design. To notice that these were the points highly recognized in the award judging was a kind of awakening for me.
LIA has Copywriting in one of the sub-categories, which seems very unique to me. In Typography category, “beauty of typography” and “newness of typography design” are reviewed. On the other hand, in Copywriting, the jurors focused on “how the copy design is integrated in the overall work and has significant meaning”, in addition to the beauty and newness of the copy work.
We judged the entries to Digital Design and Campaign Design at the same time, and I was personally so interested in the judging process because they are the fields not so close to my specialty and that’s why I could learn a lot. Since the digital design is evolving quickly these days, some jurors made negative remarks to some entries with only case study videos and digital designs, saying “aren’t they gimmicks?” In that sense, these entries include physical material have great advantage in judging. Entrants should send physical material, if any, the juror can touch directly to have this advantage. That is one point I reaffirmed as a juror this time.
Again, Japan has shown excellent quality in this category and I was very happy with the fact that the “Japanese design” is highly recognized as a Japanese. Being selected as a juror and attending judging sessions was a wonderful experience for me where I was stimulated by other jurors.
I've had the privilege of serving as a judge for a variety of award shows both in the U.S. and in the U.K. My experience this year as a member of the Design Jury left me with huge respect for the LIA organizers, who presented the work and used technology so smartly that judges were truly able to spend time with submitted work. We weren't distracted by the process, having to question whether we'd followed a protocol properly, etc. A second aspect that I really appreciated was the opportunity to spend time with other jury members. We had time over a several-day period to socialize, so we could talk about the work we were seeing. That makes for better results. At the judging's wrap up, I felt reinvigorated, recharged, and refreshed. I really enjoyed having the young creatives at the event, too; their enthusiasm was infectious, and added to the overall sense of renewal I took with me, leaving Las Vegas and returning to NYC.
The event was one of the best run, most delightful judging events I have ever enjoyed. It is uncommonly well-operated - like a tight ship - by people who are as helpful as they are thoughtful. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
‘Creative Conversations’ are a good balance between the big talks and the smaller get togethers. This year felt like the best yet, where commitment and interest was concerned with the young creatives.
It is a very unique situation where these young people are able to interact with not only their peers from other agencies, but also some creative giants that they may never have met if it wasn't for LIA.
It seems to me that this is an event that everyone who is involved looks forward to and enjoys every year. It is one of the few awards shows where you really get the opportunity to get to know all of the other judges there. It has always been a very positive experience for me.
The single most valuable tool in a young creative arsenal is mentorship. They must learn through experience, trial and error. Having creatives who have gone through similar trials, and who are willing to impart that knowledge, only strengthens future creatives.
As a Branded Entertainment Juror, a handful of qualified execs could barely come to terms with the definition of the category. But, we knew what we didn’t like – overt branding, lack of story arc, and content devoid of entertainment value. If young creatives were a part of that jury process it would have surely informed their work over the next 10 years, hopefully provoking them to create better stories and more inspired work. To simply demand better of their agencies and brand partners. Even more so, arming them with the tools to reject the tyranny of mediocre work.
How the event/judging runs and any positives?
The judging and the event is really well organized. The system of voting is really easy and nice and the team is really cool. The only thing that has to be improved upon is the classification of all the case studies in each category, because more and more there is no real frontier between a digital and a branded entertainment, content or a TV commercial, since most content coming from Branded content goes on TV etc…And I felt that there were too many cases that weren’t in the right category and maybe had to be in the Event or Digital category, etc…So as a guideline, maybe give a guideline for the submissions.
The ‘Creative Conversations’ are a good idea because when creatives arrive in agencies, a lot of them don’t have any real training and they jump directly on projects without any time to secure a strategy.