Effective Perspective: 2019 Grand Jury RoundTable
AME’s Grand Jury members have a reputation for award-winning effective work. 2019’s dynamic panel of strategic innovators—90 strong from 42 countries on 6 continents are judging this year’s entries. AME polled the Grand Jury asking them to discuss what qualities what makes an entry trophy-worthy.
AME Awards: What stand out qualities are you looking for when judging this year and what attributes do trophy winning work have in common?
Stefanie Kuhnhen, Managing Partner/Strategy, Grabarz & Partner, Germany: To me all great work has a single-minded thought at its core that is fairly easy to tell and that is rooted in a strong human motivation or current cultural topic. And most of the time It has a surprising twist to that familiar motivation or cultural hook. Thus, it makes you think: “Shit, this is brilliant, because I know this problem or topic, but I’ve never thought about it like this.” If you feel that an idea has caught you red-handed in your thinking or behaviour and adds something new to it, then it’s mostly an award-winning piece.
Jon Marchant, Managing Director, FP7 Dubai: The strongest campaigns have two key traits in common; originality and purpose. It’s reasonably easy to do one or the other but inherently tougher to have both baked into the campaign narrative.
Diana Landucci, Strategic Accounts Manager, Tesalia CBC, Ecuador: For a strategic campaign to arise it is a key to have in mind the problem to solve, the trend to catch and the heart to capture. But these will never work if the brand has not taken sufficient time to deeply understand its reason to be. And the reason to be it is not macro, it must be very well defined. It must go deep into the understanding of its target. It must define a strategic spot to start and a future to follow. Also, ads must be real, direct and give you a solution.
Ivan Milovanovic, Managing Director, Y&R, Jordan: They need to have what is called “stopping power.” When you see them you will start thinking. Most of the ads unfortunately don’t have that, you hear and see more than you need, nothing to think about. Really creative work will make you think. Effectiveness can be a bit different, because sometimes a strong USP or an offer can work as well.
Ruchi Sharma, Executive Creative Advisor, Splendor, Sri Lanka: In almost all award-winning creative, strategic & effective work, a sharp human insight is the spine of that body of work. Central to this body is the heart- the emotions- that bring alive the connection to the insight. Without this spine and heart connection, the body is soul-less.
Ciahn Dalgliesh Waugh, Strategic Planner, HAVAS LYNX, England: There are 3 things that these campaigns often have in common.
1) They have a fundamental truth that resonates with the audience and talks to their core. The campaigns that I see that tend to have impact are the ones that bring a fundamental human truth or experience to the forefront. They are usually ‘simple' truths that are right under our noses and therefore the ones most frequently overlooked. I use the term simple, but they are certainly not simple to identify amongst all the noise. We are often busy looking for that ‘brilliant’ idea that breaks through all the noise that we neglect to truly notice the ‘simple’ insight that is right in front of us, which if looked at from a different perspective becomes very impactful - that ‘simple' insight that will really talk to our audience - this is true whether it is a patients experience within a disease state, the reason someone buys a bar, or people get on board with supporting a charity or cause.
2) They are creatively inspiring. A strategy is only as good as the creative it is working alongside and vice versa. Therefore, the proposition and strategy need to be inspiring so that the creative juices can flow. Both strategy and creative need to work together and both resonate with the audience in order to have the desired effect.
3) A brave client. Amazing and brave work is unlikely to get off the ground if you don’t have a brave client to champion it.
Canan Pehlivanoğlu Öke, Senior Brand Communication Manager, VitrA Bathrooms, Turkey (Former Head of Strategy for DDB Istanbul): In order to create campaign that transforms opinions, evokes action and raises the bar for the brand, we have to draw attention first to the refined brief with refined aim and refined KPI’s. To refine the brief, we must define the brand as a magnet: Mirroring was the old-school shortcut to increase the relevancy and the familiarity, but today it is quite impossible to find “a virgin insight” to really differentiate the brand and to create distinctiveness in the media clutter.
Gino Borromeo, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldgroup, Philippines: While every campaign is different, there are two enduring traits that the most successful ones have in common.
The first trait is clarity about their objectives. The most effective campaigns are brutally clear about what they’re trying to accomplish. They are incredibly specific and realistic about how they’re going to help the brand’s business, and what specific kind of behavior or perception change they need to trigger among people in order to positively impact the business.
The second trait is they connect emotionally to people. It’s often overlooked that people respond with their emotions first. And that our emotions have an outsized influence on our behavior. This is true both for consumers and for jury members. So, the campaigns that connect with us on a human level, whether they make us laugh, smile, swoon or cry, those are often the ones that move things for a brand.
Matthieu Etienne, Head of Social, Publicis Paris, France: As an AME Awards jury member I will be very demanding on the campaigns’ capacity to be true to only one brand’s DNA and purpose. Creating a great campaign is hard, but it is even harder to create a campaign no competitor could have done. In other words, when you are the only brand who could have executed it, it’s impressive, powerful… And efficient.
Matias Mero, Creative Director, Drama Queen Communications, Finland: Best campaigns have an inspiring, surprising, creative idea, which is executed solidly through all channels where the given audiences exists. They show how the same idea can be stretched to different target groups and how it evolves depending on where the audience is in contact with it. And most importantly they have made real measurable impact on sales or changed opinions inside the target group and made them to talk about it.
Palolo Pascolo, CEO, Imille, Italy: In my opinion the stand-out attributes come from different layers of assessment. First you need a great entry point to engage: at this level speaking to emotion is key. Does the campaign make me think? Or better: is the campaign relevant for the addressed target? Is the storytelling catchy and bold? The second layer is the information hierarchy: am I understanding quickly all the messages delivered? Is there any information that may not be so clear or is misleading? The third layer is about the execution: am I impressed by the composition, typography, pictures, editing video, etc.? Is there anything that really catches my attention in terms of innovative techniques? The fourth layer includes the three I mentioned above: is there a distinguished balance between emotion, hierarchy and execution? Are the message/s delivered memorable?
Priscilla Ceruti, Head of Strategy, Dentsu, Brazil: For me this is a simple answer: guts. It takes a lot of courage in every stage of the process to make standout-ideas come to life - courage from the team to present the idea and particularly from the client side in believing and make it happens.
(Dylan) Dong Jin Son, CEO, Krema Worldwide, South Korea: Strategic advertising can be judged whether it actually makes consumers act. And the ‘act’ is to Increase the amount of consideration of purchase, so called ‘social engagement’. Creative strategies are also changing to improve the performance of advertising. For example, let's look at the “Dead Whale” campaign, ranked high at AME in 2018. It's about how creators see environmental problems. More and more people around the world are realizing the dangers of plastic in the ocean. To make people act, the campaign has broken the boundaries of the media. By creating the brilliant idea of plastic whale sculpture, it made people talk about the subject, and led to create unprecedented social actions in digital world.
Newton Rebello, Group Account Director, Blue Apple Advertising, United Arab Emirates: Effective campaigns are relevant, simple to understand, built on insight and have the consumer at the centre of it all. If any of these pillars were absent, the campaign at best would at best serve as awareness for the brand but won’t evoke any action.
Carlos Verastegui, Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Ache, Mexico:
I look for ideas that solve transcendental problems and involve brands in a larger, less trivial conversation.
For a while, our industry was very shallow. It didn’t provide real solutions for consumers nor for brands, it was all about aesthetics and disruptiveness –sometimes– with no strategic meaning behind. Some ideas today are still like these. The difference is that now worthy ideas are those that fully integrate three main points to complement and benefit each other with joint responsibility: consumer, brand, and environment. Ideas that manage to improve life making all involved parties more aware and active in the process are the ones that truly raise the bar.