2019 AME Grand Jury Perspective: STEPHANIE SCIANDRA
The AME Awards honors not just campaigns that are creative, but campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness and AME’s Grand Jury are the genius minds behind many of AME’s award-winning entries.
AME’s Grand Jury is the powerhouse behind the prestigious AME Awards, their high standard of excellence ensures that AME’s 25-year legacy is upheld and respected globally both by winners and industry reports measuring creative distinction. Their dedication result in truly award-worthy work being recognized
2019 AME Grand Jury member, Stephanie Sciandra is an Associate Creative Director at Situation – a digital agency best known for helping brands build passionate communities through digital-first marketing strategies. Over the past decade, she has worked with some of the biggest names in live entertainment, arts and culture, television, and social good.
With a deep understanding of fandoms ranging from musicals to Marvel, Stephanie has spearheaded digital strategies for many notable clients including One World Observatory, New York City Center, Ad Council’s "Love Has No Labels”, NBCU Cable Entertainment Group, and Broadway hits like Mean Girls and the 2017 Tony Award® and 2018 GRAMMY Award® winner, Dear Evan Hansen.
In the interview below, Stephanie shares her creative process, what creative project she’s most proud of and the iconic individual that inspires her in life and work.
AME Awards: AME’s winners and entrants are behind some of the most innovative leading-edge creative work on the planet that delivers the most impactful result. Tell us about your process of creating and delivering creative and effective results. Are your ideas inspired or do they come together as the result of a collective brainstorming session with your team?
Stephanie Sciandra: Great ideas can come from anywhere. I’m less interested in being the one to have the best idea and more excited about the journey to get to the right idea. My process usually starts with digesting a brief, coming up with a tentative roadmap, and assembling the best team to rally around the goal. Those players can be creative colleagues, other specialists within the agency, external partners, different data sets, artists, source material, product details, etc. That collaborative space allows you to pressure cook your campaigns--push them further in a direction and challenge assumptions and look for holes--until you're left with the polished piece.
AME Awards: Why did you agree to participate on this year’s AME Grand Jury and What do you hope to learn by viewing entries into this competition?
Stephanie Sciandra: I’m very much looking forward to serving on my very first AME Jury after serving on several others over the past few years; I find it serves as a refreshing and inspiring moment to push my own creative boundaries. More specifically, I’m looking forward to seeing how brands authentically communicate their position on social issues and navigate their place in social responsibility conversations.
AME Awards: In your personal work what are the hallmarks of creative and strategic success? What campaign or campaigns are you most proud of (don’t be shy brag about your accomplishments)?
Stephanie Sciandra: I’m constantly driven by asking “why?” as many times as possible--why are we doing this, why do our audiences care? The campaigns I’m most proud of are able to simultaneous serve both of those “why’s” without losing sight of either. Our work for the 2017 Tony Award®-winning and 2018 GRAMMY Award®-winning, Dear Evan Hansen, has been a perfect example of that, whether it was the release of the cast album or the creation of Broadway’s first Virtual Choir.
AME Awards: What philosophy or iconic individual inspires you in both your career and life?
Stephanie Sciandra: I’ve been inspired by Lucille Ball for as long as I can remember. She possessed equal amounts of unwavering dedication, fearless creative commitment, and intuitive business savvy. She once said, “I’m happy that I have brought laughter because I have been shown by many the value of it in so many lives, in so many ways.” Whether it’s professional or personal, I believe we should all be happy with what we bring to the table and be confident in the value it has to those around us.