AME’s Grand Jury is the powerhouse behind the prestigious AME Awards, their high standard of excellence ensures that AME’s 26-year legacy is upheld and respected globally both by winners and industry reports measuring creative distinction.
2020 Grand Jury member Christopher Powers is Executive Director, Arts & Culture at Situation Interactive in New York City. Chris grew up in Worcester, MA and graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA before moving to NYC to begin his career in advertising. He earned his stripes working at Mezzina/Brown, Bates Worldwide, Wunderman and Draft Worldwide on fortune 500 clients (IBM, Verizon FIOS, AstraZeneca, Computer Associates) before finding his true home (for 10 years and counting) helping Art & Culture brands tell their stories at Situation Interactive.
At Situation Interactive, Chris leads the creative team to produce award-winning, effective campaigns that connect people to cultural experiences from clients like The Metropolitan Opera, Roundabout Theatre Company, NYU Skirball, NY Tenement Museum and Broadway shows like Spring Awakening, Anastasia the Musical, and Dear Evan Hansen.
AME Awards: Tell us about your process of creating and delivering effective results.
Chris Powers: Creating any campaign is a series of “controlled” arguments with smart, passionate people. This friction (also known as collaboration), to me, is the best way to deliver outstanding work -- provided you have a great brief. A great brief sets goals, gives everyone involved a measuring stick for approval of campaigns/resources and provides a common language for discussing every aspect of the work. When everyone is on the same page, the collaborative process shines. Strategies have focus. You take smart risks. You’re forced to sacrifice for clarity. Great collaboration combined with a strong brief turns good ideas into great ones.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what do ads that have taken the brief and turned it into a campaign that transforms opinions, evokes action and raises the bar for the brand have in common?
Chris Powers: Single minded focus. There are times when we fall in love with an idea, but the best campaigns fall in love with objectives. Objectives make campaigns better, tighter and more effective. And, clear objectives are the only real way you can measure a campaign’s success. You can see that focus in a great campaign.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Chris Powers: Measurement is everything.The greatest award any campaign can earn is results. While clever creative and ground-breaking technology are essential elements in our business, they are by-products of great campaigns. Ideas that drive value are the ultimate goal. The AME Awards recognize great impact -- the true measure of success.
AME Awards: What makes you share you time and energy to participate on the AME Grand Jury and what do you hope to learn?
Chris Powers: I am excited to be a part of the AME jury. Every campaign I see gives me a new insight and a new way of looking at the challenges we solve for our clients. I love seeing work that changes my basic beliefs of what “works” or makes me look at “typical” problems a completely new way. The time I put into judging has never failed to reward me with a fresh new perspective (and some healthy jealousy).
AME Awards: Any advice for entrants? Will you share your tips for entry success?
Chris Powers: Be as proud of your entry as you are of your work! Your entry should be focused, clear and show your audience the key points as quickly as possible. Just like any campaign, start with what makes your entry compelling. Your submission should clearly state the problem, campaign goals, approach and tactics used, then highlight results.