AME’s Grand Jury members are recognized as award-winners who deliver distinctive and effective results for global brands. They are the genius minds associated with many of AME’s award-winning entries.The AME Awards honors campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness.
2021 Grand Jury member Marialejandra Urbina is Executive Director of Planning for Dieste, US and oversees Dieste planning group in Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles.With more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning, Marialejandra has been involved in the development of marketing communication for companies in various industries including 3M, Chiclets Adams, Ford Motor Company, Mattel, Nestle, SAB Miller/AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company and Warner Lambert.
Recently, Marialejandra was included in the Advertising Age Women to Watch list for Colombia, and her insights and contribution to the Demobilization Humanitarian Program of the Colombia Ministry of Defense campaign led to recognition not only for its creativity, but also as the first and only Grand Prix in the region from IPA (2011).
In the interview below Marialejandra shares her all time favorite and most effective ads, the significant change we saw in the brand's voice in 2020, tips for potential entrants and more.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Marialejandra Urbina: As an industry, we must collectively pursue excellence. The public recognition of the best in class is fundamental to attract new talent and to succeed as a business.
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Marialejandra Urbina: Effectiveness awards are about proving that creativity is a pivotal element of success. So, remember that creativity is the protagonist of the case. It is because there was a brilliant idea that there are extraordinary results.
AME Awards: How has the brand's voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Marialejandra Urbina: One significant change will be our approach to inclusion and diversity. Before the pandemic, we saw inclusion with the premise of brands helping to close social gaps. This has not changed, but now we have evidence that these gaps are enormous: they are a matter of life or death. A virus cruelly showed us what it really means to be vulnerable. That was the word that we used to refer to people who were excluded or discriminated against, whether due to economic or physical conditions or lifestyle. That word now has names; now it is massive, now we feel it. Diversity was also a recurring theme in advertising, and it took a huge turn this year. We are all susceptible to being infected, but each person is attacked in different ways. Moreover, it also attacks us differently from the economic, the family, the mental, or the emotional perspectives. The essence of the theme of diversity is to understand that each human being has his point of view marked by his reality and experience and that we must respect it even if we do not think the same way. Today diversity is no longer just a matter of respect; it is a matter of empathy.
AME Awards: What is your all time, favorite most creative and effective ad and/or ads (share the link or a visual) and why in your opinion did they triumph?
Marialejandra Urbina: Tough question! I will have one for each decade that I have been working in advertising. All of them demonstrate sustained success and are still valid today:
90's: "Think different" Apple
2000's: "Real Beauty" Dove
2010's: "Normalize Blood" Libresse
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?
Marialejandra Urbina: First of all, it is an honor to be invited to judge colleagues' work. The second reason is learning. Learning from others' challenges; to understand how others solved communication problems. Furthermore, reading about effectiveness makes me feel envious, and it motivates me to do a better job.