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 AME Grand Jury member Larry Gies is Chief Strategy Officer for Energy BBDO. Larry operates from a pretty unconventional perspective: a fundamental belief that, for the most part, people simply do not think about brands. It’s something he has seen consistently in over 20 years of consumer research and strategic planning for brands like Nike, Absolut, Wrigley, Coca-Cola, Bud Light, P&G, Sears and Microsoft.
AME Awards: Tell us about your process of creating and delivering effective results.
Larry Gies: Our process of creating and delivering effective results is pretty simple. We are an outcome-focused agency, so we start by aligning to what we want to achieve, how we expect to achieve it, and the metrics we will use to help us understand whether or not we are successful. Of course, there are broad business metrics that are important, like penetration or share gains. But those are not enough. We need to identify the consumer challenge(s) we can address that, in turn, can help us move those measures. Once we understand the challenge(s), we uncover insights into our audiences that can help us address those challenges. These insights become the springboard for our work
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what do ads that have taken the brief and turned it into campaign that transforms opinions, evokes action and raises the bar for the brand have in common?
Larry Gies: This is sort of obvious, but the ads that work most effectively are creatively bold and surprising. They bring something new to the conversation. People are increasingly busy, and their attention is divided. The hardest thing to do is get noticed in the first place.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Larry Gies: Effectiveness competitions like AME are important because they represent the underlying value that agencies provide to our clients: to put our expertise and creativity to work to help them drive their businesses. Everything we do is in service of this objective. Effectiveness shows also challenge us to do our best work. At BBDO, we know that the best, most creative work, works best. Finally, award winning cases give us all a chance to learn from them.
AME Awards: What is your favorite most effective ad and why does it hit the bullseye for the brand?
Larry Gies: Our Prescribed To Death program for The National Safety Council helped amplify awareness of the opioid issue in the US, armed people to protect themselves, and drove awareness of this important, but relatively unknown organization.