The AME Awards Grand Jury represents some of the world’s most creative and strategic minds in advertising and marketing communications. The 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 Mick Blore is Chief Creative Officer for Wolves an independent Marketing, Advertising and Strategic agency in South Africa. He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and has creatively led many of the world’s best agencies and network across Africa; including McCann Worldgroup, Y&R, Saatchi & Saatchi, The Jupiter Drawing Room JHB and more. Mick is one of South Africa's most awarded creative's with multiple accolades from around the world. His work has been featured in university textbooks in the USA, he regularly lectures at South Africa's leading advertising schools and universities, and he sits on various industry forums. The work Mick did on Nugget Shoe Polish became the most awarded campaign in the history of South African Advertising in any medium in its time.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Mick Blore: The economic crunch is global and worse than ever. Brand budgets are ever decreasing and the expectations of the work higher than ever. Communication that isn’t effective, is simply a waste of money and that’s why it’s important to reward the ones getting it right.
AME Awards: What makes you share you time and energy to participate on the AME Grand Jury and what do you hope to learn?
Mick Blore: It’s always a great privilege to serve on a jury of the best minds in the world. You learn from the judging process, your fellow judges and most of all, from the work itself. A lot of very clever people put these amazing campaigns and initiatives together; you can’t help but be a sponge and learn at every turn.
AME Awards: What cultural and/or social changes do you think will influence this year’s work?
Mick Blore: There are so many burning topics in the world and this industry that now touch businesses every day. Companies are finding themselves at the centre of Social Responsibility – Gender equality and the rise of women (rightly so), race equality, ongoing environmental disasters on our near horizon and many more. The world expects big business to be a part of the solution to these issues directly and it’s influencing the work to a degree. It’ll be interesting to see if any of it puts its head up in the work this year.
AME Awards: AME’s Grand Jury provides the opportunity to earn trophies within a region and on the global stage, what are the advantages for the opportunity to earn both a regional and an international award within the same competition?
Mick Blore: Agencies and the companies they partner with have a real need to be recognised within the regions they serve – this is, after all, where they get their business from. So, while it’s important to be selected from the best of one’s global peers, I would argue that it is equally important to be counted amongst the best regionally. Agencies are judged on what they deliver locally, and how that holds up globally (where appropriate); who wants only recognition from people abroad, if your own neighbours don’t know about your achievements?
AME Awards: What do you do keep your creative and strategic juices flowing?
Mick Blore: Get outside. Talk to strangers. Listen to what they are really saying underneath the platitudes. Try new food. ‘People watch’ – and see what makes them tick. Always try to understand an argument from the other’s perspective. Listen well. Listen to new music. Read, read a lot. Spend time on Social Media (there are a lot of very clever people underneath all those memes). Be present and actually experience things through my own eyes. Look for the small moments that make people happy. Take a step back and see the bigger picture of the day-to-day.
AME Awards: Who is your inspiration and how has this philosophy made you who you are today?
Mick Blore: I once sat in in a crowded auditorium listening to Chris Blackwell tell his life story about how he founded Island Records and subsequently catapulted Bob Marley, U2 and Cat Stevens, amongst others, to fame. At the end, he was asked to give the audience just one piece of advice from this incredible life he has lived, and he said: “fall in love often”. Which means take the leap often. Fall often. Get hurt often. Try again often. Fall in love with passion, people, the world around you. Keep your heart full and live a full life. That has been an inspiration (and motivation) to me ever since.