AME's Grand Jury are dedicated to delivering results-driven work and understand the important partnership between creative and effective work. AME recruits advertising and marketing thought-leaders from around the globe to select effective campaigns that move the needle on behalf of the brand. The 2021 Grand Jury of globally respected, award-winning executives bring innovation, industry expertise, and a 360-degree global perspective to the judging panel.
2021 Grand Jury member Conan Green is Executive Creative Director for DDB South Africa and is a Lifetime Grand Prix Award winner in Creative Effectiveness. He believes that great advertising is measured not just by a big idea, but by how effective that idea was in solving the business problem.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative effective advertising?
Conan Green: The hardest ideas to come up with are the ones that are as creative as they are effective. As creatives, we can fall in love with an idea and stray from the brief sometimes. I judge work by its creativity and big thinking, but also by how effective it was in solving the client’s problem. That’s the sign of true creative thinking.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Conan Green: They are an important reminder that we don’t create big ideas for the sake of it. Again, the best creative work comprises a big idea as well as solid business results. Awards shows like the AME Awards understand and celebrate that fact.
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.
Conan Green: Everyone’s responded in some way - which was unavoidable. For me, what’s been interesting to see is how few brands are speaking to the future. Everything you see is ‘We’re here for you…’ and ‘In this trying time…’. Very few brands are stepping out and having a point of view of the future, which to me, is what will stand out.
AME Awards: What innovations are changing the way agencies create on behalf of brands or launch new products? Does big data and AI play an even bigger role today?
Conan Green: We all love the term ‘big data’, but few knew why it mattered. In helping to create, or inform, new products that respond to our ‘new normal’ - big data has finally proven its relevance and usefulness.
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?
Conan Green: Great work needs two things – a great idea executed simply, as well as having to be significantly effective for the client. Unlike many creatives, I see the two as equal. To me, a great idea that doesn’t move product or solve a business problem isn’t a great idea. I chose to be part of it to judge and be exposed to work that potentially wins in both areas.
AME Awards: What is your all time, favorite most creative and effective ad and why in your opinion did they triumph?
Conan Green: My favourite piece to date is Whopper Freakout. The team managed to create tons of brand love for a product by reminding their market how much they already love it. And all they did was make the product unavailable for a day. Every person who couldn’t get a Whopper that day was reminded of why they personally love the Whopper, meaning that every engagement was unique and deeply meaningful. Brilliant.
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Conan Green: Don’t get so caught up in your big idea that you overlook the effectiveness of the idea itself. Some of the best ideas in the world came when teams focused on creating work that works.