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. AME’s award-winning Jury members have a world-wide reputation for innovation, creative excellence, strategic prowess, and the ability to deliver distinctive and effective results for global brands.
2020 Grand Jury member, Federico Chiesa is Chief Stratedgy Officer for McCann Health. Federico brings more than 20 years of brand experience from both the client and agency sides. He cut his teeth working on global brands such as IBM and Coca-Cola in Argentina, his native country.
As a brand consultant for Interbrand and Brand Architecture International, Federico worked in diverse categories, projects ranged from activating “Chivas Life” to branding the city of Toronto. He joined BBDO in 2006 where he led some of their most iconic brands, such as Gillette, Johnson’s Baby and Bank of America. In 2013, he became the lead planner for BBDO HealthWork, a healthcare-focused joint venture of BBDO and CDM. He worked across many categories, including obesity (Novo), diabetes (Bayer), mental health (Allergan), flu (Genentech), and gastro (Takeda), to name a few.
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?
Federico Chiesa: They all manage to identify a unique insight, a hidden tension that while invisible to all, once exposed it quickly connects with the target audience. It’s what most people describe as “it hit me in the stomach” and you can feel the relevance of the insight. Those campaigns usually then take a very strong point of view vis a vis that unique insight. That means they are brave and bold and frequently not afraid to be polarizing. They demonstrate a firm belief in what they are proposing. Lastly, beyond the traditional comms, these campaigns frequently include brand actions that demonstrate their message via doing it. It’s their way of showing that they are transparent, and they are willing to walk the talk.
AME Awards: In your opinion, which brands are doing the most effective millennial friendly creative?
I have to give kudos to Burger King. In the past couple of years, they have raised the bar in terms of the quality of their executions and use of the different mediums or platforms, with a strong focus on Millennials. I think we are all familiar with their TV actions connecting Whopper and Google. But besides that, they ‘ve managed to activate multiple events worldwide in breakthrough ways, from Valentine’s day in the US, to Cancer day in Argentina, etc, etc. They are going after the lower end of the Millennial audience and show a deeper understand of them.
AME Awards: What cultural and or social changes do you think will influence this year’s work?
Federico Chiesa: Naturally we are seeing COVID19’s impact in pretty much everything we are doing. It feels like we, humans, are being hit something so impactful that’s pushing most other activities to a secondary role. I suspect most communications will adjust to find a way to dial up their relevance in this new normal. In a way, when this type of once in a generation events happen, they shift all perspectives and needs. With that come unique opportunities for brands to be part of the new conversation and demonstrate their value, in most cases via a combination of empathy and utility. Brands who don’t seize the opportunity and adjust their comms would be running the risk of being less relevant and “tone-deaf”. It’d be an exercise of in being nimble and flexible.
AME Awards: Any advice for entrants? Will you share your tips for entry success?
Federico Chiesa: Remember that your submission needs to be above all clear and easy to comprehend. We as judges spend about 8 to 10 minutes with each submission, and it has to be direct and to the point. I often find strong cases that are filled with jargon and inner-talk that while you sense might be relevant, you just can’t get to understand. I encourage all of us to use more universal language, which doesn’t mean that the case would need to become more basic or boring. Most of our best stories, from communications to Hollywood are that strong because of their simplicity and universality.