AME's Grand Jury members include some of the world’s most creative and strategic minds in advertising, marketing communications, and brand building from agencies around the globe. The men and women of the AME jury panel are respected worldwide for their awarding-winning campaigns and commitment to ground-breaking effective work. Their stellar reputations and high standard of excellence set the benchmark for innovation
2021 Grand Jury member Fredrik B. Gumpel is CEO for Lion & Lion. As CEO, he drives the strategic vision and growth of the agency across key offices and markets in Asia. In the past two years since he has assumed leadership, he has accelerated the evolution of the agency into one that is creatively driven, digital-first, made to impact.
His belief in sharpening the core service offerings of the company led to key investments being made to attract and hire the best-in-class specialists’ talents, to scale up the integration of strategic, media, creative and content solutions. The elevation of overall capabilities seamlessly synergised as one, coupled with an agile and future-ready business model under Fredrik’s leadership has led to Lion and Lion’s dynamic growth, even during 2020 when Covid-19 slowed down the advertising industry in general.
In the interview below Fredrik shares his perspective on the essential components for any brands who want to compete during the time of COVID, what brands have evolved, how advertising will look in 2021, why effectiveness competitions are important, and much more.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Fredrik B. Gumpel: We are in the business of providing brands and businesses creative solutions. Effectiveness competitions are important because they both show how creativity can be an important driver of business growth and how it can be used in an impactful way to solve complex business problems. However, creativity in itself is not a true measure of an agency's worth or the quality of the proposed solution if it is not effective in resolving the problem faced by a brand or business.
Creative award shows can sometimes falsely represent an agency's ability to provide real marketing solutions because they do not emphasise the importance of attaining real and substantial results that marketers want. Effectiveness competitions like AME Awards, on the other hand, places high priority on real results that a campaign achieves in determining just how effective the agency is in producing the right creative solution.
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.
Fredrik B. Gumpel: Obtaining a stronger emotional connect with consumers as well as securing a strong seamless presence online have become the two essential components for any brands who want to compete during the time of COVID.
Evidently, the pandemic has impacted countries and their communities in the worst of ways. With economies and commerce facing unprecedented downward pressure and facing a real threat of total disintegration. The effect on the lives of people the world over just from unemployment and loss of income has rapidly led to all kinds of social issues that governments of the world doesn’t seem prepared to confront. Essentially, humanity lives in a compromised world with the grim reality that life has just taken a turn for the worse, in a new normal that preaches isolation, social distancing, paranoia and suspicion.
As a product of this new way of living, the emotional connect between brands and consumers will witness a surge as brands move in to champion and preserve the concept of inclusiveness, togetherness, trust and dependency - all that has vanished literally overnight in the wake of Covid19 which humanity will crave eventually.
More than ever, brands now need to communicate their purpose even more strongly to their consumers and use their brand influence to uplift and shape the world into one of positivity, hope and inclusivity.
From a more operational perspective, the major shift that has happened in the market place is that we have moved from a focus on what you sell to how you sell it. The pandemic has essentially levelled the playing field. It doesn't matter how unique your product or its features are. What really matters is: Are you available online and is it easy for me to get you? During the pandemic we have seen a large number of people switching brands just because products were unavailable, out of stock online or simply provided a poor digital experience. This change in consumer behaviour and migration will only increase with time.
AME Awards: What will advertising look like next year? What brands have evolved and succeeded during this year and why?
Fredrik B. Gumpel: In 2021 we will see an increase in demand for creatively driven, digital-first brand solutions and clients will evaluate agencies on a whole new level. As a result, agencies that do not build their capabilities and talent in areas such as commerce or connected marketing solutions might be at a loss.
Social Media will increasingly take centre-stage with content as the key driver of communication. The need to create differentiation and impact with content will be a priority. Essentially, communication from brands will largely be shaped by their brand storytelling via social media activities and actions taken to connect with their audiences through digital-first experiences and touchpoints.
In my opinion the most noticeable brands that have been successfully communicating with their global consumers with consistently effective and creative brand solutions are Nike and Burger King, without a doubt.
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?
Fredrik B. Gumpel: As Group CEO of Lion & Lion, sometimes, the time I get to spent on actual creative work and output we produce may be limited, as I am tasked more to drive the overall growth of our network. Therefore, I see this opportunity for judging as a great way to sharpen my marketing toolbox and to gather inspiration from around the globe, as I evaluate the most creative and effective works that are shaping our industry. Our Chief Creative Officer, Cheelip Ong judged for our agency at AME Awards last year and spoke highly on the quality of works entered. With my participation as Jury this year, I can also extend our agency’s support to New York Festival AME Awards.
Also, we are an agency devoted to creating impact for our clients and thus investing time reviewing the most effective work the industry has to offer will provide insights into what we as an organisation need to strive towards; which capabilities to invest in, to always be present-relevant and future-ready.