AME's Grand Jury members are respected world-wide for their innovation as well as their creative and strategic expertise. Known for delivering results-driven work for prestigious global brands, they are some of the genius minds associated with many of AME’s award-winning entries.
Grand Jury member Olaf van Gerwen is the co-founder and global creative director of Chuck Studios, a global food-specialist creative production company. Olaf got his start in advertising as an offline editor in 1997 and quickly learned the ins and outs of the industry. He soon began directing live action commercials and became a sought after director in Europe and Asia, winning multiple prestigious awards along the way. He brings years of creative and strategic experience working with prestigious brands on effective campaigns to the 2021 jury panel.
Olaf found his niche in food marketing, and in 2011 Olaf co-founded the food-specialist production company Chuck Studios. As the global CD, he has developed creative concepts and managed productions for some of the biggest brands in the world, including McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Burger King, KFC, Pepsi, Heineken and Douwe Egberts. Olaf’s work has been recognized with several Lions, Eurobest, Effie, Esprix and Epica awards.
In the interview below Olaf shares his guidelines for entrants, what he recognizes in stand-out creative work, how the brand voice has evolved during the pandemic, why effectivensss competitions are important and so much more.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative effective advertising?
Olaf van Gerwen: First and foremost I feel we need to award creativity that works. It needs to harvest attention for the brand, the rest is academic. Brilliance in strategy is definitely underexposed in awards shows. Creative is an obvious criterium but my heritage in craft makes me want to emphasize that.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Olaf van Gerwen: Because creativity without effectivity is art. And that’s not what we do.
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.
Olaf van Gerwen: At first, there was prudence. Nobody wanted to seem tone-deaf or frivolous. Once we accepted the new reality humor came back. In my business, the food industry, I see many changing consumer behaviours. Brands go B2C, brands focus on home cooking, QSR focusses on drive-thru and delivery, food retail becomes food tech, and many, many other effects. It’s earthquakes and landslides, but human needs do not fundamentally change.
AME Awards: What will advertising look like next year? What brands have evolved and succeeded during this year and why?
Olaf van Gerwen: Hopefully, people will use Covid19 to change for the better. Healthier people are just…healthier. Do more home cooking, eat less meat, more veg, and so forth. And take a little better care of the world.
AME Awards: What new creative trends have come into play this to deliver creative and effective results?
Olaf van Gerwen: Sharp says: create and use distinctive brand assets. Ritson says: codify the shit out of everything. In our world, the A new trend that my company stimulates is the Culinary Identity. We make your food product a distinctive brand asset.
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?
Olaf van Gerwen: Judging work makes you look extra critically at the work. What exactly makes it good? That thinking always brings me new things.
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Olaf van Gerwen: I think it was Anselmo Ramos who said: if you know the brand and its strategy, you’re briefed. Don’t wait for a briefing, go make stuff. Great ideas happen off the beaten tracks.