The AME Awards honors not just campaigns that are creative, but campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness and AME’s Grand Jury are the genius minds behind many of AME’s award-winning entries.
AME’s Grand Jury is the powerhouse behind the prestigious AME Awards, their high standard of excellence ensures that AME’s 25-year legacy is upheld and respected globally both by winners and industry reports measuring creative distinction. Their dedication result in truly award-worthy work being recognized.
2019 AME Awards Grand Jury member, Jon Marchant is Managing Director for FP7 Dubai. As an agency leader and strategic integrated marketeer with over 20 year’s industry experience developing stand-out marketing campaigns for some of the UK’s best-loved brands he bring vast experience in creating award-winning effective work to the Grand Jury. In 2017 Jon left Europe for the Arabian desert, and is leading the troops at FP7 Dubai, who hold the lofty accolade of most creatively effective agency in MENA for 5 years in succession.
In his previous role, Jon was MD of McCann Central in the UK, whom he helped grow to become the largest integrated agency outside of London, and the largest McCann operation in Europe.
Jon has a passion for developing brands and a knack of making things happen. He takes a pragmatic approach to clients’ problems, making every penny of a client’s budget work to deliver a maximum return.
In the interview below Jon shares his thoughts on how his agency works with clients to deliver effective results, the elements strong campaigns have in common, his all-time favorite creative/effective campaign and much more.
AME Awards: AME’s winners and entrants are behind some of the most innovative leading-edge creative work on the planet that delivers the most impactful result. Tell us about your process of creating and delivering creative and effective results. Are your ideas inspired or do they come together as the result of a collective brainstorming session with your team?
Jon Marchant: One of our success stories as an agency in recent years, is working hard upfront with our clients to establish what success actually looks like. If we share the same ambitions and are aligned from the off-set, it’s much easier to realize what we set out to achieve. So, the due diligence of agreeing KPIs for the work before the work starts means we have a north star to aim for and keep coming back to when reviewing our work.
The process is not as rigid as to say ideas come from a collective or one individual, after all outstanding ideas can come from anywhere! One of our best pieces of work this year, came from an Account Executive who simply recognized a forgotten product within our client’s business, and found a very simple solution as to how it could be promoted.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative and effective advertising…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?
Jon Marchant: The strongest campaigns have two key traits in common; originality and purpose. It’s reasonably easy to do one or the other but inherently tougher to have both baked into the campaign narrative. We use a neat creative scale for judging creativity and it pushes us more and more to ensure the work has purpose e.g. we need to score at least a 7 (“the work causes people to move and act”) for it to be approved.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Jon Marchant: We have the ability more than ever to show genuine effectiveness for the fruit of our loins. To provide genuine creativity is one thing, but to do that whilst also proving effectiveness and proving ROI for clients, that is special. And with marketing budgets being squeezed more and more, it’s not enough to simply show clients previous work, more and more you also have to prove it’s moved the needle on business KPIs.
It’s also a powerful narrative to use beyond marketing, when we ask Heads of Procurement whether they want to work with the most effective agency in MENA, not surprisingly, they are receptive to finding out more!
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?
Jon Marchant: Very simply, I wanted to be inspired by the world’s best, I wanted to see how creatives and strategists go about dissecting the work, and I want to experience being on the other side of the table for the first time.
AME Awards: What is your all time, favorite most creative and effective ad and/or ads (share the link or a visual) and why in your opinion did they triumph?
Jon Marchant: I know it’s an obvious one being a McCann boy(!!) but Fearless Girl is a perfect example of originality with purpose to achieve dramatic results. The tides of change are here where agencies stop doing ads and have started to become agents of behavioral change through creativity. In this case, it wasn’t just the act itself that was brave and brilliant but how the team added layers to the story to ensure it continued to gain impact.
AME Awards: What advice or guidelines would you give to potential entrants on earning an AME Award?
Jon Marchant: Be courageous. Firstly, strive to create brave ideas that will move people. Next, great ideas struggle for their survival every day. When you have a great idea, it is crucial to make sure there’s a logical case (that impacts both brand and business) and go and sell it, until it is sold!
Be organized. Set out and agree your KPIs with clients upfront and use that as your North Star. Imagine the act or campaign as a case study from the off-set as it will turn into a mental checklist for what you need to achieve when.