The once distinctive lines between media continued to blur at this year’s Advertising Annual. Television commercial or Web viral video? Wild posting or outdoor poster? In the end, the jurors were looking for ideas.
“It’s becoming clear how over-saturated North American markets are and that ever more sophisticated marketing efforts are required to attract and maintain customer attention,” said Ian Grais, co-creative director of Rethink in Vancouver, Canada. “Smart, captivating, perfectly executed ideas are quickly becoming mandatory in order to interest potential customers as they control more of their own content.”
While we saw growth in new and non-traditional media, the predicted demise of traditional media has been premature. “The print ad and the TV spot are alive and well,” said Michael Ancevic, senior vice president and creative director at Mullen in Wenham, Massachusetts. “There are those who are convinced TV and print are dead. I can honestly say they’re wrong.”
Jurist’s comments were not all laudatory. “I was disappointed that there wasn’t more interesting radio,” said David Oakley, co-creative director of BooneOakley in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If there’s one place that’s wide open for a young writer to make an immediate impact, it’s by reinventing how to write engaging radio.”
“I think the whole scare-tactics-in-public-service work has seen its day. It’s just a downer, and it has become a stereotypical crutch,” added John Butler, executive creative director of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, in Sausalito, California. “I don’t necessarily mean that public service should be funny, but if I see one more spot that is gratuitously shocking to make a point, I’ll hurl.”
The big news continues to be the evolution of the integrated campaign and how they are reaching consumers in innovative ways.
“The combination of mediums forces the agency to come up with a big idea that can be stretched adding dimensionality,” said Elspeth Lynn, co-creative director of zig, inc. in Toronto, Canada. “In this respect, new and non-traditional media will force ideas to become big again.”
“Limited budgets and resources applied against impossible business objectives. When we do our jobs well, that’s what it’s all about.” —Mike Malone
“The ‘Gamekillers’ campaign for Axe is a perfect example of how advertising is adapting to the changes in media,” Oakley said. “Could you imagine a deodorant doing this five years ago?” “This level of quality across media and messaging is the model of the future for advertisers,” added Grais.
One complaint voiced by several judges was the length of some of the videos documenting integrated campaign entries. “Two or three minutes, that’s all you need to do,” Butler said. “Judges don’t have time to watch the mini-series about your campaign. We don’t need to know that something was so popular it wound up on eBay. It may be true, but we’ll think you planted it there anyway.”
When talking about the future, Jonathan Schoenberg, creative director and partner at tda advertising & design in Boulder, Colorado, voiced concern that agencies trying to reach people in new ways are actually annoying consumers even more than with traditional media. “More and more agencies will have to create interesting work that consumers will elect to interact with rather than having it appear in places and ways that are exciting to clients, media companies and agencies, but nauseate the consumer.”
“Shorter attention spans will require better advertising,” Ancevic said. “The average consumer is becoming more and more skeptical of advertising, and therefore has little patience for lame ideas. This is especially true of younger people so this trend will only increase as they get older. This is also great for creativity in advertising, because things will need to behave less like advertising and more like entertainment. This goes for the Internet as well as traditional advertising.”
“Screens are everywhere, and getting cheaper all the time,” said Mike Malone, a brand creative at The Richards Group, in Dallas, Texas. “When twenty people happily stare at a screen in an elevator, you know something’s up. Someone’s going to have to fill all those screens with content—I believe we’re as well equipped as anyone.”
“You could make three annuals out of all the work that nearly got into the show.” —Jonathan Schoenberg
As in previous years, we employed a two-step jurying system, screening and finals. Due to increasing time constraints, the judges screened much of the radio commercials and online advertising in their own offices prior to arriving in Menlo Park.
In our office, they worked in teams of three (Jean Coyne acted as the ninth juror due to a last-minute cancellation), screening a third of the television, print and projected entries in one of three halls equipped with broadcast equipment and six rows of tables for print. Print entries were spread out on the tables by category and each juror reviewed the entries independently. Any juror could put an entry into the next round by handing it to a member of our staff. Television, radio, integrated campaigns and digital entries were screened by checking an “in” or “out” box on scoring sheets.
After all the entries were screened, we combined the selections from the three teams for finals. During the finals, all eight judges worked as a single team. In one hall, print entries were spread out on tables by category. Two paper cups, one white and one red, with slots cut in the bottom, were placed upside down to the right of each entry, white cups for “in” votes, red cups for “out.” Each juror voted by placing a different colored ceramic tile into the appropriate cup. A check of the tile colors ensured that every judge voted on every single piece.
After all the jurors were finished voting on the print setup, they moved to another hall for a final session of TV, radio, projected images or integrated campaigns. Online advertising was judged on a bank of computers in another location in our office. Again voting was done by each juror checking the “in” or “out” column on the scoring sheets.
Judges were not permitted to vote on projects they were directly involved in. When judges’ pieces were in the finals, I voted in their stead.
I would like to extend our grateful appreciation to our jurors for their conscientious efforts in selecting our 47th annual exhibition. —Patrick Coyne ca
Senior Vice president, Creative director
Michael Ancevic is a senior vice president, creative director at Mullen in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he has helped shape the strategy and look of Mullen’s work for the last nine years. His television, print and interactive work has helped establish and build enduring campaigns for many of the agency’s brands. Ancevic began his career as an art director in Milwaukee and then headed West to McCann’s San Francisco office before joining Mullen. His work has been recognized with awards from all the major shows including Archive, Cannes, Communication Arts, London’s D&AD, Graphis, Hatch, The MPA Kelly Awards and The One Show.
executive creative director and founding partner
Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
John Butler is the executive creative director and a founding partner of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, a thirteen-year-old agency hybrid in Sausalito, California. In the business for longer than some of his employees have been alive, at one time or other he has walked the halls of McCann-Erickson, J. Walter Thompson, Chiat\Day and Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein. While working at Chiat, Butler met his partner of eighteen years, Mike Shine. The pair moved West for senior positions at Goodby, meeting partner Greg Stern, and in 1993 they opened BSSP. BSSP is home to four like-minded marketing companies, the founding BSS, Gargantua Design, Influx Brand Consulting and SFI, the interactive arm. Their current client list includes MINI, Converse, Sun Microsystems and LucasArts. Butler is a former One Club President, and currently resides in San Rafael, California, with his wife, daughter and a 120-pound bull mastiff who sounds like Chewbacca with a hangover.
Ian Grais studied economics at the University of British Columbia then advertising at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, before joining Palmer Jarvis Vancouver in 1994 as an art director. During his six years at Palmer Jarvis, Grais won Cannes Lions, Clios and One Show Pencils. He was ranked the number one art director in the country for four years in a row, from 1997 to 2001. In 1999, Grais left Palmer Jarvis DDB to launch Rethink with his partner, Chris Staples. At last count, the ad agency had 57 employees and has continued to garner numerous national and international awards. In 2006, Strategy magazine ranked Grais and Staples the number one creative directors in Canada. Grais is also a regular guest speaker at Vancouver design schools counseling design and advertising students.
Partner, co-creative director
Elspeth Lynn, a graduate of McMaster University and Ontario College of Art & Design, is partner and co-creative director of zig, inc. in Toronto, Canada, an agency founded with Lorraine Tao and Andy Macaulay in 1999. Since then, zig has assembled an admirable client roster including IKEA, Molson, Unilever, W Network and Lavalife and also accumulated numerous awards from Applied Arts, The Bessies, Cannes, Clios, Communication Arts, D&AD, The Marketing Awards, New York Art Directors Club and The One Show. In 2006, the agency added Martin Beauvais, a creative director to enlarge their idea team.
The Richards Group
Mike Malone is currently a brand creative at The Richards Group, in Dallas, Texas where he’s been for 21 years. “Formally of Howard, Merrell & Partners, McKinney and Tracy Locke. Thrilled that I’ve avoided the coasts in my career. In my youth, I was a garbage man, caddy, barkeep, caterer, sports-writer, political fundraiser and a white-shirted, wing-tipped field rep for EDS, which is the only career advice I care to give: The real world is the best teacher there is. I was incredibly lucky to work for Mac Merrell, Chick McKinney, Harriet Frye and Mike Winslow and then dumb lucky to bump into Stan Richards. We’ve had more fun than you can imagine and made a huge difference for a lot of clients. Can’t ask for more than that. My biggest achievement, however, is four kids and a wife that manages to deal with all my eccentricities without batting an eye.”
founder and co-creative director
David Oakley is a founder and co-creative director of BooneOakley in Charlotte, North Carolina. After graduation from University of North Carolina, Oakley moved to New York to start his advertising career and meet a hot girl. At Y&R, he achieved both goals: He became a copywriter and met his future wife, Claire. Then he went across the street to TBWA and worked on the Absolut campaign. After seven years in New York, he moved back to North Carolina and met partner John Boone. Together they opened a branch office of The Martin Agency in Charlotte and worked on Wrangler, Kellogg’s and WEND. Since starting BooneOakley in 2000, Oakley has worked on MTV, HBO, NASCAR, the Charlotte Hornets, Bloom and CARMAX. His work has been featured at Cannes, Communication Arts, The One Show and the OBIE’s, but the award he cherishes most is his 1973 Little League MVP.
creative director and partner
tda advertising & design
Jonathan Schoenberg is creative director and partner at tda advertising & design in Boulder, Colorado. At tda he enjoys working on Fox Racing Shox, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Thule, Jones Soda, General Electric, Cloudveil Mountain Apparel, Timberland, Bliss Ice Cream, SmartWool and Titus Bikes. His work has been recognized in The Athena Awards, Cannes, The Clios, Communication Arts, D&AD, New York Art Directors Club and The One Show. In his spare time he is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado and does his best to enjoy all the recreation that the residents of Boulder feel obliged to participate in, as often as possible.
Monica Taylor is a creative director at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon, where she has worked on Old Spice, Powerade and Nike. Before joining Wieden in 1999, Taylor worked at Mullen Advertising in Wenham, Massachusetts, as an art director for Swiss Army and Monster.com and at Houston Herstek Favat in Boston, Massachusetts, on Converse and a myriad of other accounts. A grad-u-ate of Syracuse University, she holds a BFA in advertising design, which makes her unfit for any employment other than the type she has. Her work has been recognized at Cannes, Communication Arts, D&AD and The One Show.