“I saw a lot of strong visual design and communication that I am glad CA celebrates,” juror Dan Fietsam said. “I’ve always held CA up as the guardian of beautiful, simple, powerful, visual-led design.”
“There is a lot of focus on trying new things,” juror Denise Rossetto said. “Some feel complicated with technology for technology’s sake, forgetting about relevancy and insights. Then you see something that gets it all right and it is magic.”
“As usual, there were a lot of ‘this was a weak year’ complaints during the preliminary stages, but by the time we got to ﬁnals, the great stuff was as good as any great year,” said juror John Matejczyk.
When asked about disappointments with this year’s submissions, the majority of complaints were focused on digital.
“I wish there had been better digital and social entries,” juror Xanthe Wells said. “No matter how much people talk about emerging media, it seems that our industry is still very focused on Big TV. It’s not hard to be great in digital, and I was surprised that I didn’t see more fun, creative ideas using the space in a new way.”
“Too many entries with social media components didn’t have a strong link to the core concept—or even have a concept,” juror Jim Hagar said.
“In a show like CA, we honor the great stuff that has the chance of making culture a little more pretty, a little more interesting or thought-provoking.” —John Matejczyk
“As soon as there’s a new medium, the industry pounces on it,” juror Chris Lange said. “I like to see ideas that are employing the medium as a tool versus just trying to do a Twitter deal or something.”
“We saw a lot more long-format pieces, where brands are trying to draw people in through content,” said juror Pam Fujimoto. “But many of the pieces are not making a tie-in to the brand enough.”
So what does the future of advertising look like?
“Agencies need to get back to leading the clients to creative solutions,” Fietsam said. “We have to be brand-centric, creative solution engines, not an irrelevant group of case videos made for ad juries.”
“With the proliferation of social media bringing on increased transparency, the role of the brand and the conversation it has with consumers is becoming much more ‘real,’” Taylor said. “Those who embrace this can deﬁne their role. In turn, that message is much more genuine and relevant to consumers.”
“I’m personally hoping there will be a bit of a backlash against technology,” Hagar said. “It may be wishful thinking, but I think companies that help people reacquaint themselves with true human experiences will lead the way.”
“It’s hard to tell what will drive our next chapter,” Wells said. “However, I do think everyone’s necks are going to hurt after a few more years of being hunched over our phones.”
“The power of great advertising has always been about the power of a great idea,” Rossetto said. “We aren’t changing the fundamentals of what we do, just how we express these ideas. We have more canvases, which makes it the most exciting time ever.”
“Craft is still important. Idea may be king, but if the execution isn’t there, it’s not a good ad.” —Pam Fujimoto
As in previous years, we employed a two-step jurying system, screening and ﬁnals. For screening, the jurors worked in teams of three (executive editor Jean Coyne acted as the ninth screening juror), 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 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 to view projects with digital components on a projection screen. 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 in which they were directly involved. When judges’ pieces were in the ﬁnals, Jean Coyne or I voted in their stead.
We would like to extend our grateful appreciation to our jurors for their conscientious efforts in selecting our 54th annual exhibition. —Patrick Coyne ca