“I thought the quality of the work was very high overall, but I was most impressed by the high caliber of design,” juror Nancy Crimi-Lamanna says. “I guess it’s no surprise given CA’s history.”
“I was surprised by the high level of student work,” says juror Daniela Vojta. “There were some beautifully produced commercials with great cinematography, production design and acting. Way better than in my student days.”
“The student work was incredible,” juror Anne Elisco-Lemme says. “I was impressed with not only the level of thinking, but also the level of production. Is this going to become the new norm for students? And if so, what extra burden does that put on them?”
“There was a lot of work around the opioid epidemic, and fewer pieces around gun control and stopping mass shootings,” says juror Robin Fitzgerald. “I was surprised to see such a swing away from a topic that has been at the forefront for agencies and creatives for so many years.”
“I noticed lots of ads for cannabis,” Vojta says. “It’s definitely a sign that advertising can adapt and will always be needed.”
Several jurors commented on the overall serious tone of this year’s entries.
“The lack of humor may be mirroring our society given the zeitgeist of the times,” says juror Nancy Hannon. “The occasional escapism of humor was that much more rewarding and memorable.”
“I look forward to a future where we can once again cycle in a bit of fun and forego the necessity for brutal veracity in favor of a good imaginative expression of a brand story,” juror Libby Brockhoff says. “Don’t get me wrong; presenting a brutally real truth is a moving thing—I cried during a lot of the films we judged. I just look forward to lighter, more-effervescent messaging in media land.”
In addition to asking the jurors for their views on this year’s entries, I also asked them how changes in media and culture will alter the role of advertising in the future.
“As traditional TV continues to decline, we need to rethink what constitutes a mass channel,” says Crimi-Lamanna. “Most still think of social media as a channel to reach a passive audience. But social media is a many-to-many medium. It’s designed for mass collaboration, not just mass communication.”
“There’s also a real opportunity to move from just storytelling and content creation on a bunch of different platforms to more ‘story doing’—where consumers are invited to participate in a variety of brand actions that prove that brand’s values in unexpected ways,” Fitzgerald says.
“Thanks to all the tools we have now, brands are able to get so much closer to the consumer,” says Brockhoff. “It’s more intimate work that enables greater connectivity to brands, which makes all of us happy—because that’s what we’re here for.”
“The fact that brands are investing in higher-order benefits and standing for something bigger than brand attributes is refreshing—as long as the brand has a right to play in that space,” Hannon says.
“I do think that the world we live in now is so jacked up that the ad industry is starting to shift how we see our role in it,” says Elisco-Lemme. “How do we help serve? How do we raise awareness of issues that need attention? We are all waking up to the realization that we are masters of shifting public thinking, and we need to start using our powers for good.”
Selection for this year’s Advertising Annual required a minimum of four out of six votes. When judges’ pieces were in the ﬁnals, editor Jean Coyne or I voted in their stead. I would like to extend our grateful appreciation to our jurors for participating in our first-ever all-women jury and for their conscientious efforts in selecting our 59th Advertising Annual. —Patrick Coyne ca
Libby Brockhoff is chief executive officer and cofounder of Odysseus Arms, LLC in San Francisco, California. One of the few female agency owners in the industry, she’s crafted advertising strategies for firms like Facebook, HotelTonight, Microsoft and YouTube. She also reframed the transgender narrative as the creative visionary behind the launch of Caitlyn Jenner’s on-air image and activated Amnesty International supporters to help then-president Barack Obama’s Arms Trade Treaty pass in the United Nations. In 1996, Brockhoff cofounded Mother London, which was named Campaign’s Agency of the Decade in 2009.
Nancy Crimi-Lamanna is chief creative officer at FCB Toronto. She accidentally became one of Canada’s first interns when she offered her writing services free of charge more than 20 years ago. She went on to create some of Canada’s most recognized campaigns, which have been awarded by Cannes, the Clios, Communication Arts, D&AD, the Effies and the One Show. Crimi-Lamanna also brought home Canada’s first Cannes Integrated Lion, for the Social Smoking campaign for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Recently, Strategy ranked her among the top creative directors in Canada.
Anne Elisco-Lemme is executive creative director at Duncan Channon in San Francisco, California. She was introduced to the world of advertising as a child in Pittsburgh when her father, a creative director, would bring home the world’s most intoxicating markers. Still high from the fumes, she tried a career as a painter in New York City, failed, and shortly after found her way to the commercial realm. At Duncan Channon, her work has been honored by Communication Arts, the 4A’s, Graphis and Lürzer’s Archive, and she is a three-time finalist for the 4A’s O’Toole Award.
Robin Fitzgerald is chief creative officer at BBDO Atlanta. Before making the move to Atlanta, she spent fifteen years in Los Angeles, working at Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) and TBWA\Chiat\Day. At CP+B, she led work for brands including Grey Poupon, Netflix, Old Navy and PayPal, for which she developed the brand’s first-ever Super Bowl ad, and took home PayPal’s first Cannes Lion. She started her advertising career in Nebraska as a copywriter at Bozell after graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Fitzgerald has been named one of Business Insider’s Most Creative Women in Advertising.
Nancy Hannon was global executive creative director at Ogilvy Chicago, leading some of the agency’s largest global brands, including contributing to the Cannes Lion–winning Kiwi Portraits Completed campaign. Her passion for purpose-driven work inspired her to launch #LikeAGirl Emoji, which confronts gender bias with the most global language: emojis. In the past, she worked at several top agencies, such as BBDO, Y&R, DDB and the Martin Agency, where she was group creative director on the Walmart account, changing the way 200 million moms perceived Walmart, with its Save Money, Live Better platform.
Daniela Vojta was recently named an executive creative director at BBDO New York. Previously, she spent five years as an executive creative director at McCann New York. She was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but found life at the beach way too relaxing, so she went to New York City to work in advertising. She has been included in Ad Age’s Creatives You Need to Know and Adweek’s Creative 100 lists and was a Creative Director of the Year finalist for the 2017 Ad Age A-List & Creativity Awards. She has won numerous awards, including from the Art Directors Club, Cannes, the Clios, Communication Arts, D&AD and the One Show.