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Awards

What Happens When Zulu Alpha Kilo Lets Consumers Judge Award-Winning Work?

This month’s Advertising and Interactive Annual issue of Applied Arts Magazine features some unusual creative thought from Zulu Alpha Kilo. ZAK is guest art directing for the magazine, and the agency decided to produce a thought experiment that would challenge the way industry insiders perceive quality work. In short: the issue’s winning work was rejudged by “regular” consumers, and the results were quite different.

In the accompanying video, we don’t get to see what work was praised by critics and panned by consumers, but we are told that 70% of the critically-acclaimed work wasn’t as acclaimed when consumers were judging. The remaining 30%, praised by both, went on to have success at Cannes. Such a large split brings up a compelling debate about what makes certain work good, accessible, and appealing to the public. It’s the same debate that comes with any creative format, be it movies, music, art, but when consumers are involved, their opinions should help qualify what makes something good or bad. How much those opinions should count, I’m not sure. This type of experiment may not lead to easy answers, but at least it asks some very interesting questions.

If You Have Eight Minutes to Spare, Here’s a New Cannes Lions Doc

We’re sure many of you on the East Coast have already checked out by this point, but here’s a short film anyways produced by Jack Morton Worldwide that somewhat documents the Cannes Lions experience. Beginning with shots of creative notables including AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto in some sort of meditative pose as they ponder the questions being asked, the video eventually gives us a sense (especially those of us who’ve never made it out there) of what it’s like to win, or just be at the week-long event in general. That’s good enough for us at this point, thanks.

Regarding the doc, which also features the likes of David Droga, Jack Morton director of moving image, EMEA Adam Norris tells Campaign Brief, “Cannes Lions is far more than an industry event; it’s the key gathering of creative minds from across the globe.   Creating the documentary is a singular opportunity to shine a light on this world and reveal what makes Cannes unique.” And we suppose it basically does.

Leo Burnett Wins TruthBrief with Artistic Flourish

In writing, Leo Burnett’s winning entry for the 4A’s TruthBrief Competition almost sounds like a Sporcle quiz: advertisements stripped of logos were turned into artwork.Visually, the Leo Burnett submission – titled “4 Le Communique Art Show” – was meant to show that advertising and art don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The agency produced an art show at a college campus with the logoless works of art. Although you can’t clearly see the the art in the video above (I’m not sure why), the concept still lends itself to thoughtful debate about the relationship between commercialism, creativity, and art.

The competition called for entries that could “improve advertising’s image and attract a new generation of talent into the advertising business.” Considering it’s generally accepted that a majority of ads are boring and/or terrible, the competition seems like a worthy endeavor. As for Leo Burnett, now that the art is over, the agency can go back to handling it’s mega-commercial clients like McDonald’s, The Coca-Cola Company, and Kellogg’s.

ESPN Reminds Viewers that Things ‘Happened’ in ESPYs Promos

The ESPYS are supposed to throw a nudge and a wink in the direction of typical award shows that take themselves too seriously. Athletes get all dolled up in dresses and suits, the host runs through some comedic skits, and the sporting world congratulates itself on the red carpet, all of which has appeal to the average viewer, because the sports world is usually unglamorous for the other 364 days of the year.

For the 2013 ESPYS, ESPN seems to have taken that care-free attitude to a whole new level, a level that borders on creative laziness. Amazing athletes and sporting events “happened.” For example, Robert Griffin III tells us that Gabby Douglas “happened,” and Lebron James “happened, with authority.” ESPN worked with creative agency 77 Ventures to produce a dozen or so spots in advance of the July 17 show that covers just about every positive sports story from the previous year. They all happened. Which makes you want to hit your head and let out a rhetorical, “duh?” ESPN wasted the chance to use its biggest stars like RGIII, Derek Jeter, Danica Patrick, and Ray Lewis to sell great games and plays. We know they happened. These inspiring sports stories can pretty much sell themselves, but this “Happened” campaign pushes the limit of less is more. For once, less is less. Less happened.

You can watch three more promos after the jump.

Read more

Thanks to One Club, FoD, You Can Now Get to Know ‘Brandon Dentertainment’

Usually, Funny or Die is funny, at least with the site’s playfully crude original material. When it comes to the company’s most recent branded content, however, you’ll notice an immediate difference in tone. When you look at Brandon Dentertainment, the creation of Funny or Die’s in-house commercial production company Gifted Youth, you won’t see Will Ferrell battling it out with Adam McKay‘s daughter. Instead, you’ll see a dry and corny fictitious character who will host the 5th annual One Show Entertainment Awards. There’ll also be bad special effects, used for a purposeful but hollow impact. According to those familiar with this effort, “You’d be surprised how much work it takes to make something look so thoroughly bad and cheesy.”

You might recognize the actor playing Mr. Dentertainment. I don’t know his name, nor do I think it’s all that relevant to look it up, but he’s had small roles on television. And now, he’s here to stick his hand into the field of branded content award shows. I’m not sure why, and I’m also not sure why there’s a 1980s theme for the award show promo. Basically, I’m just not sure. Everything about the aesthetic strikes me as random, which may be funny to some people. Who knows? But since this is tangentially related to  Dave Franco‘s basketball video with DeAndre Jordan, I can let it slide. As for One Show Entertainment, it takes place June 13 at Deutsch LA. Ticket info here.

The Wrath of Cannes Returns, Now with Kickstarter-Aided Beer Battle

After taking a year off to just party down and not award its time-honored head-up-ass trophy to anyone, New York-based agency Woods Witt Dealy & Sons has resurrected its annual Cannes-tidote dubbed The Wrath of Cannes. Judging returns on the 2013 go-around, which will take place on June 20 in the Big Apple (location TBD) while the majority of the industry indulges in French Riviera revelry. Meanwhile, this year’s Wrath is all about one thing: beer. WWD&S has concocted its own brew brand called Wrath of Cannes Bitter Ale, and while they have a recipe, a label design (see below) and a brewer in tow, the agency needs some monetary flow to actually realize its booze-soaked dreams.

 

And so, channeling the spirits of Zach Braff, Kristen Bell and many others before them, WWD&S wants to go the crowdfunding route via Kickstarter, and to do so, they’re giving potential Wrath entrants a simple brief. To break it down, you can download this brief (.pdf), show up to the party early and get free beer, have your ideas judged, perhaps get friends to donate….and drink more beer. The rest of the info is here. Stay thirsty, my friends.

Op-Ed: Do Awards Matter?

While we’re on the op-ed kick, let’s pass the mic briefly to Scott Briskman, currently chief creative officer at our monthly, San Francisco-based contributor Extractable who’s also spent time as a senior creative at the likes of Digitaria/JWT and Agency.com. The question’s raised above. Let’s see what the answer is below.

We all work hard to deliver creative solutions that are compelling and useful. Successfully clearing the hurdles along the way of a project are rewarded by seeing an idea come to life and the positive results it generates.  The icing on top is when colleagues take the time to acknowledge our efforts with awards.

Question is, do the awards we win have a purpose beyond making us feel good?

It’s easy to be cynical about it — there are so many shows, so many categories, so many media types.

Don’t go there.

Realize that smart, strong creative execution is necessary for brands to grow and stay ahead of the competition. It’s not just the strategy and the user experience that will affect people. It’s the way people perceive your brand. Visuals must be married with the right words, the right content and displayed in such a way that people are excited.  And with all the stimulation that society is bombarded with today, it’s tough to get it just right, especially with all the varying audiences we’re aiming to please.

So no matter how smart the strategy is, how efficient the media plan is, or how great the technology can be…  if the creative falls flat it’s all for naught. Great creative is what generates an emotional response.  Great creative is what compels action.

So, do awards really matter?  I say, yes, more than ever because they point us to examples where creativity worked.  And, it’s important to have outlets that still celebrate it.

Congratulations to all you lucky award winners this year.  Keep up the good work.

And Now, Here’s Your Full 2013 Grand CLIO Winners List

In case you’re not attending or could care less about the 2013 CLIOs on May 15 at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, here’s a quick breakdown for you. A jury including W+K Entertainment president Bill Davenport and Wunderman EVP/chief creative officer Nick Moore have decided to bestow the award show’s highest accolade to the brands/agencies/people below. See if you agree or disagree and go here for more information.

·       Hall of Fame, Design: Turner Duckworth, San Francisco

·       Hall of Fame, Film & Print: DDB New York

·       Hall of Fame, Audio: The Richards Group, Dallas

·       Agency of the Year: Marcel Worldwide, Paris

·       Agency Network of the Year: Ogilvy & Mather, New York

·       Production Company of the Year: Biscuit Filmworks, Los Angeles

·       Advertiser of the Year: Google

·       Brand Icon: Coca-Cola

·       Lifetime Achievement: George Lois

·       Honorary CLIO: will.i.am & Patricia Field

Draftfcb, R/GA Among 2013 Facebook Studio Award Winners

Today, the social network has unveiled the winners of its second annual Facebook Studio Awards, which honors the ad industry and its various socially inclined campaigns from the last year. Among those making the grade this year, as chosen by a jury that included familiar names from the biz such as Colleen DeCourcy, Nick Law, Jeff Benjamin, Tor Myhren and Rob Reilly, are Draftfcb and 360i, which earned the top Blue Award for their “Daily Twist” work for Oreo. Other winners include R/GA, which made the list twice, once for Nike work and the other for the intriguing “One Copy Song”Facebook app the agency developed for Swedish rapper, Adam Tensta, a year ago (it’s also up for a Webby this year).

72andSunny, McCann, R/GA, john st. Among 17th Annual Webby Nominees

It’s almost that time again to roll out the five-word speeches as the folks behind the Webbys have announced the nominees for their 17th annual event (promo above), which will be broadcast online on May 22  while host and actual venue for the event will be announced next week.

Along with the usual suspects like Nike (which leads the pack with 17 nods), Google, FunnyorDie and Mashable as well as celebs ranging from Tom Hanks to Lena Dunham, the agency world once again gets plenty of kudos in this year’s installment. Among the notables include McCann Melbourne, which is up for a Webby in the Viral category for “Dumb Ways to Die”, Toronto’s john st., which is up for an award in the “Best Copywriting” category for its “Buyral” clip (below), and 72andSunny, which has earned a nod in Integrated Campaigns category for its Call of Duty work. As is the norm, you can weigh in via the People’s Voice Awards, which you can vote on until April 25.  Check out the full list of nominees here.

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