The jury was tough. For instance, there was only one Gold awarded in Print and Poster. The brief was to select a body of work that would inspire the next generation of practitioners.
Did you notice any trends in the work this year? Did the winning work fall in line or buck the trend?
The work was solid. A strong international showing added the spice. The Hybrid category is about convergence, and that is indeed where the trends are being bucked.
What distinguished the Gold winners?
We keep seeing work that advances to the finalist round over and over again. The Gold winners distinguish themselves by remaining fresh and inspiring, even through repetitive viewings.
What distinguishes the ADC awards as a show?
Three elements: Past, present and future. It's an 85-year history book of advertising and design that includes work from Saul Bass, Helmut Krone and Bill Bernbach. Today, it's a hub for the cross-pollination of disciplines from around the globe. And unlike many other shows, the ADC is a nonprofit club that dedicates its time, energy and money to helping the next generation and keeping the present one inspired.
Should awards shows eventually just recognize Best Idea?
Ideas have the highest currency but they lose most of their value when they're badly executed.
What was the rationale behind the creation of the Playground category?
Experimentation with new ideas and raw techniques is how every industry forges new frontiers. This category eliminates many of the obstacles along the path that can often stifle new thinking. Think of this category as research and development-one that will expose fresh talent. This was the first year for the Playground, and though it had a healthy number of entries and there was some fresh work, nothing shattered existing trends. This is a tough category; we're looking for work that breaks the mold.
In the Hybrid category, were the number of entries and the level of innovation what you expected?
The category recognizes innovative communication solutions that extend beyond the confines of traditional awards show criteria, including viral advertising and branded content. The entries were strong and the work was at times as awkward as it was inspiring. This is the space to watch.