Going into the judging in Sydney, Australia I was a little nervous it might be my misfortune to be in charge during a flat year. I needn't have worried. The Grandy we gave to the brilliant Halo 3 campaign, with other awards going to Cadbury's "Gorilla," Uniqlo "Uniqlock," Tap project and the Got Milk online game. All work that was going to conquer the other big shows in the next few months.
In that short list I count just one, let me use a word from the old school here, "advert." The environment is changing and as an industry we've risen to the challenge magnificently. We used to judge work from pretty rigorous media categories, now I look at the Tap Project and realize we can't create categories quickly enough. No show wants to miss out on the next big idea and we can only guess at what form that's going to take.
But as projects get more diverse we'll need to find better ways to judge them. Let me give you an example (If you're bored of telling people why soap operas are called soap operas try this). In 1873 while France was gripped by the serialization of Around the World in 80 Days the name Phileas Fogg became so associated with high-speed travel that Jules Verne was approached by steamship companies keen for the hero to take his trip across the Atlantic on one of their vessels—these days we'd call this product placement. It might even win a whole bunch of awards. Or would it?
There's an ongoing problem with how work is submitted. A three minute presentation film might give you a clue as to why sponsoring Phileas Fogg's steamship was a good idea but it's not going to replace reading the book. We're talking about one of the most famous novels ever written here.
This is a minor gripe, I know. We're showing that we can deal with the reinvention of our industry, I'm sure we can reinvent a few award shows.
(In the end Jules turned down their money, he didn't want to compromise the integrity of the novel. Testy).
Mark Waites is co-founder/CCO of Mother London. He was chair of the Andy Awards