The Titanium and Integrated shortlist has been announced, and Creativity sat down with juror Mark Tutssel, Leo Burnett Worldwide CCO, to hear his thoughts about this year's entries and the category in general.
So how has your week been?
It's been a really, really good week. Fantastic jury, really high quality jury and Alex Bogusky chaired it extremely well and did an excellent job. It's always tough when you have a very high caliber, experienced jury to direct and calibrate so it doesn't go off the rails. You have to keep the jurors on brief because it's a very subjective business and I think there has to be a very clear definition of the judging criteria, certainly within the Titanium and Integrated sections. It was important to set down what we were looking for and what his expectations were as a jury chairman, and I think he performed his task brilliantly.
The rules—what's been established this year? There's been confusion in the past regarding this category.
I think people are really looking really to put flesh on the bones, for examples of what we mean by Titanium, by truly integrated submissions. I think all the industry is looking for are examples of best in class practices in this current environment. There's so much theory out there that people have about what's right and what's wrong, and I think what we're crying out for more importantly is examples of what we mean.The point I'd make about the work—look at the way each of the examples approach the problem and the way they celebrate the core concept and the core truth in many different ways but I think what was important was that very rich connective tissue they created and each time they communicated it was amplified so each time you went back to it, it started to grow. That's what I think is pure integration.
What do you think of the submissions this year?
This year there were quite a few brilliant examples of truly, truly, integrated work that really amplified itself in each of the communication channels that it chose to go down, and really became richer as it spread itself across a range of contact points as opposed to a lot of entries. And I think a lot of work you see in the industry today is basically the same idea mirrored in any given contact channel with just a logo slapped on it. That's just old fashion mixed media, an old fashioned campaign of yesteryear. New modern integrated ideas truly do weave their way into the social fabric and truly are right for the channel they choose as opposed to just going down every channel and being in there. I don't think that's communication. Communication is finding the right channels that are appropriate for the idea and the brand in question and the brands that do that successfully are the ones I think will shine on Saturday evening.
Do you think clients are opening up more to these sorts of ideas?
What you find in the industry is that clients now are in search of best in class ideas period. The days of traditional relationships with clients are long gone, advertising is dead, we have no use for it anymore. We are clearly in the communications business.
Do you feel like they're truly savvy about smart ideas, as opposed to just asking agencies to repeat or copy brilliant ideas from the past?
Going back to my point about titanium and integrated, it is meat on the bone, proof positive of what we mean when we talk about new world best practice. We're looking to create cases that demonstrate the infinite possibilities that are available to us right now. Of course they're stimulating and interesting to agencies, but they're also stimulating to clients. Modern clients are so communications and media savvy, and expect so much more. Go to Youtube and you'll see there's a lot of very talented people out there who want to be co-authors of brands and create themselves. The bar is extremely high so agencies and clients need to step up to that level and really produce work that's worthy of people's time.
What about innovation?
That played a massive part. You'll see great examples of using channels in such a fresh way and I think more importantly, if you strip it back, brands that have a comprehensive understanding of human behavior, how people tick, how people think. And brands that weave their way in and become useful and valuable. Once the brand becomes you and you become the brand, wow, who wouldn't want to be there? That's the million dollar question. They're just being smart and they're just being human. To me, there's a distinct line between brands that understand human behavior and humanity and connect people in very real, believable, valuable, useful way. And there are brands that just assume "You're listening to me." but people are going, "No we're not. I'm not reading my magazine to see your ad, I'm not watching TV to watch your commercial, I'm not flicking on my computer to see your communication pop out at me."