Both Gillespie and Smith were on the list last year -- the first nomination for both -- when the award went to then-Black Rocket creative director Bob Kerstetter. This year, Gillespie made the cut based on work for Citibank, Holiday Inn Express, Chevy, EDS and SBC, while Smith's reel included the recent "God" campaign for Fox Sports from Cliff Freeman and work for Mini out of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. MJZ's Ariola likewise receives his second nomination, following a nod in 2000, with a reel of work for PlayStation 2, Lee Dungarees and Bank of America.
Dektor is, of course, the DGA veteran on this year's slate. Nominated thirteen times, he has won the award twice, in 1992 and 2000. This year, his reel consists of work for American Express, Verizon and America's Second Harvest. The new face is veteran Noam Murro, who receives his first nomination based on work for Saturn, eBay and E*Trade, all out of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
The winner will be announced March 1 at the DGA Awards Dinner in Los Angeles.