Do awards shows accurately reflect what's going on, in terms of creativity, in the industry at large?
Awards are a barometer of the health of the industry. Advertising is an ideas industry—creativity is its currency. In times like these, it becomes ever more important for creativity to be applauded and showcased. The future is about big ideas being media-neutral in concept and media-infinite in execution. All the major shows are acknowledging the industry is rapidly changing and have created new categories that celebrate ideas that look forward in time and ones that act as a springboard for new creative possibilities.
How would you characterize the judging process? Does the best work always make it through?
An awards show is only as good as its jury. When you bring the finest creative minds in the business together to judge the world's best work, you avoid the jingoism and pettiness that so often plagues other shows. Advertising is a subjective business, but when you discover winning work, it's amazing how quickly a quality jury reaches consensus.
Do you have any recommendations for changes to the Andys?
Lor Gold, CCO, Draft Chicago, President, Cannes Promo Lions JuryWhat distinguishes the Cannes Promo category from other categories? Tell us about the particular niche this category presumably fills.
The Cannes Promo Lions are primarily a creative awards competition. Results are of course considered but are not necessarily the dealbreaker. The goal in the judging room is to identify work that stretches the limits of what a promotion can do as it elevates itself beyond the one-off or the irrelevant salesmaker. The niche that this category fills is one that is a result of the marketplace understanding the future of marketing communications. It has become clear that promotions and branding are becoming one and that they no longer can realistically live in separate worlds. Cannes captures how that's coming to life from the perspective of every country on earth.
What made VW "Fast" the standout in this category?
"Fast" pushed the limits of promotions. The demon-like "Fast" icon represents a young driver's repressed desire for speed. "Fast" was really about branding the consumer, not the car—something that is at the core of a standout promotion.
The Promo Lions seems rather complicated, with a host of subcategories and quite a range of varied marketing ideas; how difficult was all this to judge?
This first-ever category could have been a nightmare to judge, with many different categories and varying opinions on the definition of a promotion. That's why on day one all of the judges came together and decided exactly what we considered a promotion to be and how we'd judge the work that was put in front of us. Ultimately we decided that promotions that are more than a one-off and that really stretch the limits of reaching consumers in a unique and effective way would be the winners in this competition.
Do awards shows reflect what's going on creatively in the industry now?
The fact is that clients are now far more consumer-savvy and are beginning to leave the ad industry in the dust. Our industry can't continue to act aloof or to think that it's above the brands that we represent. The awards shows that truly embrace the total offering of marketing communications do reflect creative thinking and the expression of that creativity. Cannes is the ultimate example. Asia, and Latin America, specifically Brazil, also have awards shows that get it. But America is falling behind and had better start playing catchup. Now.
Design Barcode, Cannes Titanium Lion WinnerHow did you come up with the design barcode concept? Is it an original idea?
We have always been great appreciators of packaging design, and we felt that the barcode, although functional, was always something that destroyed the original beauty of the package designer's intent. So we set out to understand everything we could about barcode technology and found that we could create a design process that would work together with the technology. Once we developed our process we went crazy with design. There have been other examples of barcodes with design, but we decided to commit our entire professional energy to creating a company and brand solely around barcode design. Our aim is to make designed barcodes accessible to companies of all sizes. Everyone has the right to beautiful packaging. We want to deliver designed barcodes that are affordable, designed in line with a company's brand needs—and scan properly. And, perhaps most important, delight the end customer.
What is the most challenging aspect of creating barcodes?
Every package has its own constraints on allocated space; designing to that space while maximizing creativity is always a challenge.
Since your win at Cannes, other companies doing barcode designs have emerged, some which seem to have been doing it for some time. Had you known before that there were other firms doing similar things?
We've seen examples of other designed barcodes from companies, but we have never heard of any company devoted only to the design and testing of barcodes.
What prompted you to submit your work to Cannes?
We felt applying to Cannes fit into our mission of letting people know what is possible with barcode design. If we were successful, then many companies would know we exist, and design barcode would have a chance to spread all over the world.
What was your reaction to winning a Titanium Lion?
We were awestruck and overcome. We are a small firm with a very specific focus. To be acknowledged on a world stage by an industry for which we have so much respect was an incredible feeling for all of us.
What are your thoughts about the Titanium in general? What do you think your win represents for the category?
We appreciate the Titanium category for its encouragement of innovation. We've always been inspired by creative people who look at something that has been the same for many years and ask, "Why is this so?" — and then set out to change the public's idea of what is possible. While final judging has traditionally been held outside the U.S., this year was the first time the Andys conducted preliminary judging in both New York and in London, emphasizing the show's international heritage, and the final judging took place in Florence. The show should continue with its ambition to attract the finest work in the world and truly become an international show. As the industry develops, the show will naturally evolve.