Last fall the Andy Awards, run by the The Advertising Club of New York, dramatically overhauled its program by doing away with categories, but tomorrow it will debut another key element of its makeover—by broadcasting jury deliberations of the top winners live on Facebook.
This marks the first time a major industry awards show has welcomed the public into the jury room—and not just for viewing, but also for comment. From 12:00 to 4:00 PM PDT/3:00 to 7:00 EDT on Saturday, March 17, viewers will be able to question the jury through Facebook as they make their decisions. The deliberations will take place at Deutsch's production studio Steelhead in Los Angeles, and winners will be able to witness, as they're decided, the show's top winners: Bravery, Student, Social Good and Grandy Best of Show.
According to Andy Awards Director Gina Grillo, the live broadcast falls in line with the nonprofit Ad Club's mission to provide education and support for creative talent. "There's been a lot of negativity around awards shows about how people feel closed out and they don't understand what made this win or not," she says. "This is a lens into what makes it great."
The judges includes Andys Chair Pete Favat, Deutsch North American chief creative officer; Facebook Creative Shop Global Creative Director Andrew Keller; and chief creative officers including FCB's Susan Credle, Wieden & Kennedy's Colleen Decourcy, Barton F. Graf's Gerry Graf, Leo Burnett's Judy John, Fallon's Jeff Kling, Goodby's Margaret Johnson, Publicis' Nick Law, Grey's John Patroulis, David's Anselmo Ramos and more. See the full jury here.
"I've been in juries and sometimes young folks will accidentally wander into the room, even though it says 'PRIVATE FILM JURY' in big block letters, but then they'll get ushered out," says Favat. "Why do we behave this way? Anselmo Ramos said, 'We can discuss laws live on CSPAN, but we're not going to allow the public to see which ads we think are good or not?' When I was a kid, there was no way I could talk to Phil Dusenberry or Joe Pytka
As for opening it up to the public, there will be some moderation and filtering, but the Andys jury is embracing the risk. "I'm sure people will want to log in and take potshots, but this is an attempt to be honest and clean," says Favat. "It's an attempt to change the game and get people to believe in value of the awards."
Previously, another top awards festival D&AD released video of the judging of its Black Pencil winners after the process was wrapped. This past year has seen the awards industry make major changes to their programs in response to industry complaint and fatigue. In November, the for-profit Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity announced it would be cutting days and dropping prices, among other changes.