Category Archives: Awards

You’re wrong, Jeff Goodby

(Image from Campaign Brief Asia)

Sorry, Mr. Jeff Goodby, co-chairman and creative director of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, but you’re wrong.

In a recent  article in Advertising Age, you condemned the awards culture in advertising. You said that it “rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business.”

You labeled people who subscribe to the awards culture as connoisseurs of esoterica.

And in the process, you said, we’re becoming more about us, and less about changing the world.

Hate to break it to ya, Jeff, but scam ads aside, you’re wrong.

Because, if you’re labeling the awards culture the fringe, then you’re also admitting that it is part of the long tail.

Today’s culture accommodates esoterica. And the Internet is its curator.

If there is an audience for anything on the Internet, then there is an audience for award-winning work, outside of advertising. And you can find them at places like Twitter, YouTube and of course, FFFFOUND!

You’ll find people who appreciate clever advertising anywhere. In music forums, on typography blogs and even good old fashion MSN. In fact, the probability of finding award-winning ads on the Internet is now more than ever since our industry discovered the wonderful world of viral marketing.

(And of course, there’s Google)

So, with all due respect, sir, you’re totally missing the point: Awards are not killing the industry. Scam work, probably.

But not awards, because now is the time for really creative work to not only shine but also, to be found.

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There goes the Kancils

(Image from Arizona Dry Bones)

The bad news: We won’t be submitting any work for the Kancil Awards, this year.

That’s because we’re not a 4As agency.

The good news: We’ve got the go-ahead for submissions for the Webby Awards.

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Kancil Awards 2008 – Change the Game

It’s amazing how much the industry has changed over the period of a year.

Why, just look at the new Kancil Awards website. It’s so much better than that piece of crap they did last year. Honestly, guys, well done! And welcome to the World Wide Web.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this year’s festival. There’s some really good speakers including CP + B’s Alex Burnard and of course, Iain Tate from Poke London. And, fingers-crossed, there should be even better interactive work this time around.

I really hope I can make it for the talks. And if I win anything again, well, that would be nice, too.

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Filed under Advertising, Awards, Design, Events, Life, Previews, Uncategorized, Web

Nice layout, Adfest

Not.

It’s looks like a poster, not a website. Where’s the interface, yo?

Why do post-event websites generally have to suck?

Thank goodness Cannes Lions doesn’t suck, although their coding is a bit on the sloppy side.

Ha ha.

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Filed under Accessibility, Advertising, Awards, Content, Design, Events, Funny, Reviews, Trends, Uncategorized, Usability, Web

Tokyo Interactive Ad Awards

I read somewhere that the reason why Japanese advertising is sometimes difficult to understand is because it’s so subtle.

That, and a whole lotta quirky.

Thanks to the iMedia Connection e-mail newsletter I received earlier today, I can share with you the results of Tokyo Interactive Ad Awards, courtesy of TIAA judge Akihito Abe.

Especially this Kendo blog widget, which features a Kendoka who whacks the living crap out of bad words in your copy.

It’s awesome! Try it.

Needless to say, the other winning entries were pretty interesting, too.

And a whole lotta ‘quirky’.

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5 tips for making your website award entries jury-friendly

(Image from TomDotCom)

Tom Eslinger (pictured above) is Saatchi & Saatchi’s Worldwide CD for Interactive & Emerging Media.

I met him at an Adfest after-party and asked him what I could do to make my digital award entries easier to judge at awards shows.

He gave me a list of things to aim for, and here’s what I managed to recall from our quick conversation:

1. Make websites that work fast

Tom told me that judges have to look through hundreds of entries a day, so make sure your website not only loads fast, but also gets straight to the content.

I’d recommend cutting out unnecessary interactions like splash pages and Flash loading sequences. I’d avoid asking judges to sign up or log in to my website and make sure that they sure as hell don’t have to download any plugins or software updates.

2. Optimize for the latest version of IE

I cringed when I heard Tom say this, because I usually get my developers to run cross-browser tests on our websites. I believe in best practices and I try to make sure that our sites are able to work on any machine, at any connection speed.

But then, optimizing your website for an award makes perfect sense if you think about it; the jury will probably use the most common Web browser available to man and that is Internet Explorer.

The judges won’t bother testing your site with other types of browsers unless they find that your site isn’t working with IE, in the first place.

3. Host it on your own server

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, too.

Rather than piggy-back off someone else’s bandwidth, it would be a great idea to invest in a dedicated server, especially if the work that you enter for awards has been taken offline (which is almost always the case when it comes to campaign microsites).

Alternatively, you could buy a premium hosting plan from mediatemple or if you’re from Malaysia, I recommend using Exabytes. They’re quite reliable and their customer support is great (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that).

4. Don’t go overboard with video

Resist the urge to upload all of your videos in HD.

A high-res video is nice to look at, but it’ll fuck the judges up because they need to wait for it to load. Once it’s loaded, they have to sit and watch it. And if it sucks, your website will probably end up losing some Brownie Points, too.

Rather, build videos into the user experience instead of just plonking a huge clips on a landing page and hoping people will watch everything that you ask them to.

5. It’s all about the experience

Lastly, Tom said that judges look for fun and engaging user experiences.

I think at Adfest the judges were looking out for websites that could tell an interesting story or invite people to tell one, themselves. But hey, this is advertising. The judges must’ve also been looking for New, Cool and Wow, right?

By the way, thanks, Tom. You rock.

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5 things I learned from Adfest 2008

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(Image from Pebbles. Thanks, Pebbles!)

In no particular order, here are 5 things I learned from Adfest 2008:

1. BBDO workouts are great

A BBDO workout is basically a special brainstorming session where people from all over the network turn up to generate ideas for our clients.

I was lucky enough to be part of BBDO Bangkok Chief Creative Officer Suthisak Sucharittanonta‘s team. I met some really cool folks from Japan and the Philippines, too.

For real: you learn a lot when you’re the only digital guy in your team.

2. Stefan Sagmeister rocks

“What the hell is the founder’s signature doing on the back of the card?”

The design guru not only spoke of the wisdom he gained throughout life but also told all of us why our business cards suck. Seriously, that was the highlight of Stefan Sagmeister‘s speech.

Agencies, maybe it’s time to rethink your design values. Readers, if you’re into design, you can probably learn a hell of a lot from Sagmeister.

Just try not to copy him too much, if you can.

3. So does Paul Kemp-Robertson, Tony Davidson and Alex “Burnie” Burnard.

The ‘digital’ guys made a lot of sense. Maybe because they talk the talk because they walk the walk.

Alex Burnard was funny.

Tony Davidson made me want to work for Honda.

And Paul Kemp-Robertson made me happy that I am a Contagious subscriber.

Seriously, Paul has some really good ideas up his sleeve. And he knows his shit like Cedric.

4. And Nissin Cup Noodles rules, too.

Or to be exact, the ambitious Freedom Project. It was a campaign that promoted the 35th Anniversary of Nissin Cup Noodles.

What? How in the world do cup noodles rock?

When they’re part of a campaign that includes people like Katsuhiro Otomo (the dude who made Akira).

It won a 360 Lotus. And that’s not a very easy thing to do, folks.

5. Awards shows are still just awards shows

I went to the Kancils and the DMAM awards shows in 2007. I just came back from Adfest 2008.

It’s inspiring to see great work, especially work like Colour Tokyo and the Freedom Project but I had to keep reminding myself that none of the work that I saw was judged on the basis of effectiveness.

In the words of a judge that I spoke to right after the awards dinner, it was a purely creative awards show.

Maybe I’m anal-retentive, but I can’t separate good digital work from good results.

And ladies and gentlemen, I’m not talking about hits.

All in all, it was an insightful experience and of course, I’m very thankful for it.

Next on my list; the Webbies!

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