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New York Festivals' chief creative jury rewriting awards model

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Thirty chief creative officers from agencies around the world convened in New York this week to judge this year's New York Festivals international advertising awards show. In a creative twist, the jury was allowed to determine the awards structure, deciding during judging whether there should be a single Grand Prix or several. At a panel discussion yesterday the group announced there would be one best-in-show winner.

During the panel, Mark Tutsell, Leo Burnett's global chief creative officer, talked about what made the best pieces of work as great as they are. A re-watchability factor is huge, he said. A strong foundation in relevant human behavior combined with a sense of timelessness and great execution are key as well, and despite technology's ubiquity in modern work, it takes a back seat to content as the main driver of success.

On a more logistical level, agencies are putting tremendous effort into the presentation of the work they enter awards shows, explained Graham Warsop, chairman and chief creative at South Africa-based The Jupiter Drawing Room. Case study videos that demonstrate not just the creative, but the strategy, target market, cultural context and the campaign's measurable impact are invaluable in portraying work in the best possible light. Warsop also cited the need for work to be rooted in both cultural and the brand's relevance, warning against entertainment for entertainment's sake.

This year's show had no judging chair, which Tham Khai Meng, Ogilvy & Mather's worldwide chief creative, said fostered debate and a positive exchange of ideas from the breadth of cultures represented. Robert Rasmussen, chief creative at Tribal DDB US, agreed, adding that each C-level judge had to adjust to their word not necessarily being the last on any given piece, a far cry from the authority each has come to take for granted in their home agency.

The award for "World's Best Idea" went to Wieden & Kennedy's "Write the Future" campaign, produced for Nike in 2010 to promote the FIFA World Cup.

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