There is something very special about being part of a jury looking at the best media campaigns on the planet. Not only does it provide jurors with key insight on the trends and initiatives driving global media, but it allows them the opportunity to understand how, why, when and where consumers are consuming information and how they react. It also gives jury members the chance to discuss the former with their peers, which itself sparks inspirational thoughts and ideas for them to take back to their teams and daily role.
What’s more for the first time since May 2019, Festival of Media Global was able to hold two of its jury sessions in the live space, which added another element to the discussions and most importantly allowed the jurors to have those ‘water cooler’ moments, which helps ignite new relationships and potentially business. It was wonderful to see.
But back to the work and this year the standard of entries was lauded by the juries and it was brilliant to see work from countries such as Poland, India, South Africa and Costa Rica duking it out alongside the US, Europe, UK and APAC and being loved by the jurors.
In terms of trends it was clear there has been a real shift in the thinking behind the campaigns – due to what has happened around the world over the last couple of years – and this was evident across most of the categories.
As the sessions continued it was obvious brands and their agencies had tapped into the new way of consumer thinking and so many campaigns had a purpose or cause at their heart, but not in a ‘box-ticking’ sustainability or green washing way, but more of a considered impact on attempting to change cultural behaviour or outdated religious thinking, in some cases going beyond the brand and its marketing. There was also a lot of brave brands and agencies breaking from the advertising norms and rediscovering their creative mojo. This was evident in one particular Middle Eastern campaign, which redefined OOH and live experiences, while challenging arguably outdated religious views and laws.
In fact one judge said about such campaign: “It didn’t just launch and leave the campaign to get awards, the work was driven by a real purpose.”
It was also interesting to see the now seamless relationship between data and creativity. For so long they were viewed as frenemies, but if the pandemic has accelerated anything it is creative thinking aligned with data that is driving results. This has helped generate far more agile campaigns even when produced for traditional media campaigns. This was evident with a charity campaign and a fantastic piece of work that was delivered – from ideation to implementation – for television within a 12-hour period, which just a few years ago would have been unheard of.
This year’s shortlisted entrants also showcased how you can create amazing work that delivers above and beyond its objectives with the smallest of budgets and this was on display in lauded campaigns from Costa Rica and Sweden where the creativity and simplicity of an idea delivered on a near zero budget.
Interestingly one campaign – which shows the power media can yield – managed to encourage a Mayor to endorse it and give a whole city the day off as part of the purpose campaign, which is amazing.
What was clear from the judging sessions is that global media is keen to use its power to try and have a positive effect on the world, while reigniting creativity and being brave. It’s a good time to be in the sector.
And if you don’t believe us then we will leave you with this quote from one of our jury chairs: “Today has reignited why I am excited about working in advertising again.”
Find out who takes home the trophies at our free virtual ceremony next Thursday (26th May) by registering here.