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Defining Award-Worthy: Q&A with ECD Adam Lock


Group creative director at VaynerMedia New York, Adam Lock talks defined goals, healthy jealousy and why ads shouldn’t try to be ads

Defining Award-Worthy: Q&A with ECD Adam Lock

Adam Lock is a multi-awarded, integrated creative. His work strives to merge the romanticism of traditional big idea thinking with the nimbleness of social and digital execution. 

Working across a vast array of clients including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Pepsi and GE, Adam has over 15 years of experience working over three continents with campaigns recognised by all major award shows, including Cannes, Clio, D&AD, OneShow and The Effies.

In this interview, Adam shares what award-winning means to him and his number one piece of advice for creating work that stands out.

Q> What does creativity mean to you in just three words?

Adam Lock> Reason to live.


Q> What is your advice for those wanting to break the mould, think differently, and create work that stands out?  

Adam> Always understand your end goal. What’s the one thing you need the work to achieve? Once you define it, never waiver from it. Having a defined destination like an end goal will free you to explore the infinite ways to get there. Not knowing where you're going will lead to work that feels safe and/or familiar. 


Q> What makes a piece of work worthy of a Caples award? What will you be looking for when judging?

Adam> For me it always starts with jealousy. Jealousy will often mean that the idea was frustratingly simple and purely original. I’ll often get annoyed with the notion that this idea had been available to me for all these years and I just couldn’t find it. I’ll find myself thinking about past briefs and if I was ever close to finding it. At this stage in the process of judging the work has mind and my heart.


Q> How have awards that you have won in the past influenced or changed your career?

Adam> There is no doubt that these symbols of success help. For me at a basic level it reinforces a right to be confident in your own creative palate. To trust yourself and instill that confidence in others around you, be that the creative team or clients. 

Q> The Caples provide feedback on every entry. As a creative, do you find this helpful when creating future work? And would you wish there were more opportunities to hear from your peers as a younger creative?

Adam> Of course. We should all be yearning for more feedback. Feedback from our peers, like in the case of The Caples Awards is incredibly helpful in honing your craft but I do wish more creatives took more notice of the feedback we can access every day from our audience on social media.  

Our work only works when it’s understood and embraced by the people it’s intended for. Your creative ideas will be infinitely more effective when informed by the opinions of those you are trying to sell to.


Q> What kind of work are you bored of and what are you hoping to see more of this year?

Adam> I’m bored of work that tries to fit the mould of what we think advertising is. The best work doesn’t try and be an ad, it's simple and tries to solve a problem in the most interesting and least jarring way possible. I mean, what’s more jarring than a block of 30 second commercials in this age of people scrolling through a social feed.

Q> What was your favourite piece of work in 2019?

Adam> I loved the work done by agency Jones Knowles Ritchie and Burger King on 'The Meltdown'. This idea has so much to love. Firstly it's a brutally simple idea that solves a macro problem all while sticking it to a major competitor. But what wins it for me is the iconic and mesmerising art direction. Jealous of this one.

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The Caples Awards , Thu, 16 Apr 2020 12:35:06 GMT