As mentioned in Tuesday's newsletter, I am in NYC over the next few weeks attending the May advertising festivals and visiting ad folk this side of the Atlantic. So how has the trip been so far? As always, visiting Manhattan is a real treat. Several years ago I was lucky enough to live this side of the pond and as such, I try to visit at least once, if not, twice a year. One of the great perks in my job as Editor is that I get to attend many festivals, awards and talks that are held all over the globe. This visit, I’ve managed to worm my way into all of May’s advertising festivals. Kicking off my education this week is the New York Festival, where I spent yesterday. In the morning, after the panel discussion from this year’s impressive jury (http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/NYFJuries
), I attended a presentation held by Donald Gunn on this year’s Gunn Report.
One of the questions we always ask people in our ‘5 Minutes with’ feature is how important awards are to them, and what they mean to their company. Answers usually have the same main core, but with different perceptions, and levels of interest. So, I was intrigued to hear what last year’s findings were, and what work stood out, and why. First interesting fact was that Indonesia debuted in the most awarded countries category. Not surprisingly, USA came top, with UK, Brazil, Argentina and Germany following. Amnesty International came in 10th as the most awarded advertiser, with WWF in 5th place. Old Spice and Google entered this category for the first time and Nike replaced VW in 1st position.
In amongst the facts and figures, we got to see some great work. Making me laugh out loud had to be the Shelley’s Adhesive work from Belgiovane Williams Mackay (http://bit.ly/g9Iaum
) ) and BBDO Argentina’s Cannes Gold 2011 work ‘Braids’ for H2oh! (http://bit.ly/JqHTr3
). Like Donald, I too love a great bit of print work and was very much taken by Y&R Dubai’s work for Harvey Nichols (http://bit.ly/Kbj1dD
), Public Conseil’s Samu Social work (http://bit.ly/IDuWAu
) and Scholz and Friend Interactive’s work for Bund e.V (http://bit.ly/IXa03P
). W+K Amsterdam came in as the top agency this year, a first for the Netherlands and BBDO claimed Agency Network of 2011.
Women in Advertising was pretty interesting, so much so that I got up, took a mic and asked a question. This, as usual, wasn’t a pretty sight and I looked like I was auditioning for a Hugh Grant role. Much stammering, hands shaking and the ‘I’m shit at this, bear with me please’. However, the conversation was really intriguing. Meant to be 'Technology and Opportunity: A Brighter Outlook for Women in Advertising', the conversation turned mainly to discussing if women hit an invisible ceiling within the industry and was that the case globally? Carol Lam, CCO and MD of McCann Erickson, China was really interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the opportunities and equality that she experiences within China. Former SVP & Group CD with DDB Chicago, Karen Mallia's thoughts on her role as a leader were also very inspiring and she shared the wealth of skills that her personal life have brought to her role. Both ladies were really great speakers and had a lot to say, so much, in fact, that the hour we had only scratched the topic's surface. I plan to hunt both down again today, which will see me and others in the NY Public Library, listening to more of the panel with the awards ceremony in the evening.
I’ll tell you the highlights next Tuesday. In the meantime, have a great weekend one and all, and if you witnessed my awful public speaking today, please blot it from your memory. I’m trying desperately to pretend it never happened.