Clever campaigns and flashy tech wasn’t enough to impress the juries at this year’s eurobest. Instead they turned their focus towards ideas that could transform businesses and causes and have real world impact.
Jury presidents Zélia Sakhi of Mobiento/Deloitte Digital (Interactive, Mobile and Digital Craft categories), Adrian Botan of McCann (Direct) and Chris Moody of Wolff Olins (Design) took to the stage to share pieces of work that really worked for their respective juries, and what these pieces mean for the industry as a whole.
First up was Zélia, who said that the jury was specifically looking for work that did not simply use technology for the sake of it. She also said that, due to the nature of the categories, her jury were not looking for ideas that were ‘timeless’ but ideas that could only be relevant for the next six-12 months in a rapidly evolving space.
The work she chose to showcase was McCann’s ‘Fanchise Model’ for Xbox. This platform was created to solve the problem that customisable Xbox controllers were more expensive and therefore off-putting to gamers. The platform allowed gamers to ‘sell’ their designs – every time another gamer chose to buy their design, they would take a share of the revenue. In turn this led to gamers promoting and marketing their own design on social media and resulted in a 350% increase in sales.
However, it was not the customising element that led Zélia to share the piece, but rather the wider change it represents. “We had a lot of discussions around ‘not another customisation campaign’… but we have an agency that’s suddenly helping the client make money and pushing co-creation a little bit forward,” she said, pointing out that it represented a change in business model for the client.
Adrian shared some of his own insight about the campaign as his colleagues at McCann London had worked on it. “That’s what the client is looking for, it’s what they’re asking for and it’s going to be the model of the future, where more and more brands will share the revenue with their consumers.”
From the Direct jury, Adrian spoke about the Humanium project, something that had chimed with the jury for similar reasons – that it was something that had created real change and impact.
“We were looking for transformational ideas and I think secondly we were looking for scalability because we received a lot of experimental ideas that were, by their nature, limited. And I think the third thing was… impact on the lives of real people somewhere along the way. I think because it’s a branding idea and a PR idea that creates a buzz but it’s also a supply chain idea.”
Chris Moody said the piece had also resonated with the Design jury. “The thing for me is that it’s not quite finished yet, in the best possible sense. It’s a catalyst to be creative and it gets stronger when you can do something interesting with it. We were all taking, as a group of creative friends around the table, we were all buzzed about what we could do if we were given a lump of that each.”
Meanwhile Chris himself shared the Deutsche Telekom ‘Lenz App
’ from Saatchi and Saatchi. It had been entered into what he reckoned was the ‘least sexy’ category, Brand Refresh, and had been made for a traditionally challenging category (telecoms). However he saw it as a project that gave new meaning to something ‘dumb’ as it turned the brand’s signature colour (magenta) into a screen on which exclusive content and videos could be projected.
“It took dumb branding and turned it into something that was connected to the people using the product, connected to the product and gave it a much richer experience and was connected to where we are today, “ he said. “It’s not really about technology – but we tried it in the room and it’s the best version of that technology we’ve seen – it’s about what you can do with it. And turning all these things which could be quite dry into portals, channels, where you could do things that were a bit more creatively interesting.”
However the assembled jury members also shared several frustrations, with Zelia pointing out that too much time had been taken debating what to do with pieces that were great ideas and deserved to win something… but had simply been entered into the wrong category. Meanwhile Adrian said that, with the Direct category in particular, where results are especially important, too much emphasis was still put on social media impressions and not enough attention paid to real, substantial impact on business and people’s lives.
And tuning into the big debate of 2017 – the relevance and importance of advertising industry awards themselves – the jurors all said that the practice of judging work collectively created new benchmarks, gave clients the impetus to push for better and gave creatives better insight and drive.
Summing up the experience, Chris said: “The first night, we all went out and got drunk together. The next day we argued furiously. And on the third day, we made up!”