Everyone in advertising loves award shows. We love to win. And we love to complain when we don't. The most popular excuse usually being "the judges didn't know what they were doing, what a bunch of hacks."
So when the DC Ad Club asked me to help assemble a top-notch judging panel for this year's Addys, I jumped at the chance. No problem, I thought. Who wouldn't want the prestige and responsibility of being a judge? Who wouldn't want the opportunity to set the creative bar for the rest of the industry? Who wouldn't want an all expense paid weekend in Our Nation's Capital, even if most of it would be spent locked in a conference room staring at collateral pieces done for associations? As it turns out, more people than you'd think.
Granted, my wish list was rather ambitious. It consisted of some of the most award-winning creatives from the hottest shops around the globe. (Some of whom I knew personally, most or whom had no clue who I was.) But I was surprised by how many people passed or tried to pawn it off on a subordinate, and by the level of creativity that went into some of their excuses.
"I can't travel at that time" was a common excuse among the far flung interactive candidates, despite the fact that the work could be judged remotely so there was no need to travel. "I'm in production that week" was a good one, too. Although in my 20 years in the business, I can't remember the last time I knew every detail of a production schedule 4 months ahead of time. "I don't believe in award shows" was an interesting one. Especially coming from someone who's work had been recognized by practically every award show out there over the last few years. I even heard that one potential judge hadn't responded because he had been attacked by a shark. Are you kidding me? Unfortunately not, according to sharkattacksurvivors.com. (He's recovering quite well, by the way.)
Anyway, after about a month of working the phones, sending emails and stalking people on twitter, I'm happy to declare that we have an impressive, diverse and inspiring panel of judges. 10 brave creatives from all over the map, all with fully stocked trophy cases to their credit, decided to answer the call. Thanks to Wendy Moniz, our Addy chair, for all her help.
I can only hope they like some of my agency's work. Because this year, I'll have no excuse if we don't win.
The Interactive Panel; David Snyder from Firstborn, New York, Drew Ungvarsky from Grow Interactive, Norfolk, Mark Avnet, Creative Technology Professor at VCU Brandcenter, Richmond, Julie Beeler from Second Story Interactive, Portland and Jason Hart from Big Spaceship, New York.
The General Market Panel; Steve Red from Red Tettemer + Partners, Philadelphia, Kash Sree from Pereira Odell, New York, Marcus Wesson from Dailey and Associates, LA, Mary Knight from Draft FCB Chicago and Tito Melega, currently freelancing in LA, formerly with TBWA/ChiatDay, Saatchi and Team One.