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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  What determines “exceptional” work?

What determines “exceptional” work?


You know, I always hear and read about people wanting to change the advertising world in Canada. Well, what exactly is it that they want to change? What do you consider exceptional work? And how do you determine which ones are exceptional? Is there a value to what is being created? Is it just to try to win awards and get noticed? Is it to just make money and ski rocket one’s ego? Or is it to relate to everyday people and portray good examples to our young generation and promote a healthy environment?
I see so much competition out there that I feel that people are just out there for the money and fame and not for what society actually needs.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts/comments.
Thank you.

intro What determines exceptional work?We think that to imagine advertising being on any level “what society actually needs” is kind of funny. And we don’t think it’s the job of advertising per se to “portray good examples to our young generation”—more like, be the mirror of that generation so it will relate to the message. But we take your point. Are there creatives who want to win awards at all costs? Yep. Is the whole thing a bit out of whack? Probably. For us, advertising at its best pleases all parties: it’s so fresh and interesting it gets noticed and liked by the target that then buys stuff and the ads win awards. We think a creative ad that didn’t sell anything isn’t a good ad. We also think ads that sell truckloads but bores the viewer/insults their intelligence is a bad ad. A great ad does the full check-list: it has a fresh, memorable idea, well executed, that engages the target. If it’s creative for creative’s sake, irrelevant to the consumer, do not pass go. By the way, a fantastic study called the Gunn Report has drawn a very compelling link to award-winning advertising being demonstrably more effective in the marketplace than work that doesn’t win awards. (Google it.) Interestingly, one of the conclusions of this study (which has been evaluating award winning work for many years now) is that clients should be studying the criteria that the judges of top awards shows use to pick the winners, as they are identifying the work that performs the best. (No doubt, not 100% of the time.)

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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