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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  How do you get to judge so many award shows?

How do you get to judge so many award shows?


Nancy you seem to judge an incredible amount of local and international shows, and I’m sure you have to decline a number of them too. Besides your obvious talent for recognizing great work, what causes a judge like yourself to appear so often, and how does the crtiteria in your head differ when judging say, this years One Show as apposed to overseeing this years Marketing, Applied Arts, or Ice Awards?

intro How do you get to judge so many award shows?I have had freakish good luck to be invited to judge so many shows over the past several years. It remains something of a mystery why the invites keep coming in such quantities, but I have my theories. Number one, and let’s not kid ourselves, I’m a girl. Every show looks for their token woman or two, and it would seem they don’t look too hard. There are more women out there than me and Kathy Delaney. But not that many at the CD level, which is a topic of continuing debate and concern. (Janet wrote a great article a few years ago for Marketing, “Where the girls aren’t”. Time to post it on ihaveanidea and have some discussion on the site, I’m thinking.) So why me? In Canada I’m well known and I’m asked by chairs who think I’ll bring something good to the party. Shows like CA and Clio’s tend to identify people based partly on word of mouth from the big cheeses that have been past judges. My first U.S. show was the Richmond show in Virginia in ’96. At that show and most shows, I usually stand out for being outspoken and saying what others would keep to themselves. Not like that’s such a genius strategy: I just can’t contain myself—it’s sort of like Tourette’s syndrome. So some people like me for that while others leave thinking how incredibly annoying I am. Those who aren’t annoyed seem to pass my name along when a Jean Coyne or Andrew Jaffe are trying to fill their juries. The One Show starts their process with nominations from their boardmembers. The Cannes delegates are nominated by the Canada Cannes committee. Marketing, Bessies and Ice Awards juries are selected by their chairs. How’s that for too much information?

The criteria in my head at Marketing or Bessies isn’t really different than the big shows; Canada has come a long way in the past 10 years and competes on the world stage. The Ice Awards is a new show in a young ad community and admittedly if the bar was held at a global level there would be a book so thin it would be a page. (And having said that, for such a small community, they kicked ass this year with Target’s killer radio campaign for Irving Mainway Convenience and Extreme’s anti-smoking campaign that won Best of Show at the Bessies yesterday—this work will win well beyond Canada).

It’s an incredible honor to judge these shows, and an amazing education for the jury members as we have the rare opportunity to review an entire country or region’s work. A great way to understand the trends, see who’s hot this year and who’s suddenly not, and be inspired by all the great work. Being treated like a goddess for several days doesn’t get old, either. I’m still afraid to actually use my $500 Hermes Cannes beach towel. So I can only hope my judging streak continues. Nice work if you can get it.

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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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