ADFEST Juries: The most surprising, resilient + inventive industry in the world?

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ADFEST Juries: The most surprising, resilient + inventive industry in the world?

There has been a lot of negativity about the state of the creative industry. Yes, the demand of more for less seems to be a challenge. Economies have been struggling throughout the world and that (well, brands) puts a lot of pressure on the advertising and marketing. But mostly “bad news sells”, whether it’s in the trade press or an industry get together.


But think about how far advertising has come. It has shattered the borders of TV, print, direct and radio. It has burst open a world of new ideas about what advertising is and what it can do. And isn’t the likely future of human intelligence and AI working together just a little (or maybe a lot) exciting? The creativity of both is boundless and always growing.

So, let’s change the conversation. Let’s applaud advertising for what it has achieved already and what it is going to achieve. Let’s get excited about the potential it has already realised and the potential it has waiting in the wings. Let’s make advertising fun again. Because that will make great advertising – and THAT will make the creative industry great.

KK Chow, Chief Creative Officer, INNOCEAN Indonesia

Tech evolution and creativity

I started my career three decades ago as a Visualiser/FA artist. In 1994, I experienced the first creative evolution with the Macintosh LC III that transitioned work from the manual “cut and paste” to digital FA. I was thrilled by the convenience it brought, and equally impressed by how Photoshop helped enhance visual presentations.

Since then, numerous tech innovations have emerged, and no doubt we will continue to see exponential changes in tech advancements in our industry. While it may feel overwhelming, it is important to embrace these changes to thrive, which is why I am constantly learning to unlearn and relearn.

As for AI, it is inspiring to have such a powerful and useful tool in our creative toolbox. I am excited to see and explore what new creative possibilities it has the potential to unlock. That said, let us not forget that human creativity and intuition will always be at the heart of great work.

AI is a game-changer and will continue to bring a positive impact to our industry landscape. Let’s embrace it and leverage its capabilities to its fullest.

Nick Simkins, Executive Producer, FINCH, Australia

Unwaveringly human work

I’m not really interested in buzzwords or buzz word topics. What will always be true in brand-building? Storytelling craft and authentic connection with an audience. Craft, or another word could be execution, is the difference that makes the difference when it comes to bringing an idea to life.

Craft is not just a step in the creative process; it’s the soul of our endeavor. It demands that every filmmaking discipline converge with precision and purpose. In essence it’s attention to detail. Direction, casting, cinematography, production design, editing, sound design and music – all forensically considered to form the best communication possible. It’s about leveraging our collective experience and knowledge to serve and elevate the idea. By bringing our own authentic point of view to its execution, we infuse an idea with meaning so that it resonates on a human level.

What we are seeing across the industry, is that despite the usual constraints of time and budget, we still care about the layers of craft required to connect with an audience. A case in point would be Michael Hili’s Brain Cancer spot, where the choice of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” really makes you feel something. But the commitment to craft didn’t stop at music; the sets, the edit, the sound design, each layer meticulously built upon the next, bringing detail and depth to the overall idea.

As we grapple with the rise of AI and the allure of ‘efficient creativity’, nuanced attention to detail continues to triumph. It’s a testament to our industry’s resilience and ingenuity, proving that even in the face of evolving technologies, the essence of our work remains unwaveringly human.

Gary Steele, Chief Creative Officer, DDB Group Aotearoa NZ

Make sure we have the time to play more.

On a late Sunday, my son, realising he had an essay due, quickly vanished. Ten minutes later, he proudly unveiled his creation, courtesy of ChatGPT. Much like our industry running towards AI for an easy solution.

The downside?

Depending solely on AI can lead to instant results and a sea of information. But, like my son’s essay, most of what is coming out lacks originality and all feels the same. AI is undeniably part of our landscape. Let’s embrace it with the creative, playful spirit we all have. However, we must resist the temptation to settle for its convenient solutions and push beyond the answers given to find the answers that we didn’t know were there. I nudged my son to take more time to rewrite his essay using some answers he got from AI but to play with his own experiences and put things together that may not make sense until they do. He came down a few hours later with a piece that was charming, interesting to read, and spoke to who he was. Way better than the dribble AI gave him.

Our industry demands more than the easy route. Let’s approach everything with the curiosity of children playing. This way, we can steer away from the sameness of AI-driven solutions, ensuring we don’t succumb to the ease of the dribble but rather thrive in the playground of originality.

Unfortunately, that takes time. Something we are going to have to work harder to protect for our creatives to be able to play more.