ADFEST juries: What makes great work? and what makes great judges who choose it?

| | No Comments
ADFEST juries: What makes great work? and what makes great judges who choose it?

The ADFEST Lotus Award winners will be announced shortly. Many will be hoping that they will be in those lists. Some will be wondering if they could be invited to judge one day. ADFEST asked some of this year’s Jury Presidents to explain the secrets of winning advertising and the qualities in the jurors that make ADFEST judging a valuable indicator of creative excellence.


Ahead of their judging, we asked three simple questions, “What will you be looking for in the jury room?” What makes a good judge?” and “What makes winning work?” Here the answers:

Malcolm Poynton, ADFEST Grand Jury President, Jury President for Lotus Roots, Effectlive Lotus, Innova Lotus and Sustainable Lotus, and Global Chief Creative Officer, Cheil Worldwide, London:

There’s a lot to answer in those questions. What will I be looking for in the jury room? Ideas that move. Especially today, when it’s easy to get over-excited about AI-this and AI-that.

I’ll be encouraging the jury to look beyond the novelty to find what matters. To ask: did this idea move people; because if it did, you can guarantee it moved business.

And this relates to what makes a good judge. Someone that can draw deeply on creative brilliance, has a strategic mind, an eye for excellent execution and comes with an open heart for the most surprising, bold and engaging ideas, no matter where they come from.

As for what makes winning work, it comes full circle; ‘ideas that move’. If work moves the jury, makes them laugh, cry, opens their eyes to more than they knew possible, it’ll get their vote.

And that’s what will shape the show.

The beauty of ADFEST is, with such rich and diverse cultures across Asia, and with such incredible and unique challenges faced in so many parts, the breadth of ideas and approaches is like no other.

That’s what makes Asian creativity so exciting.

It may not always align to global shows because it’s simply not possible to have global jurors ‘get’ all that’s woven into the fabric of Asia. That said, every year, we are seeing more and more work from Asia lead the way on the global stage as the industry view of creativity evolves.

That’s why I’m so excited to be leading such an incredibly talented ADFEST jury on this year’s journey to celebrating Asia’s best and most brilliant ideas.

David Guerrero: Creative Chairman, BBDO Guerrero, Manila, and Jury President of Film Lotus, Outdoor Lotus, Press Lotus and Radio & Audio Lotus

I’m hoping to see shining examples of our creativity and craft – that can be shared and that will inspire others to aim higher. Our job as a jury will be to select and showcase the highlights of the year and as such these pieces will be drawing upon everything that’s gone before and striking out into new and exciting territory in their own way. In other words, we need to see fresh twists on old classics and new classics in the making.

ADFEST is where our region’s rich history of creativity continues to be written. And I expect our 2024 winners to be as surprising, unique, and diverse as the places we each call home.

Bill Yom: Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Jung von Matt HANGANG, Seoul, and Jury President for Brand Entertainment, Commerce and Direct.

Heading the Brand Entertainment, Commerce, and Direct juries, I’ll be looking for a few key qualities in the jury room. A good judge, in my view, should possess a deep understanding of the industry, creativity, and cultural nuances. They should be able to articulate and defend their viewpoints while remaining open to diverse perspectives.

For the talented jury members in my jury room, I’ll be encouraging an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie. A good judge, in addition to their expertise, should bring a spirit of enthusiasm and a willingness to engage in constructive discussions. Balancing the evaluation process with a lot of fun while judging cases can enhance creativity and foster a positive environment.

In terms of what makes a winning campaign, I’ll be seeking innovation, authenticity, and a profound connection with the target audience. The ability to seamlessly blend creativity with strategic thinking and achieving tangible results will be crucial. A winning campaign, in my eyes, should not only stand out creatively but also demonstrate a clear impact on brand objectives.

Wendy Chan: Executive Creative Director, Health APAC, Edelman, Hong Kong, and Jury President for Entertainment Lotus, Media Lotus and PR Lotus.

Three years ago, I felt PR would be the next wave; now I would say Earned is essential to any great campaign. The best and most effective work out in the world is getting talked about and shared. That’s why many who work outside of the PR category incorporate PR elements. With this growing prominence, I expect competition will intensify. I hope to see creative ideas that spark the change in people’s perception and action towards brands or products.