The Tomorrow Awards

The guys behind ihaveanidea.org and Portfolio night released their new project yesterday: The Tomorrow Awards. It's the first award show of its kind that has no categories – it will be all about the best ideas independent from their media platform. The other twist is that the shortlist will be crowd-sourced by the industry, everyone can register as a judge and help choosing work which will the be presented to the 'Monster Judges'. This team consists of jury chief Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer, AKQA, Mark Chalmers, partner and creative director of Perfect Fools, Colleen DeCourcy, chief digital officer, TBWA Worldwide, New York, Naoki Ito, executive creative director, Wieden+Kennedy, Tokyo, Sergio Mugnaini, interactive creative director at ALMAP BBDO Brazil and Robert Wong, executive creative director at Google Creative Labs.

For me, this sounds very exciting. I worked as a graphic designer in Germany, I learned about traditional advertising on internships and freelance gigs in creative agencies in London and now I'm almost finished with my postgraduate course in Interactive Art Direction at Hyper Island in Sweden – and I don't want to be in any of these boxes. I see myself as a creative working with strategic concepts, choosing the media depending on relevance and with the purpose of telling a story in the best way possible.

The Tomorrow Awards are doing a great step of defying unnecessary boundaries and categories. Let's help them celebrating the future of advertising and stop putting ideas into boxes.

Lipton competition interview

We (Robbin, Nathan & me) went to Paris last week to present our idea and work in front of the Tribal DDB team and Garth Woolley, the global brand manager of Lipton.

Here's an interview from the Hyper Island blog about it:

How did you end up working together?
We (Robbin & Waldemar) worked together in a previous school project. We enjoyed that, so when we got the brief from Tribal DDB and Lipton it felt natural to continue with our collaboration. Nathan joined in as the missing piece and our group was formed.

How come you submitted to the contest in the first place?
The brief arrived immediately after our second module where our very inspiring project leader Henrik (kudos!) armed us with tools for generating and developing ideas. This challenge looked like a perfect opportunity to practice and use those toy on our own. And obviously we were excited about having the chance for a trip to Paris.

What was the brief about?
It was about finding a solution that would connect Lipton Ice Tea and their message "Drink Positive" with its audience. The criteria was that it would have to be innovative; something that simply could not have been possibly five years ago.

What's your concept about?
We call it the "Smile Experiment", basically it's about bringing the Lipton Ice Tea message to life and connecting it to Lipton's target audience in a really cool way. Think emotional browsing... for the moment though we can't give away too much information because we're Tribal DDB and Lipton are looking for a way to produce our idea.

What if you win?
We did win! We went to Paris thursday morning and presented to the client, Tribal DDB and a bunch of other people visiting the Digital Days. The client loved it and we've received nothing but praise from everyone involved. Bringing our idea to life will initially mean a lot of planning and testing on behalf of Lipton and Tribal DDB. For us, this means that we not only won a competition and a piece for our portfolio – but also a chance to get our idea produced. Maybe even more trips to Paris or London, fingers crossed.

Any new learnings?
Lots! First of all about the work progress and the great value of having tools and structure for generating ideas. Secondly that don't settle for an idea before you get that special butterfly feeling in your stomach. We generated a couple of hundred ideas, lots of bad ones and about three "good enough" and in the end this one that filled our criterias of being both great and innovative. For the presentation we created a case movie. Despite of being a bit persuasive the movie also made us think ahead and plan exactly what we we're gonna say to whom. We ended up rewriting the script a couple of times and each time made the idea and our common understanding of the possibilities even greater.

Feature dreams, where would you like to end up?
Answering this questions while sipping a cappuccino next to the impressive Notre Dame, it's tempting to say Paris. But honestly, time will tell. It's not so much about a certain place in the world as about finding a nice atmosphere with values focused on creating idea driven work. Nathan is excited about Japan as a place to work, we are still spinning the globe.

Congratulations also to the following students whose projects made it to the final stages of the contest: Azin Ashourvan, Gro Larsson, Lasse Korsgaard, Jon Eskilsson, Minna Johans, Magnus Karlsson, Alexander Kristensen

ShelfAward 09

Do you know about the Shelf? It's an UK based award scheme organized by Gary Sharpen & Major Players for young integrated creatives. They set a brief for an integrated advertising campaign to participating universities and choose six teams that go forth to the final – which was yesterday at The Hospital Club. It's a bit like the the through the line alternative to the Cream Exhibition.

I had a look around and found some nice campaigns but in my opinion the work last year was slightly better overall. The Shelf is great thing to get young people out there, but the turn up of creative directors wasn't as impressive as last year – recession? Anyway, the team I favoured won in the end, so well done to Ed & Bryan. The guys do have a website up with their portfolio, have a look at their work if you like.

London's good

Remember young Wal thinking about going to Qatar to make awards ads? Back then young Jai told him it would be a great opportunity, they thought of going together. In the end, they stayed in London. Now the agency in question, Promoseven Doha has released the first bunch of ‘award’ work for the Dubai Lynx 2008 Award. Our favourite campaign, which scooped the Grand Prix is for the video game Medal of Honor. We like it a lot, it's a really nice way to look at a war game.

We’re very happy we’ve stayed, doing what we do here in London. Our placement here at Leo Burnett is coming to an end, time to move on. We’re looking forward to a couple of weeks off, working on our book and doing stupid things before we start our next, let it be the last, placement at our favourite agency in town - probably all towns - Wieden+Kennedy.

Qatar Lions?

A couple of weeks ago I answered to an ad in Luerzer's Archive for a creative position in Qatar. They wouldn't give anything away in the ad itself and asked to submit some work before they would reveal their agency name etc.

So I did. They offered me an art director's job in Qatar – with a wonderful payment, you can dream of as a junior creative in London. The specs: huge client portfolio, big budget just for fake ads, no brand strategies – win awards, loads of 'em. Tempting. Very. Worth it? Let's see:

I dream myself of working in a creative London agency. It's a though one. Would it be easier to get into a good one after winning awards? Awards for fake ads, in categories which haven't been exploited that much? Could I come back to London from Qatar after a year and get a job easier? I know quite a bunch of people who came to London from other countries. They had agency experience, they had awards. Still, they couldn't gain ground in the city. After some time and countless meetings with headhunters they had to travel back to their country. Of course – there, people would throw jobs after them. London's international ad victims.

I turned the offer down. Maybe you would think that I'm really picky. Yes I am.
I'm not looking for that one ideal agency, I'm not after a big name. I want a place where I can grow and learn stuff I admire. And that is not necessarily ads just made to win awards. And hell yeah – I consider doing that outside of London. As long as I'm getting better there it doesn't matter where it is or how much they pay.

Coherent? Or stupid?