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INSIDE ONE SHOW JUDGING

By PAUL CHAN - ONE SHOW PRINT & OUTDOOR JURY on May 18, 2017

BETTER THAN WINNING A PENCIL.

The only thing that could possibly (just possibly) beat winning a One Show Pencil, is getting to decide who will win one. So I was incredibly honored to be invited to judge this year. It’s one of the highest professional honors you can receive in our industry. But as Spidey’s uncle might say, the privilege also comes with great responsibility. After all, we owe it to our industry to select the work that represents the very best of our field — and to maintain that rarefied standard that makes The One Show so iconic. Thankfully, I was in great company with some of the creative minds behind some ridiculously famous campaigns. I kid you not: You meet so many of your industry heroes here.

After three days of intense judging with said heroes, here are a few of my observations:

QUIET PLEASE: THERE’S JUDGING GOING ON.

Judging at The One Show is different to other shows because of the silent judging process. Except for the Best in Discipline, there’s very little in the way of discussions. We voted privately on our iPads, even when it came to awarding metal — which is awesome. No discussions meant no politics, no lobbying and no influencing each other. This no-discussion system is a process The One Show has successfully applied over the years, with the anonymous voting keeping the integrity of the selection. It works, and it really makes The One Show what it is. There’s also a strict policy against making negative comments about work, which is also awesome and potentially very handy. Let’s face it: if you share a strongly-held opinion on a particular entry, you just don’t know if the creator is sitting next to you.

READ THE ENTRY GUIDELINES CAREFULLY.

Some of the outdoor categories at The One Show don’t accept case study videos. It’s simply not an option. This caught a lot of agencies out. So unless they change the rules next year, which our jury did suggest, don’t fall into the same trap. Make sure your entry tells the full story without relying on a video because in many cases, the jury won’t get to see it.

80% IDEA. 80% CRAFT.

There’s definitely a trend back towards meticulously crafting the work. This wasn’t evident across the board, but certainly in the top pieces. A great idea is a given. But over and above that, meticulous craft can be the difference. John Hegarty once said that great work is 80% idea, 80% craft. Go figure.

I WISH I HAD DONE THAT.

We had no brief other than to pick the work that represents the best of our industry. That’s it. All entries were judged on the creative idea first and foremost, then on the craft and execution of the idea.

A tried and true criterion to apply, as always, is ‘I wish I had done that.’ With this in mind, some of the Gold-winning campaigns — like Lockheed Martin ‘Field Trip to Mars’, Skittles ‘Give the Rainbow’ and TAC ‘Meet Graham’ — were all brilliant ideas that were flawlessly executed and highly engaging.

Extra kudos goes to TAC ‘Meet Graham’, which also won Best in Discipline, for coming out of left field. I have no idea how they arrived where they did, but thankfully, they did. It’s unusual. It’s eccentric. And it makes me sick with envy. It also represents the way we, as a jury, hope to see the industry move forward.

Do I wish I had done these campaigns? With every jealous bone in my body, you’re damn right I do.

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