Partner, vice president and creative director at Lg2 in Quebec City, Luc Du Sault spent a week in Santa Barbara with 21 other creatives judging the best advertising of the past year. We caught up with Du Sault after The One Show and Creative Week
to get a take on his judging experience, trends in the industry and what he's up to in his hometown.
You've judged other award shows. How is the One Show different?
If I had a word to describe the One Show, it would be integrity. Here's why: First, we had no brief other than picking the finest new ideas. That's it.
Second, the judging process only focuses on the work. During seven days of judging, we saw absolutely no politics or agendas, which is awesome. Except for the Best of Show, we voted private on an iPad. No discussions. Therefore, we couldn't influence each other. Of course, we had chats during pauses and at mealtime, but it was usually about how we do stuff in our agencies, how ideas are made, how huge-budget spots with orgies of CGI often try to hide a weak idea, or how many years you had to wait in India before having sex with your partner. Conversations other than, "you could vote for my campaign and I will vote for yours."
The One Show also picks enough judges to guarantee the results won't be skewed. With 22 legendary creatives judging the advertising categories, it is hard to go wrong. A lot of judges are needed because there are a lot of categories to cover. Also, such a large number of judges ensures a minimum of mistakes. So, if two people haven't slept the night before, 20 others can cover for their lack of focus.
I have to say The One Club takes great care of their judges. Being away from our agencies for a week is a lot to ask. But they gave so much back to make sure we felt great (how can't we in Santa Barbara?) and had the best conditions so we were in top shape to choose the best ideas.
What kind of work really stood out for you this year?
Among all the entries we meticulously examined, The Epic Split felt really new. The concept is simple, yet brilliant. Everything in this spot is magic, even the hour during which they filmed. You can't take your eyes off this spot for one second.
What are you looking forward to in the ad world?
I think companies know more and more they need incredibly new ideas to survive. So they are willing to take more risks in order to do something we haven't seen. This is a pretty amazing perspective for our future in the ad world. It's all open.
What's the most important piece of advice you can give to young creatives?
When I started my career, my mentor Yvon Brossard once said to me: "Kill your darling." Great advice. Especially in 2014, where you see dozens of new idea popping up everyday on the web. By putting a lot of ideas on the wall, you have more chance to come with something fresh and succeed.
Were there any themes or trends you noticed in the work?
Of course. Here are a few:
The work is more about great human storytelling and less about cheap laughs. Dove "Sketches," "Climate Name Change," Guinness "Built of More" and even Old Spice's hilarious "Momsong" with its touch of humanity. Emotional or funny, the winners usually tell a great human story.
If you have to do a very rational product demonstration, you can still entertain people by making it spectacular. The Volvo Trucks campaign or the "Hands" spot by Honda are demonstrawesome.
Beer is going away from the "incredible men thing." Guinness' "Wheelchair Basketball" spot, showing friends playing basketball in wheelchairs, and the hilarious "No Bollocks" campaign are taking the category is new directions.
More use of celebrities than ever! Christopher Walken for Jack & Jones, Jean-Claude Van Damme for Volvo Trucks, Anna Kendrick for Newcastle... Never seen the likes of it since the '70s.
The two-minute video is reaching maturity. Winning entries have less making-of and less over-the-top fake results at the end. Judges are less impressed by zillions of impressions and more by the idea.
Quebec is a French place with great creatives. We have our own culture, which is very special. We watch our own series in French and we have our own star system.
So TV is big here. In this context, clients want TV spots because it works wonders. But we have to be careful. By only doing tv, we will fall behind with the rest of the world. So by now, we are changing and are beginning to see ourselves as problem solvers. Which is very exciting.