It was a damn tough year to win a Pencil.
I was so honored to be a part of the One Show Interactive Jury this year, along with thirty people who I consider to be industry heroes. The diversity of perspectives from across the globe made for fascinating, and at times heated, discussions. All told we reviewed and scored over 4,000 entries. What was surprising to me was the sheer volume of quality work—entry after entry of flawlessly executed fantastic ideas.
Some of the Gold-winning campaigns, like Metro Trains "Dumb Ways to Die", Ragu "A Long Day of Childhood," and Nike FuelBand, which won Best of Show, are receiving considerable coverage already. They won not only because they're innovative, hilarious, and engaging but also because they represent the way we hope to see the industry move forward. Amidst the rest of the winners though, there are other pieces well worth downloading, viewing, and exploring.
COPIOUS HIGH CRAFT
In addition to tight concepts, there were piles of entries with a clear tone of voice, obsessive design, elegant UX, and tactical technology all coming together beautifully.
Swedish Radio "SR Plus" This may be similar in some ways to Sound Cloud, but it's designed more intuitively and makes more sense to me for an eclectic radio station. I hope this concept is adopted and expanded upon by others in the states. I'm looking at you NPR.
World Wildlife Federation "Together App" By far one of the most tastefully designed learning tools I've ever seen. The copy is concise, the imagery is gorgeous, the music is soothing, and the user experience is carefully considered. What pushed the score higher for me was seeing how much my own little boy loves this app.
Nike "My Time is Now" When this dropped it essentially shut down our creative department for a while as we were awed by the details of this complex interactive video and explored its many tunnels. This is an impressive example of interactive storytelling with meticulous attention to detail.
Social Media KA-Boom I was so pleased when the jury agreed to add entries to this section of the Show and Book. There were simply too many compelling pieces that deserved applause. Our intention is not only to provide abundant examples of effective social media campaigns, but also to demonstrate trends in the space. We saw several socially sourced art ideas and linked technology concepts, but these stood out to me:
Axe Body Spray "Anarchy Comics" This social media-inspired graphic novel impressed me not only for linking with fans intelligently, but also for deeply engaging them from start to finish.
Intel & Toshiba "The Beauty Inside" What an innovative way to inspire involvement. I also appreciated how seamless the integration is and smoothly the story flows.
The Village"Parking Douche" Brilliant name? Check. Hilarious way to publically shame someone's rude behavior? Check Plus! The way this technology works, albeit somewhat interruptive, is very clever as well.
Missing Children Society of Canada "The Most Valuable Social Network" Calling out jerks aside, I can't think of a more important use of our networks than to help find lost children quickly. This is an excellent example of effective, geo-targeted, mass communication, which has already found six missing kids. I hope to see this concept grow to include other digital media (signage and mobile seem like obvious next steps) as well as go global next year. This is smart thinking, well executed, that improves our world in real, tangible ways.
BLENDING ON AND OFFLINE WITH STYLE
The "experiential" and "other" categories were also jammed with brilliance and hopefully signals the end of the ubiquitous "Tell us your story (about our brand)" cop-out convention.
Red Tomato Pizza "VIP Pizza App" One of those dead-simple ideas that seems so intuitive, I'm surprised it wasn't done sooner. I could see other delivery services stealing this—hopefully it's patented. When it does arrive on your fridge, keep the button out of toddlers' reach, or you'll get 30 pizzas in 30 minutes.
Emart "Sunny Sale" This smart sculpture becomes a QR Code only when it's sunny at certain times of the day. During the hours of 2PM-4PM, when business is typically slow at Emart stores, this little slice of ingeniousness creates a store-wide discount. How cool is that?!
EC Vitoria & Hemoba "My Blood is Red and Black" I love that this campaign has proven effectiveness built right in. This is such a sweet merger of online and off. It won a Gold Pencil for good reasons. Check out the care and craftsmanship that went into the case study, too. Nicely done.
MISSING FROM THIS SHOW? AN ENTIRE CATEGORY: COPY
There's a One Show Design jury and UI/UX jury now. On our Interactive Jury there were even tech and production represented, but no copy category or specific jury. Yet thoughtful words are as crucial to the communication as functionality and design. It doesn't matter if the idea is strong if the copy is weak. If a brand or campaign is written in an inconsistent voice, or worse, the standard-issue corporate language of bland for the masses, even the best concepts will fall flat.
If there had been a Craft: Copy Category, here are my nominees for Gold:
Snickers "You're Not You When You're Hungry" Using only Twitter, the campaign's big idea was extended in a way that even made the British Parliament take notice. Call it another tactic of employing star-power if you must, but here it is done in a new way. And what was the key element to pulling this off? Smart, highly considered words.
Grey Poupon "The Society for Great Taste" Plenty has already been written about this work, but I'd be remiss if I didn't include it in my personal round-up because it's so well written from start to finish. This is A+ integrated work with the strong copy doing much of the heavy lifting to amplify the brand's unique humor and faux-snobbery.
A gigantic thank you to everyone who entered their work and gargantuan congratulations to the Pencil and Merit winners. You've collectively moved our industry forward, and in some cases, improved life itself. Here's to making next year's competition even tougher. Go get 'em!