Integrated work is this year's star at the One Show.
By Warren Berger
The 2005 One Show featured highlights in every category, from print to television to design. But for a number of the judges of this year's show, what stood out most
were the campaigns that tied together various media in innovative ways.
"To me the big trend this year was that in terms of integrated campaigns, people are finally starting to deliver the whole package," said David Crawford of GSD&M in Austin. Crawford, one of 26 judges who culled through the 14,000 entries in this year's show, added: "Actually I don't know if it's right to call it a trend, integrated is more the way things are going to go from now on, I think."
Another judge, Joe Shands of TBWAChiatDay echoed Crawford's view that integrated has taken a leap forward, as did a number of others. "It was exciting to see the expansion, in a good way, beyond the 30-second commercial," Shands said. "In particular, work for MINI, Burger King and Converse led the way in expanding those boundaries."
Harry Cocciolo of Tool of North America credited a couple of agencies in particular for leading the way in this year's integrated work, starting with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, whose MINI and Burger King work seemed to set the new standard in this category, but also including Butler Shine & Stern, who earned praise and a pencil with an integrated Converse campaign that invited consumers to create their own Converse films, to be posted on the Web. "When you can get your target audience to do your advertising for you, that's great," Cocciolo said. He also praised the creative manner in which the films were presented on the Web site.
According to Cocciolo, work like this is helping to deliver on the promise of integrated, at last. "It seems like we've been talking about this trend for the past five years, but it is definitely gaining momentum and it's getting smarter."
Ian Grais of Rethink in Vancouver shared the view that "integrated seems to be the category that's exploding," but he also made the point that agencies are putting a lot more effort into the presentation of these multifaceted campaigns within the award show format. "Sometimes I think that can backfire, actually," Grais said. "If you end up producing a 20-minute documentary about your integrated campaign, judges can get worn down by the length of it, and sometimes you also get turned off by an overly-slick presentation. I think, rather than being manipulated by a film about the campaign, it would be better to actually experience it?to actually click through the Web sites, for example, and experience it the way a consumer would."
Grais wasn't the only judge to bring up the issue of how integrated work gets presented at shows. As Crawford said: "It's still wide-open when it comes to how you show this kind of work at an award show. Some agencies created neat films that showed you the whole campaign, all wrapped up in a nice bow."
Monica Taylor of Wieden+Kennedy wasn't quite as sold on the notion that integrated work stole the show. "I actually think it hasn't hit its stride yet," Taylor said. "It's a category in its infancy, and right now we're still seeing too many things like coasters. But clients are interested and asking for it, so it's definitely going to grow. I just don't think it has reached the point yet where it has filtered down to the award show level."
In the print category, Taylor and other judges noted a propensity toward highly visual solutions. Some were more effective than others, but taken together they had the effect of seeming like overkill, Taylor said. "Many of these visual ads are probably effective in the real world, but not as much when you see hundreds of them together at a show. I think part of the reason there are so many is that people assume visual work will do well at the show."
There's another reason, too, as Kara Goodrich of BBDO pointed out. She felt the predominance of highly-visual print ads reflected a show that has become much more international, with record amounts of overseas work being entered in this year's show (34 countries were represented in all), and with a high number of international judges on the panel. "International work just tends toward the visual, which makes sense," she said. But that doesn't mean Goodrich was thrilled by the trend: "I just think that not everything can be expressed that way. And I was a little disturbed to see that there was less and less of the written word." (Goodrich is a writer, needless to say).
When asked to choose their personal highlights from the judging, a number of judges, not surprisingly, mentioned the "Best of Show"-winning TV spot "Grrr" for Honda, created by Wieden+Kennedy's London office. "It's funny, because that spot doesn't overwhelm you at first," Crawford said, "but what's impressive about it is that they came off what they did last year and moved the campaign forward in a really interesting way." Shands summed it up this way: "Wieden continues to surprise us all. To see something totally fresh like 'Grrr' both thrills me and makes me angry that I didn't do it myself."
To read more about the One Show judges and their thoughts, pick up a copy of the Summer issue of one. a magazine.