Kestrel Lee
May 24, 2017

Creative effectiveness must be linked to data

Hear from Kestrel Lee of GPJ / JUXT Greater China, the only China-based judge at the Caples International Awards 2017.

Kestrel Lee. (Photo credit:
Kestrel Lee. (Photo credit:

The author served as a juror for the Caples International Awards 2017, which will be handed out on June 28 and are being presented in part by Campaign US.

Being a judge at an advertising award show is not easy. You are afraid of bruising fragile egos, crossing the line during “bloc” voting (you know what I mean), sounding like an ignoramus when commenting on work for which you clearly do not know the cultural context.

Thankfully, none of the above was the case at Caples. I just had to play by three simple rules. One, show up. Two, do some real work. And three, don’t be a d_ck.

Seated beside Ron Copeland, Luis Tauffer and Stephanie Larsen, the two-day judging was relatively fast-paced and relaxed with the moderation of David Bell, one of Australia’s finest.

Caples was a great experience for us. We loved the fact that there were no finalist round and we were able to judge work across print, technology, TV/video, apps, social and integrated categories.

In line with the spirit to link creativity to data/results, there were some difficult moments on marking down entries due to the lack of a clear call to response or any indication of results. One example, and one of my favorites, is the 'Conscious crossing':

Lovely idea, but it was hard to grade it for direct marketing. As David mentioned, the idea could have easily closed the user-response loop with a mail drop in the surrounding area. For me, the use of proximity sensors to show the increasing use of this installation would have raised its points for results easily.

There were several entries that stood out in the use of creativity and data. Among the best was the 'Cognitive dress' done by Ogilvy New York for IBM: 

From start to the finish, the idea showed how the use of data and social listening was key to selecting the materials for the right down to how online viewers can effect changes to the dress during its grand reveal on the red carpet. This entry ticked all the right boxes. And that’s only one of the better entries.

Right off the top of my head, three pieces of work stood out in the 'I wish I had done that' category. First was the Australian’ standout, “Meet Graham”, a unique concept that disrupted the very idea of road-safety campaigns: 

Clearly an amazingly simple and universal idea in terms of the earned media it received through global media coverage, the idea provided an amazing experience that used AR technology to tell the story behind the creation and how it was influenced by insights from car crashes and human biology.

Snickers takes the cake with a unique online-to-offline social commerce "Hungerithm" meter, which listens in on social posts to assess the mood of the Internet. The angrier the Internet, the cheaper the prices of its candy bars sold in 7-Eleven stores. Besides going viral, this campaign had a great drive-to store response and is a great brand idea based on the brand's positioning. 

Backyard Burger King was a great idea, which showed how experiential marketing is a great way to change consumer perceptions of brand or products, when they contribute to the overall product experience. To combat views that they do not flame-grill their burgers, BK New Zealand decide to let consumers experience how their burgers are flame-grilled by commandeering their barbecue pits. Consumers were able to register their interest to set up a BK popup store or grill online and the materials were sent to them: 

However, I do recommend that Caples consider giving some minor changes to the Creative Use Of Technology category. First, allow entries to be submitted from two to three years back, as it takes time to build a proper prototype, pass government or industry checks, get user acceptance and record results. Second, for judging of the results, I felt that a proof of concept via a viable working prototype with government body support is good enough. Toyota Australia’s Land Cruiser Emergency Network was a great case in point:

All in all, I felt that the best entries scored well for creativity and results by using technology, social media and data to create truly unique experiential brand ideas that travel easily on social and news media. My thanks to Caples Awards for inviting me to be a part of this great judging experience.

Kestrel Lee is the ECD of GPJ / JUXT Greater China


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