From the TV and Radio Jury Chairman

It was my privilege to serve as chairman of this year’s Clio Awards jury. I say it was a privilege because it allowed me the opportunity to meet and spend a week in Santa Fe with some very talented, very bright, very opinionated creative people from such far-flung places as Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Paris, Singapore and Toronto. And from such exotic places as Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle and, of course, my favorite, Chicago. The location was perfect because we actually got to experience all four seasons in one day in Santa Fe.

But really, I considered it a privilege because writers, art directors and producers in all kinds of agencies, working on all kinds of brands and products in every part of the world, sent their work in to the Clios and asked our opinions. They wanted to know how 13 award-winning creative people thought their work stood up to the best work in the world. For me, that was a great privilege and an awesome responsibility.

I’m happy to say that I think we put together a show the jury, the winners and the industry can be proud of.

A couple of reporters asked me if there were any trends I saw in the work we looked at and listened to this year. In fact, I did see a trend. It’s the same trend we’ve seen for the past, oh, 50 years or so. Good ideas win.

They win in the shows (or at least in this show). And more importantly, they win in the marketplace.

I guess in any show with so many entries, you do see too many executions without ideas. So I felt the highest praise I heard from any juror was, “That’s a good idea.” That phrase was usually followed by, “That’s a statue winner.”

The gold Clio winners are all good ideas, as are the silver and bronze. I don’t know how all of them did in the real world, but I’d bet my gold, silver and bronze that they made a difference.

I don’t think we saw any major breakthroughs in execution, although there were many wonderfully produced pieces. There were lots of old songs used in spots, many of which had nothing to do with anything. And I, for one, am tired of purposely geeky people used in purposely geeky Diesel rip-offs. But that’s just me.

And although each of us brought a different cultural sensibility to our voting, I think we can all say that the work that made us smile, made us laugh, and made us remember and talk about it later in the day cut across all barriers and preconceived notions. As advertising and entertainment continue to move closer and closer together, the most entertaining ideas, the ones that tell an involving story and give us a little reward for sticking with them, got us to raise our hands and vote for them.

So I’ll just say thanks to everyone who entered his or her work in the Clios this year. It was cool to see your best work and discuss and debate it. Despite all the critics who want to say that advertising as we know it is dull, dead and about to be buried, there are good ideas out there.

And good ideas always win.