Steve Coll's LIA report from Las Vegas

lastone.jpgDroga5 Sydney executive creative director Steve Coll sat on the prestigious Integration jury this week in Las Vegas. Here's his report exclusive to Campaign Brief.

The first thing you see when you walk into Las Vegas airport is a line of pokie machines. You can gamble pretty much everywhere in this town. Even at the bar. It's scary. In fact this whole town is frightening. They have a Hooters Hotel. Jaysus! The mind boggles. So it was merciful relief for both my mind and bank balance to be locked in a jury room judging London Internationals.

I spent three very inexpensive days on the Integration jury, in the delightful company of Amir Kassaei (DDB Worldwide CCO), who ran the jury with an unusual mix of humour and German efficiency.  Integration is a tough category in more ways than one. First, the judges set a very high bar for the work. Secondly, the definition of the category 'Integration' is interesting.
The difference between 'Integrated' and 'Integration' sounds like a small thing, but when you look at the work, its huge. I thought I'd write specifically about this for anyone thinking of entering this category next year. As defined by the LIA, 'Integration' not about matching luggage, and proving your idea worked in TV, Print, Poster etc etc. Rather, it's about how well your idea integrates into culture beyond advertising. How it slips through the boundaries of ad space to be reported on in the media or is shared. Amir himself changed the definition a few years ago for this category at London Internationals, and it has a profound impact. A good one, in my mind. What it signals is a move away from awarding campaigns based on a breadth of media, and a move towards the idea. So the jury dismissed a lot of entries where agencies could prove the campaign appeared in all the right places, but didn't have a impactful idea that was bigger than advertising and ultimately became part of culture.

As a result, the eventual winners list was entirely composed of pretty amazing ideas that represented a much fresher way of thinking. Part newsworthy, part social but entirely brilliant. It was a great experience to judge, and I saw a lot of ideas I'll be excited to share with my creative team.

On the last day, we were joined in the jury room by twenty or so of the LIA Young Creatives. This is a great initiative by the London Internationals, where top young creatives from all over the world are flown to Las Vegas for tutorials where they can observe, listen and learn from some of the best people in the business. And they get direct access to what happens in the jury rooms. It's a wonderful initiative and a great experience for the up and coming talent in the business.

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