Juror of 2014 D&AD Awards Lisa Bennett on Awarding Creativity

Lisa Bennett Headshot Lisa Bennett is currently the U.S. EVP of Creative at DDB Worldwide. Named in 2013 as one of Business Insiders “Most Creative Women in Advertising,” Lisa is responsible for ensuring creative excellence across DDB’s North American offices. Under her charge, DDB San Francisco was awarded their first Cannes Lion and went on to win CLIO Awards, One Show Pencils and Cannes Lions across multiple categories including a Gold in Media. Lisa has served on international juries for Cannes, One Show and CLIO Awards, among others.

The Makegood: You hold an honorable position as juror in the Integrated & Earned Media Category for the 2014 D&AD Awards. How did you come to achieve such a position, and what does it mean to you to be accepted as a juror?

I have a great deal of admiration for D&AD and am incredibly honored to be a part of this year’s Integrated and Earned Media jury. D&AD has a reputation for being one of the most prestigious award shows in the industry and they typically invite experienced creative leaders to sit on their juries. They reached out to me last year shortly after I had served on the Cannes Lions 2013 Film Jury. It’s always helpful to include jurors that understand and are respectful of the jury process. I am also fortunate to have won a Gold Media Lion at Cannes, so I know what it takes to stand out in a media category. In addition, our jury is charged with judging the Innovative Media category this year. I’m excited to see and discuss the entries across all of these categories with my fellow jurors.

 The Makegood: In 2013, you were named as one of Business Insiders “Most Creative Women in Advertising”. Congratulations! Have you used this title to help others be more creative and innovative in their work?

Thank you! I became a creative director fairly early in my career – age 27 – and have always viewed my role as one of helping others succeed. Creativity comes in all shapes and forms and can come from anyone or anywhere. More than leveraging a title, I feel it’s important to leverage my experience and share it with others. The most rewarding part of my job is when I am able to identify even the smallest nugget of an idea and help shape it into something that will motivate and inspire others.

 The Makegood: What have you come to expect from the candidates in this award category?

We just started preliminary judging for D&AD this week. There are quite a few entries in these three categories and each is in the form of a case study film, so we are having to shortlist in advance. I’m amazed at how many good ideas get lost in poorly executed case films. Conversely, when the film is too slick or it overshadows the concept it can cause an idea to suffer. The best ideas are allowed to shine through in spite of having to be presented in the form of a scripted case.

The Makegood: What do you believe is necessary to make a successful campaign?

Success is defined a bit differently in each category. A successful integrated campaign has a powerful idea at its core that connects across all of the media and utilizes each in a unique and compelling way.  The best earned media campaigns are so engaging that consumers and the press can’t stop talking about it. They become the vehicle for telling the story or passing the idea along. Innovative media ideas push the boundaries of the use of the channel and use them in a way we haven’t seen before. They are essentially reinventing or even inventing a new media.

The Makegood: Have you been inspired by any of the creative you have seen? What makes one creative stand out more than others?

I have seen a few inspiring ideas so far, but haven’t made it through all of the entries yet.  The ones that stand out the most are the ideas that hit on all cylinders – original, inspiring, relevant and well executed. I also look for a unique insight and how it connects to the brand or product. It’s actually rather disappointing when you see a great idea, but have no idea who it is for or how it benefitted the brand.

The Makegood: What do you see for the future of advertising and design? How do you think what you’ve been involved in in the past will inspire and influence the future of ad and design?

I believe the future of marketing will be driven by brands that have a social conscience.  Of course, at the end of the day, we have products and services to sell, but advertising has become less about “selling” to the consumer and more about providing them with content so they can decide what role it plays in their world. Our job is to help our clients’ brands find their place in consumer’s lives – to make them relevant, to give people a reason to care and to motivate them to choose us versus trying to force our way in.

Media and technology play a more important role than ever in advertising, but they need to coexist with creativity and humanity. We have to find creative ways of entering into the conversation rather than attempting to lead it. DDB has some wonderful campaigns that do just that. Ideas where creativity, media, technology and humanity intersect – McDonald’s “Our Food Your Questions,” Starhub Mobile’s “Third Eye,” Water is Life’s “Hashtag Killer,” Glad Tent – each positions the brand as relevant, a leader and socially responsible, which will hopefully inspire others to follow suit.