Can you tell us a bit about the ANDY Awards and the organization behind it?
The Ad Club, the parent organization of The International ANDY Awards, is a leading trade organization serving the advertising and marketing industries centered in the media capital of the world.
As the first show of each awards season, The International ANDY Awards serves as a barometer of the industry, underscoring the value of recognizing agencies and brands for their creative achievements. There are no other shows to point to and say “well this won at that show so it should be awarded here” – the jury are respected as tastemakers in advertising.
What makes the ANDY awards special? What does it mean to the winners and what is it that the jury is looking for in a winning piece of work?
Recently someone reminded us that the show is truly in a league of its own. That people don’t talk about the number of awards won each year – they talk about the fact that they won, period. We have worked hard to usher in a new generation of creative leaders while maintaining the standard and rigor that the industry has come to expect.
It’s special because it means many different things; perhaps you’ve won an ANDY and it has launched the next phase of your career, perhaps you’ve gained access and scholarship by submitting work while in school, or perhaps you’ve been inspired and educated by watching the live judging. There is a tremendous amount of heart around the show no matter where you sit.
The Jury has a unique role like the Titanium Jury at Cannes. As a singular, integrated Jury, they must review ALL work submitted for all deserving merits. When we eliminated categories, it did three things: democratized the process, streamlined entering for awards managers, and encouraged the judges to work a little bit harder!
The ANDYs have had quite the transformation over the past few years, removing categories and live streaming judging, among other changes. Will there be any new innovations for this year’s show?
Oh gosh, yes we have transformed! Our focus remains the same, but we must continue to evolve. This year we’re still bringing people together, even though we are apart, to vote for the Pop Choice ANDY; the first award show distinction to be decided on Stories. The Pop Choice Award gives the advertising community and the general public the opportunity to vote, ultimately giving viewers a voice in a typically closed off juror deliberation – providing them with a platform to contribute to the conversation. Now, more than ever, this offering is especially important as we seek new and innovative ways to stay connected.
How has the jury’s reaction been to the work this year? Can you give us any insights on what the main topics of deliberation have been?
Social good and corporate responsibility continue to take center stage. There is always some debate surrounding these narrative approaches. When putting the current climate into context, it is almost like the industry is well poised to make positive changes and hold brands to a new standard.
With other top awards shows being cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, how are the ANDYs navigating this crisis? Why is it still important to have creative awards in the industry this year?
Creativity is at the center of problem-solving and we have quite a few problems to solve. I have enormous faith in the industry to do wonderfully creative work because we need it now more than ever. Although our new normal is constantly evolving, The AD Club/The International ANDY Awards is committed to shining a light on the best creative work from the past year, bringing access and transparency to the forefront of the industry and hope for our future.
Since an in-person event isn’t currently an option, how will winners be celebrated this year?
We WILL properly celebrate again. As the first award show to make these tough calls, The Ad Club will uphold the standards and prestige of The International ANDY Awards. The Ad Club has continued to provide access, thought leadership and programming to educate, empower and support our constituencies for 124 years, and we will do just that when we’re able to come together to celebrate our winners.