|Mark Tungate sans bow tie!|
Interestingly Epica seems to have "reintroduced our World Cup category, which comes along every four years, obviously. We’ve also created a new category for Topical & Real Time Advertising, reflecting the 24-hour nature of brand communications. In terms of the Grands Prix, we have a new Responsibility Grand Prix, for cause-related work, and an Alternative Media Grand Prix – because we find that some great work is now almost impossible to categorize. Finally, we have merged the Press and Poster prizes to create a single Print Grand Prix. This enables us to really promote and honour print. As journalists, print is still dear to our hearts."
However prior to the Awards - where you will see Mark punished by wearing a bow tie when the rest of us are in casual mode - there will be the "the annual Creative Circle event will take place at the fabulous KIT Royal Tropical Institute, a national heritage building which has for years been devoted to the study of sub-tropical cultures. This year’s theme is “Will Responsibility Kill Creativity?” The format is quite different in that it will take the form of round tables with advertisers, agencies and the media. The idea is to discuss whether respecting sensitivities around gender, inclusivity, diversity and other hot potato issues is discouraging edgy, risk-taking communications. Can you be politically beyond reproach without becoming bland?"
As to what is trending this year, Mark says that "[i]t’s a little early to say, but judging by trends in the industry, I think we can expect more purpose-driven advertising. Most brands seem to accept today that they are more attractive to consumers if they have a commitment to giving back to the world in some way. The creative use of data will continue to be a theme, and perhaps the use of artificial intelligence will begin to make inroads."
And so there, as a juror I take immense pleasure at seeing all the wonderful ads yearly even if - including the same ad in 7 different categories gets on our nerves when you hated the thing from the get-go! And so here we go again for another year!