The Caples Awards 2016

Marcus Iles Executive Creative Director Chemistry, Group Creative Director Publicis UK

Issue 40 | September 2016

I was fortunate enough to be asked to judge the Caples Awards again this year. Hanging out in New York with a bunch of frighteningly talented people from all over the world, talking about creativity?

Yes please. It was an awful lot of fun.

Now, given I'm lucky enough to be writing about it for Directory, I'll get the chance to tone down the 'fun' bit and make it sound like the jolly hard work that (I told my day husband) it was.

Before we get to that though, I should give a mention to Caples show itself – and the incredibly passionate and hard working team behind it. If you haven't entered work into these awards, then do. In an industry where budgets and bad uses of technology seem to be biting the heels of creativity, and at a time when creatives seem to be the ones complaining most about the lack of it, Caples is an awards show dedicated to nothing but.

Caples is judged solely by Creative Directors. We've all had a good soaking in direct marketing – so we love measurability, responses, ROI, and all that. But in all the judging chitchats about data, tracking and programmatic, all we were really looking for was a good idea. And, even in our overly complicated, tech and response driven world, the really good ideas are the simple ones.

These are a few of the Gold winners that did it for me: 'No More Evictions', by Proximity, Madrid swept the show. A simple way of getting a powerful message to a mass audience: allow them to make and distribute it themselves. The 'people are worth more than money' message is communicated beautifully in the defacing of the mighty Euro. The stamp says 'empowerment' in how you use it and leaves the harrowing truth in what it shows. And the hashtag feels like something you'd actually use... I know! A good idea. Simple, powerful, effective.

'This Family Can', by Leo Burnett, Melbourne is a good idea. As Group Creative Directors at Publicis UK, me and the day husband work across all the creative agencies in our building – customer engagement, advertising, content, digital, shopper, PR – precisely so we can come up with ideas like this. Simple, powerful ideas that can touch every aspect of the brand's communications.

'This Family Can' rides a cultural wave, which allows the campaign to step outside of category convention completely. Instead of talking about taste and price, SPC were able to lead a conversation – from packaging through POS to PR, advertising and social –around provenance.

Simply by heroing the Australian families who farm their produce. A good idea. Simple, elegant, honest. Coke Zero's 'drinkable ad', by Ogilvy New York. At first sight it seems a bit big and shouty and typically Coke.

But it's a clever way to get a sceptical audience to sample your brand new product: lure them in with a creative use of technology. The ads are never more than a voucher and a slurp away from the drink itself. And the brutal simplicity of the 'drinkable ad' idea means it can travel from billboards to leaflets, radio and telly. A good idea. Simple and scaleable, with the added sparkle of Shazam.

An honourable mention goes to my own favourite from this year's Gold winners in the Content Marketing category: 'The Boys' by Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne. What's not to like? Excellent writing, superb casting, economical to the point of perfection. Makes me laugh, every time.

A good idea. Simple, funny, true. Tick, tick, tick.

The Caples Awards enjoyed another fantastic year of entries, as did I. I'm honoured to have been part of it and, if you love creativity, and want your really good, simple ideas to be justly rewarded, then I'd strongly recommend you get your entries ready for next year's.

The day husband agrees.

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