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Seen and noted

Polina Zabrodskaya, Creative Director, AMV BBDO, London

 GUEST JUDGE /BEST AD OF THE WEEK   WORLDWIDE    October 14, 2019 10:13 (Edited: October 14, 2019 21:13)
Winner: Gatsby Perfect Skin Lotion: The Kawaii Tweak Hazard Song. If you watch all of this week's TV submissions, you'll notice something interesting: half of the spots are over three minutes long. Is it an undercover rebellion against the 6" social ads and 20" non-skippable pre-rolls? An attempt to trick the world into thinking a five minutes ad is practically a short film? What can a brand possibly offer to reward the audience for several minutes of their attention? Our eyes got used to watching films with astronomical budgets, our ears don't get surprised at the sound of an explosion anymore, the one thing left is an unexpected story. And that's where this spot wins. I think this idea deserved a bigger production budget and two extra weeks to craft the sound but even without those, I've enjoyed every second of it.

Runner up: Purelygreat Natural Deodorant: Witch. It's simple, it's funny, and it actually says everything it needs to say about the product. Why are there no agency credits? Whoever you are, I hope you guys managed to get your sneakers professionally cleaned after the shoot.

Winner: Red Cross: Blood tears. Statistically, anyone who makes a PSA print in 2019, is screwed. By now, several generations of talented people have been working on the same briefs, in the same medium, year after year, festival season after festival season: pollution, adoption, addiction, donation, violence, don't drink and drive. The bar is high and good ideas are rare. So hats off to every creative willing to take the risk. I like the insight behind this print, I can see a much bigger campaign coming out of it.

Runner up: Marevivo: #StopMicrofibre. I love the bizarre dark humour of this ad. Did the world ask for an image of a dead shark in a scarf teaching us about the dangers of microfibre? No. But will they remember it? Yes, they probably will.

Winner: Volvo: Volvos Are Rubbish. The rare joy of a clever headline.

Runner-up: Vasttrafik: 30,000 Cars. There's something that bothers me slightly about the idea of buying 30,000 toy cars to advertise an initiative that aims to reduce CO2 emissions. But, on the other hand, any regular outdoor campaign probably isn't much greener. It's a beautiful installation, artfully crafted. I hope it worked.

Winner: Marmite: Mind Control. Interactive is the most interesting category of this week. And this is the most exciting project in it. Please watch the TV spot here, they work better together. I didn't want to like it, the preview looked dubious, the sound was annoying, and yet the combination of all the elements is pure joy. You can feel how much love, craft and effort went into this campaign. I think we're looking at the next big winner.

Runner up: Powerball: L05T. In any other week, this project would have been at the top of my list, and it took a Marmite campaign to beat it. L05T is well-produced, it's smart, it's engaging. And, more importantly, its success is real: imagine how much fun the audience has had. ads photo.jpg
This week's guest judge is Polina Zabrodskaya, creative director at AMV BBDO, London.

Polina has spent enough time in advertising to learn that people don't read each other's bios. She believes all they care about is whether or not their work is getting the badge "Best."

For Polina, the best ad is a new ad. Because, if you can see a dozen references shining through - it's not the best work. It can be good, even beautiful, as all smart copies usually are, but it can't be considered best.

The best ad is a real ad. Because spec work is easy.

The best ad is a brave ad. Because something that could have gone horribly wrong but didn't, gives us all more freedom.

And, if you are still reading this, then yes, Polina has won Gold Lions and Pencils, judged shows: from Cannes to Red Jolbors Central Asia, appeared on all kinds of random lists and ratings, and probably that's why she's judging this week's submissions.

Or maybe because she's just hacked Best Ads - Russians are known for that.

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