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Seen and noted

Guest Judges: Shari Walczak + Shane Ogilvie, The Garden, Toronto

 GUEST JUDGE /BEST AD OF THE WEEK   WORLDWIDE    November 23, 2020 13:08 (Edited: November 24, 2020 00:08)
Winner: Heroes of Today 'Intolerance Is Still There'. This powerful short film tells a story of the true inhumanity experienced by LGBTQ+ communities. The juxtaposition of past and present is a powerful device and serves to tell the story of heinous hate crimes that should be a thing of the past, but sadly, as the spot reveals, continue to be a daily reality for so many marginalized communities today. It's artful in its execution and the use of deep fake technology was good, although a tad clumsy in its reveal at the end. In all, the spot is a strong reminder of how far we still need to go to be better.

Runner up: Doritos 'Triangle Man'. Weirdly fun, if not a bit too long, this spot is a nice little ode to the art of "mockumentary" film making. It demonstrates a total commitment to the attention to detail and faux seriousness of the genre as it delves into a little piece of human oddity. It's also spot-on brief, with Doritos strategic focus on celebrating boldness and individuality in its desire to appeal to an audience that "rejects the norm". Funny and well executed, my only wish is that we could have seem him actually play the goddamn triangle just once.

Winner: Saving The Survivors 'Cancer'. This one gets a nod simply because it taught us something meaningful and important enough to be called out here in the hopes that the message is shared further. From an execution standpoint the art direction is decent, but the copy felt like it was trying a little too hard. With that, the ad still managed to deliver a very thoughtful message.

Runner up: McDonald's 'McDrive'. The simplicity of the "precious cargo on board" sentiment delivered by this visual metaphor makes this a nice little ad for a brand that seems to have fully embraced the borderless, no language barrier and globally friendly approach to advertising. The ad needs very little in the way of explanation - which is one of the many benefits of creating ads for one of the world's most recognizable brands.

Winner: Playstation PS5 'UK Underground 48-hour takeover PS5'. Those who know, know. This idea plays right into the hearts and minds of those Sony Playstation gamers who love their brand. Buzzworthy and a true demonstration of understanding your target, this simple yet playful takeover is a great example of a brand connecting directly with its fans. In a perfect world.

Runner up: El Universo Newspaper 'The Holy Ad'. This is a nice little headline grabbing idea and one of those initiatives that demonstrates a creativity can be used to chip away at very big problems. It also speaks to the truth that scalable impact can spring from even the smallest of behavioural changes. Simple, thoughtful and well executed, the only question we have on this particular campaign is around the results - those numbers seem big. Kudos to the team if they're accurate. For the sake of the environment, we really hope they are.

Winner: CALM 'Finding the words'. This is a strong example of what happens when the unique capability of a medium meets the power of a compelling message. By leveraging the unique aspect of the YouTube environment, this ad forces the viewer to do the very thing it's asking us all to do - stop and take notice of what people are actually saying when they speak. An important and timely message wrapped up in stellar execution. Well done.

Runner up: IKEA 'Life (at home) by IKEA'. A nice little intersection of where a brand who understands the role it plays in its customers' lives, meets the new realities of a quarantined world. No disingenuous "we're in this together" messages. Simply a well thought out, uniquely ownable and friendly way of saying that no matter how your life changes, IKEA products are designed to adapt to your version of modern life (at home).
This week's guest judges are Shari Walczak and Shane Ogilvie, founding partners, The Garden, Toronto.

Founding Partners of Toronto based The Garden, one of Canada's top independent Creative and Brand Strategy Agencies, Shari and Shane bring their combined 40+ years of creative and strategic experience to solving the challenges faced by modern organizations as they seek out new ways to drive growth.

Shari is one of Canada's most recognized brand strategy experts with over 20 years of experience working in categories that span food and pharmaceuticals to fashion and financial services.

With both a Master's Degree in Creativity and Change Leadership and an Ivey Business Degree from Western University, Shari has built a reputation as a change agent and expert facilitator.

Over the years, her guidance and leadership has helped some of North America's top brands, including Capital One, Samsung, TMX, Cineplex, Life is Good, SCENE, Coca-Cola, Interac, Participaction, WWF, AstraZeneca, Corona, Kraft, and Audi unlock fresh opportunity by rethinking and reframing their overall purpose and brand strategy.

Shari is a contributor to the recently-published bestseller: The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women, Leadership Lessons from The Judy Project. She is also committed to supporting and encouraging the growth of other female-founded organizations as a proud Activator for SheEO.

Recognized on AdWeek's Creative 100 as one of ten global leaders who are reinventing the advertising industry - Shane brings with him almost 20 years as a creative leader at some of the most well respected agencies in both Canada and the US. His creative work spans North America's biggest brands including Samsung, Bell, Coca Cola, Corona, Tabasco, Audi, Samsung and Budweiser.

He brings a refreshingly strategic and innovative approach to his work that has garnered awards and accolades both at home and around the world; including Cannes Lions, The Clios, The New York Festivals and London International, among others. Over the years, he has consistently ranked as one of Canada's top Creative Directors and his work has been included in the permanent archives of such prestigious institutions as the Royal Ontario Museum and the U.S. Library of Congress.

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