Oz Dean’s Adfest Diary – day two


Campaign Brief recently published this diary post by We Are Social creative director Oz Dean, about his experience judging the Mobile Lotus at ADFEST 2015. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.


This morning began with a good double dose of buffet breakfast, in the hotel opposite the one my room is in. Local knowledge deemed this restaurant the place to go for breakfast and they were right. Check out this watermelon. That’s a Craft entry right there!

Following breakfast, I met with my fellow jurors to tackle mobile, on this second and last day of judging, and we wasted no time in reviewing borderline finalists, deciding whether or not they should hit the list.

There was really only one piece of work in Mobile that I thought, “I wish I’d done that.” The general consensus (and we discussed this at length through the day and over lunch) was one of disappointment. The calibre of work in mobile was not “so undeniably good it can’t be ignored.” The distribution of metal will reflect this and can be seen either as an opportunity for others to raise the game next year or as a sad reflection of the support of mobile campaigns and utility in APAC.

Looking at the following slide there are over 219 million users (of social mobile phones) in APAC. And 375 million mobile connections have been made since Jan 2014.


So why aren’t marketers and brands getting behind mobile when mobile penetration and use is off the chart? I think this is a topic in itself that should be explored further.

With regards some of the specific entries there was definitely more conversation around the authenticity of the work today, compared to yesterday. The wearable tech space seems to be a hotbed of suspect work that may or may not be real. It certainly makes things challenging when deciding whether to award it or not.

Once the work had been awarded metal, we covered off the category breakdown and talked about whether there should be additional categories in mobile. For example, there is a prototype category in interactive and why shouldn’t there be a prototype category in mobile?

One concern with adding a ‘prototype’ was that it could attract more suspect work created purely to win awards. We also looked at the social category in interactive and asked ourselves whether it should be, not one, but possibly three or four categories related to the type of work emerging in this field?

Another suggestion was, should mobile be a part of interactive as any campaign should, by default, contain a mobile component (and we were judging the two together but separately)?

We finished up earlier than expected and took a group shot before retiring to the pool to cool down. Sadly Rei was collared for more Grand President duties and whisked back inside the convention centre.