Istvan Bracsok











The Grand Jury is NYF’s front line in selecting the World’s Best Advertising®. These award-winning creatives evaluate NYF’s entries from over 100 countries worldwide and determine which creative campaign will move on to the medal round. Not an easy task. It takes experience, brilliant creative chops, and dedication to their craft.

NYF’s 2018 Grand Jury of 300+ creatives are one of the most diverse juries on the planet, with advertising creatives from over 50 countries around the globe, this jury is a powerhouse of innovation and creativity.

Grand Jury member, Istvan Bracsok is Executive Creative Director and Founder of White Rabbit Budapest. He started his career at Ammirati Puris Lintas as an art director. Following stints at top agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB and JWT where he was an ECD, he launched his own agency. For the past 10 years, Istvan has worked at White Rabbit, his independent agency, with his partners where his creative work has earned numerous domestic and international awards including D&AD, Cannes Lions, One Show, Clio, ADC, New York Festivals, AdStars, Mobius Awards, Kinsale Sharks, Cresta, Golden Award of Montreux, Lisbon International Advertising Festival, Golden Hammer, and several Effies (which makes White Rabbit the 75th most efficient independent agency in the world).  Istvan also shares his creative insights judging some of the world’s top advertising competitions. 

When he is not making ads, he likes to listen to his collection of vinyl records, take care of his exotic houseplants or count clouds. He happily opens a bottle of good wine to accompany any of these activities. 

On Judging:

New York Festivals: Why judge…and how do you find the time?

Istvan Bracsok: NYF is one of the most prestigious awards shows. So, why judge? Because it’s an honor. A great one. And I believe that we can always find some time for the important things, even if we are working in a pretty time-consuming industry. If you know what I mean.

New York Festivals: What do you expect to learn this year from judging and what do you hope to bring back to your creative team?

Istvan Bracsok: My expectations are pretty high and simple at the same time. As always. I just want to be amazed and jealous. Extremely jealous. For the world’s most brilliant creative work. And what will I bring back to my team? The passion!

New York Festivals: What cultural/social changes do you think will influence this year’s work?

Istvan Bracsok: I think we will face pretty much the same issues that we did last year. But I guess their voice will be even stronger.

New York Festivals: If you were to participate on the Grand Jury ten or fifteen years from now, what changes would you expect to see regarding the work?

Istvan Bracsok: HaHa! If I could tell! Seriously, just remember the ads, their executions and media channels we made and used 15 years before! Did we foresee IoT? AI? So, honestly, I have no idea. But I’m quite sure that we will have tons of new channels and methods to reach our consumers. Just can’t wait to see them!

New York Festivals: What are your personal criteria for choosing award-winning work?

Istvan Bracsok: It’s a simple one: goosebumps.  

New York Festivals: When judging, what trends do you hope will fade away, and what “old school” trends do you hope will make a resurgence? 

Istvan Bracsok: I really think that ‘tech for tech’s sake’ must go. And I can’t wait the good old idea to come back and rule again. 

On Advertising:  

New York Festivals: In 3 words or less, what do you think about 6 second commercials?

Istvan Bracsok: GuinnessBookOfRecords. (Hope you still remember this amazing radio spot!)

New York Festivals: What was the first ad you saw that made you say “wow!” and got you on the track to a career in advertising?

Istvan Bracsok: Probably it was not the first one that I was shocked by, but definitely the first one I remember to be made this feeling. It was a VW print ad made by Arnold Boston. For the launch of the new Beetle.  The headline said: ‘If you sold your soul in the 80s, here’s your chance to buy it back.’ Pretty smart, isn’t it? 

New York Festivals: Has the relationship between agency and client changed at all and if so how? 

Istvan Bracsok: As far as I see: it did. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same trust we had like 15 years ago. Agencies don’t seem to be treated as partners anymore. Or, clients have way much more partners than to care about this only one. So, we (agencies) must compete with tech companies or even production houses acting like ‘content-creating hot shops’. It seems there is no Universal Truth anymore; the truth can be found anywhere: in clicks, impressions, likes, shares, data… 

New York Festivals: What philosophy drives your career?

Istvan Bracsok: It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock’nRoll. 

New York Festivals: What’s the single best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Istvan Bracsok: “Start it over!” (Thanks Jeff!) 

New York Festivals: Who gave you your big break in advertising?

Istvan Bracsok: By his spirit: Bill Bernbach. By his presence: Ed Jones, my former ECD at Saatchi. 

New York Festivals: Where do you see ads showing up in the future that we don’t have now?

Istvan Bracsok: Anywhere! And i really mean it.

New York Festivals: If you could work in advertising alongside any one person past or present, who would it be? 

Istvan Bracsok: Howard Gossage. No doubt. Unfortunately, it’s never going to happen. But I was lucky enough to meet and speak Mrs. Alice Lowe. The last people alive who actually worked with that genius. And thanks again to Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein for keeping his spirit alive!  

On Life: 

New York Festivals: What’s the one smartphone app you couldn’t live without? 

Istvan Bracsok: Pocket Whip!

New York Festivals: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Istvan Bracsok: Everywhere!

New York Festivals: Favorite music album of all time? 

Istvan Bracsok: I guess, it is The Goldberg Variations. Composed by J.S. Bach. Brilliantly interpreted by Glenn Gould. But it’s a sneaky question! You knew that? 

New York Festivals: Favorite travel destination?

Istvan Bracsok: Japan. For many-many reasons. 

New York Festivals: What movie or book best depicts the theme of your life?

Istvan Bracsok: Right now? I feel that this is the movie called ‘Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon’. :)