CREATIVE DIRECTOR – STRATEGY & INSIGHT DEPT
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.
2018 Grand Jury member, Emanuele Soi, Creative Director/Strategy & Insights Dept. for Openmind, Italy. With 20 years’ experience in the field of advertising, Emanuele began his career in copywriting and switched to digital communication in 1999 working for Liquid Thought Studios in San Francisco and Torino. As senior partner of the strategy advisory firm Openmind and of communication advisory firm Cookies & Partners, with a strong focus on experience strategy, he shares his knowledge teaching at the university level. In 2013, he began teaching Web Presence & Online Advertising for a master class at Università Cattolica in Milano, and started the Experience Strategy Lab for POLI.design and was recently recruited as a professor of Brand Design at NABA, Milano.
New York Festivals: Why judge…and how do you find the time?
Emanuele Soi: “Time is what you make of it” I’d say, quoting the claim of a very emotional 1996 Italian ad for Swatch*. As a matter of fact, staying informed, being aware of the state-of-the art of advertising is an essential part of our job as creatives - this is common sense, I’d say. To me, judging for an award like NYF represents the unique opportunity of getting a healthy, massive injection of such knowledge at once, and at a global scale. International juries, above all, are invaluable sources of professional awareness and -to be totally honest, since you are responsible for what you pass and what you don’t- they are the greatest excuse, the most compelling reason why for a deep dive into the works of the others. This is a full portrait, a clear snapshot of the whole reality of what our industry has made and thought it’s worthy to be submitted to an international jury of peers. Thus, it is definitely beyond what Cannes or D&AD (just to mention any major) might have awarded and you have seen, most likely in the form of a selection of what’s best, for in some way you had to. Because when it comes to judging you need to get into that. You need to try to understand the whole context. Which is the best way to be aware, as well as to learn, what’s going on in the rest of the world. And learning is precisely my deepest “why” as a judge.
* Agency: BGS / Barbella Gagliardi Saffirio, Milan. Copywriter: Roberto Greco. Art director: Franco Tassi. Creative directors: Pasquale Barbella, Paolo Gorini. Film director: Gary Johns. Music: "Breathe" by Midge Ure. Produced by Filmgo in Mexico City. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zChQw_AnIA8
New York Festivals: In 3 words or less, what do you think about 6 second commercials?
Emanuele Soi: Too Quickie.
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?
Emanuele Soi: It makes me smile, for it actually was a banned commercial. But let me tell you the situation. I was a student at that time -mid 90s-, and went with some friends to a kind of an all-night-long marathon of tv commercials. It was at a cinema. That experience bewitched me for two reasons. First, advertising can be interesting, and if done seriously might be a cool, serious job - I could see people sitting there for hours and just watching hundreds of ads (very good stuff, indeed), in an age when commercials were the perfect moment either to run to the bathroom or to prepare a sandwich or to get yourself a beer while you were watching a movie or a game. Second, in this rich stream of great ads, I could enjoy this “Where’s my Hamster?” commercial. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mZIBd00gi0
Of course, the concept was: smoking kills, even the non-smokers. I found it brilliant. It was hilarious, besides the blood stain. It was so clever: straight to the concept. People who missed the sarcasm of it, who’s disturbed by the blood thing or by the supposed violence on the hamster (?!), to me was just looking at the finger instead of the moon the finger is pointing at. I said to me: “I’d like to be the person who had created this!”. It’s been the very first time I realized advertising could be a great job, and, more specifically, my job.
New York Festivals: What’s the one smartphone app you couldn’t live without?
Emanuele Soi: Do Not Disturb - the half-moon icon on iPhone. It’s a feature, not an app, and I love it more than any other app, as one could only love his life saver.
New York Festivals: If you’re binge watching…what are you watching?
Emanuele Soi: Either Sense8 or GOT (A Game of Thrones). No, not Mad Men.