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The Ins and Outs of Creativity

VR is in, 'Viral' is out as ADC 95th Annual Awards Jury discusses industry trends

The ADC Awards team has assembled an amazing group of men and women for the various juries of the ADC 95th Annual Awards, people with their proverbial fingers on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not in their respective industries.We knew that the only way the very best work could earn an ADC Cube is if our jury knows with certainty what is fresh and new, and what has been done to death.

Last week, we had the jury to share the projects they’ve worked on over the past year that they were most proud of. This week, we asked them to share which industry trends they were most excited about, as well as which things they felt were on their way out and didn’t care to see anymore.


JoukeVuurmans“I’m really looking forward to see virtual reality become mainstream over the next few years. At the same time, I’d like see us stop thinking about VR as a trend but rather embrace it as a new creative medium that can be used for all sorts of things. Less gimmick, more great content.”

Jouke Vuurmans
Partner & Executive Director, MediaMonks (USA)
Digital Jury


YasuharuSasaki“As Head of Digital Creative at Dentsu, I think that digital is coming to an end. Digital is so commonplace now that it is invisible, and we don’t even need to mention it anymore. It’s already out of date to say ‘digital’. The culture of ‘providing an experience making full use of everything’, which was brought about by digital, will make creativity more interesting.”

Yasuharu Sasaki
Executive Creative Director / Head of Digital Creative, Dentsu (Japan)
Digital Jury


EricaGorochow“A trend I see in our community is more curiosity to tinker with other formats. Illustrators are animating, animators are programming, programmers are designing. I see creatives reaching further out of their comfort zones. As far as a trend that’s played out… often when I think something has reached a saturation point, someone puts a new twist on it that makes me reconsider.”

Erica Gorochow
Freelance Director, Designer & Animator (USA)
Motion Jury


sarahwatson“I’m loving that brands like Always, Thinx, and #ThisGirlCan are taking on taboos such as menstruation and body image and are creating a new aspirational language. I’m not so much liking those who are trying to do the same thing without any credibility – they’re ruining it for everyone. “

Sarah Watson
Chief Strategy Officer, BBH New York (USA)
Advertising Jury


timho“Virtual reality will get big for marketers and designers. Conversely, the attempt to “create something viral” needed to stop long ago. “

Tim Ho
Partner & Creative Director, Constant (China)
Digital Jury


Leigh-Reyes“I’m just as excited over authentic storytelling as I am about virtual reality. That more than makes up for all the emoji. ;)”

Leigh Reyes
President, Chief Creative Officer, Lowe (Philippines)
Advertising Jury


Nathan-Lavertue“Personalization, localization and proximity, particularly proximity. I think we’ve just touched the surface on what we can do with information of where a user is. And as more great ideas are created leveraging proximity, the more users will open up about sharing their location. It’s a bit risky because if a few brands or products take advantage of this trust, then users are less inclined to share in the future.”

“One of things I see as a declining trend is the use of Photoshop for digital design. Smaller, more affordable and better equipped tools are emerging making the use of Photoshop much more suited to photo editing and that’s about it.”

Nathan Lavertue
Creative Director, VaynerMedia (USA)
Digital Jury


Preethi-Mariappan“VR is definitely the most exciting current trend for the new creative opportunities it’s opened up. In the meantime, I’m still waiting for the ‘viral’ trend to go away.”

Preethi Mariappan
Executive Creative Director, Razorfish Germany (Germany)
Digital Jury



renda-mortonI’m really intrigued about these natural language interfaces, which I hope to see more of. These are products or services that you can use by text or voice. As designers, we try to make things easy for people to use and reduce as much friction as possible. What could be more frictionless than just saying (or typing) what you want? Some are powered by humans, some by artificial intelligence or a combination of both. For example: Using slackbot to change settings in Slack, asking Facebook’s M to book you a trip, getting feedback on your diet through Rise, asking Siri to text my friend that I’m running late.”

Renda Morton
Product Design Director – Web Platform, The New York Times (USA)
Digital Jury


Piera-Gelardi“As someone who grew up loving storytelling and sci-fi novels, I’m incredibly excited about virtual reality, creating augmented experiences, and all the exciting creative potential that holds.”

“In terms of what I think is played out, I think that within advertising and media there has been an over-representation of thinness and whiteness for far too long. Thankfully, a sea change is upon us. It’s on all of us as creators AND consumers to demand change and push culture forward, ensuring people of all identities and backgrounds are being represented. “

Piera Gelardi
Founder, Executive Creative Director, Refinery29 (USA)
Design Jury


StefanieDiGianvincenzo“The trend that i’m most excited about at the moment is Artificial Intelligence. Clients these days are looking for ways to offer more personalised, round the clock services for their customers, and AI offers us the chance to do just that – in a highly sophisticated way.”

“Conversely, a trend that i think is on the way out is social. Once upon a time it was a cost-efficient way of reaching mass audiences now. These days though, the cost is outweighing the gain. Social channels are charging big dollars for brands to even be seen by their audiences. And consumers glaze over most times a brand is trying to talk to them. Not saying that social will disappear completely. But i think it’s going to serve a different purpose in the years to come.”

Stefanie DiGianvincenzo
Creative Director, AKQA (Australia)
Digital Jury


NickDavidge” I think one of the most exciting things happening right now is the move toward more virtual sensory experiences. There are a bunch of new technologies available coming that are the first step into a richer creative world. It’s been hyped for a long time but I think technology is finally catching up. The flip side of that is the rush toward bad branded entertainment. Brands need to understand that in the realm of entertainment you can’t just slap on a thin veneer of story to cover up what is basically a 10-minute ad for your latest product and expect people to tune in. I think people are hardwired to sniff out an ulterior motive and call bullshit on it. Instead brands should be looking for authentic ways to connect with their audience based on shared values and put a stake in the ground. Brands that have done this like Red Bull and Patagonia have really built a foundation with their consumers based on trust and shared passions.”

Nick Davidge
Executive Creative Director, Co-founder, GreenLight (USA)
Advertising Jury


Lu-Chekowsky“I am super excited by the trend in advertising that is about featuring more authentic representations of actual human beings and their looks/lifestyles/worlds. I really hope this new “trend” is the next step in an evolution towards more genuine inclusion and away from “authenticity light” — a “trend” which in the last few years has nodded to a more diverse-ish world, but in very safe ways.”

Lu Chekowsky
Senior Vice President, Brand Creative, Comedy Central (USA)
Advertising Jury


ConorClarke“For me it’s “the new simplicity” in branding and identity design. Gradients and 3D effects are played out and too expensive to implement. Complexity costs, simplicity wins. Actually there is nothing new about this wisdom — great designers like Saul Bass, Chermayeff + Geismar, Alan Fletcher, Wim Crouwel and Kenya Hara have always known this and lived and worked by this principle. Simplicity reduces information to its essence and communicates with absolute clarity. As Dieter Rams wrote, “Good design is as little design as possible: Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.””

Conor Clarke
Director, Design Factory (Ireland)
Design Jury


NkanyeziMasango“The exciting trend is that brands want to play a more meaningful role in society, as opposed to just selling stuff. So we’re seeing a lot more ideas such as the Proud Whopper for Burger King and Life Paint from Volvo. It’s terrific. On the flipside – this new wave of goodness is breeding the trend that is completely played out: formulaic case films. They tend to use the same old structure and the worst part is that some of these films are often disingenuous. I hope we can find fresher ways of packaging ideas and simply tell the truth.”

Nkanyezi Masango
Creative Director, Y&R Cape Town (South Africa)
Advertising Jury


NathalieKirshehWith the evolved approach to publishing in the digital age, I think it’s fantastic to see more and more existing print design come to life in motion. This medium has allowed us endless opportunities to alter the experience and elevate it to a higher level.

Nathalie Kirsheh
Design Director, Details magazine (USA)
Design Jury


Melatan-Riden“In my opinion, the most exciting opportunity that I see brands finally tapping into is sustainability. It’s our responsibility to behave more consciously than ever before, to the extent that it’s no longer solicitous of praise. It should be automatic. On the flip side, I’m a little disappointed our industry relies so heavily on celebrity endorsements for effectiveness. We’re smarter than that.”

Melatan Riden
Design Director, TBWA\Chiat\Day (USA)
Digital Jury


The ADC 95th Annual Awards Call for Entries is now open, with Advertising and Innovation deadlines set for Monday, February 8, 2016.