The View From the Jury: Mike Dubrick

Rethink CD braves the elements to judge the ADC 95th Annual Awards

Last week, the ADC team left the friendly confines of its New York gallery and headed westward with the Advertising and Digital juries of the ADC 95th Annual Awards. While most award shows prefer to conduct their judging in tropical climes, this year we went against the grain, taking our esteemed and diverse group of judges more than 8,000 feet above sea level, to the frosty peaks of Beaver Creek, Colorado. Snow and skies replaced sea and sand, as ADC went all in on “après-ski”. The result was still the same: incredible minds got together to debate and decide the most Cube-worthy advertising and design work of the past year.

We asked a few of our Jury Members to share their experiences of the past week, as soon as they came down from their Rocky Mountain highs.


Creative Director & Partner
Toronto, Canada
Advertising Jury



A week of ADC judging has wrapped up. It’s 4:00am, it’s pitch black and there’s three feet of snow outside. I’m getting into a van with 8 other creatives from around the world in Beaver Creek, Colorado. We’re white-knuckled and weary, about to head out for a three hour drive through the mountains back to Denver. Yesterday, the same road was closed for nine hours. I know advertising isn’t life and death, but it kinda feels like it right now.

We get to Denver to find out that only 30% of the flights are still happening. The theme for the week at the ADC’s was #RareForAReason. This isn’t what we had in mind.

Now, I totally get the irony of an advertising awards show using the term rare. But after a week judging this show, I think it’s more than appropriate for ADC.

Traditionally, this show has been one of the hardest trophies to win. The focus here isn’t just on idea, but the intersection of those ideas and craft. Add that to a legacy that includes Jim Henson and Walt Disney, and you can start to see what sets this show apart.

In the judging room, that’s exactly what we were looking for: work that sets itself apart. The truth is, we weren’t just awarding ideas. The world will see this work and see this as what we view as the standard of quality in the industry. And that’s not something we could take lightly.

At the end of it all, I can’t be more proud of the body of work that was chosen. It’s inspiring thinking that nails both the meaning of brands and makes those brands meaningful. And as always, the best of the best made you feel something. Often that feeling was, “shit, I wish I did that.” It was fresh, it was brave, not just for an agency, but brave for clients too.

Thanks to everyone for that bravery – especially our driver back to Denver.


The ADC 95th Annual Awards Celebration takes place Thursday, June 9, 2016 in New York City.