The Clio Awards are one of the the leading advertising awards worldwide. If advertising were a sport, the Clios could be considered the Olympics – or maybe the Super Bowl.
And so, to be a Clio juror – one of the people who work in advertising and are chosen to help select the winners of these awards from all of the entrants – is a pretty wild experience. Here, Susan Perlbachs, Chief Creative Officer for EVERSANA INTOUCH, tells us what her experience is like as a repeat juror!
(To continue with the Olympics metaphor, the Clios have are many categories (and a jury for each). This year, Susan was on the Clio Health Award jury for “Branded Entertainment & Content, Design, Innovation, Integrated Campaign, & Partnerships & Collaborations.”)
So, Susan: What is it like to help make the decisions for these prestigious awards?
Fascinating. “It’s always fun to meet different people from throughout the industry – and in this case, while you may walk into a room as strangers, you’re likely to walk out as the best of friends. When you spend a day dissecting creativity, you come to understand a person’s sensibility in a lot of personal ways.”
Competitive. “There’s always debate about what pieces should win, and, sometimes, even about whether a piece even belongs in a certain category at all. It’s a harsh process, because these awards aren’t easily won. The work must stand out and make a real difference to be worthy of a Clio.”
Orderly. “The process is, no surprise, beautifully organized, from the first rounds of review that are conducted online, to the two-day judging process that’s managed on site with iPads and a digital voting board.”
Inspiring. “It would be impossible to spend a day with the best creativity in the world and not come away full of ideas, to set your bar for excellence even higher than it was before. I come back to work looking even more critically at what we’re doing. Being among winners makes you want to do even better!”
Powerful. “I found many of this year’s winners to be breathtaking. I’ll share two of my favorite winners… Harley-Davidson’s “Tough Turban” created an open-source, impact-resistant turban for Sikh motorcyclists, and The Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation’s “The Bread Exam” taught women how to do a breast self-exam in a culture where overt discussion of such things would be unacceptable. I loved their thoughtful innovation and the power they had to make a difference.”
Susan says, “The years of people joking about how healthcare advertising is just two people walking on the beach with a golden retriever… that sort of thing is far behind us. Today, you have to step up and break through fierce competition and phenomenal work. It’s true that that wasn’t the case in years past. Now, though, it’s absolutely reality.”