Zulu Alpha Kilo gets consumers to weigh in on award winning ads
September 04, 2013 | Russ Martin | Comments
When Zulu Alpha Kilo was selected to design the 2013 Applied Arts annual awards book, the agency decided to put a new spin on the judging process.
After the jury selected winners in each category, the agency brought in its own jury of consumers to re-judge each category. The result, according to Zulu chief creative officer and founder Zak Mroueh, proved that much of the work applauded by the industry falls flat when assessed by consumers.
Mroueh estimated that the consumer jury agreed with about 30% of the award winning creative chosen by the industry jury. The remaining 70% of the work awarded by Applied Arts‘ jury was not selected as winning work by the consumer group. The consumer jury was made up of a cross section of six “layperson” judges, including a stay at home mom, two students and an elementary school teacher, who were asked to judge the work based on their “gut reaction.”
The process, Mroueh said, showed the ad industry often operates “in a bubble,” awarding work that’s a hit with peers rather than marketing that resonates with consumers.
“The problem with a lot of work that wins at awards shows is that it talks to the judges but it doesn’t always work in the real world,” he said. “The truly brilliant stuff does well in both.”
Much of the work chosen by both Applied Art‘s traditional jury and Zulu’s consumer panel was also a hit at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including BBDO‘s “Quit the Denial” campaign for the Ontario Ministry of Health (a Bronze Lion winner) and lg2‘s “Tissue” for Sanofi Consumer Health (also a Bronze Lion winner).
The September/October awards issue of Applied Arts is now on newsstands.