Leigh Reyes Ad Stars Dispatch: From a Jury Room too Close to the Beach

Ad Stars is a unique show. There’s no entry fee, and they award Crystal in addition to Bronze, Silver and Gold. They also prize diversity and social good in addition to creativity.

That was a clear guide when it came to reviewing the nominees for our assigned categories which comprised Media, Direct, Promotions, and PR. 

It’s the sad reality of being a judge at advertising festivals: they book you near a beautiful beach so you can wistfully gaze at it during coffee breaks, before retreating into your dark room to look at 336 more case videos.


However, when there are exciting ideas to view, the dark room doesn’t seem all too bad. 

Read More: Ad Stars Festival Kicks off in South Korea for its Ninth Year

Every jury is different, and our jury was small enough for active discussion. We set the group’s benchmark early on, so that we could have a common sense of what separated finalist from metal.

Crystal, unique to Ad Stars, works like a shortlist in other shows; it’s meant to award promising work, which perhaps is not excellent in all respects, but deserves to be encouraged. 


We also discussed categories at length. In a world where campaigns can begin from a small direct piece and generate millions in PR exposure, or where a promotion rests on an innovation and expands into an integrated campaign, it wasn’t easy – but thoroughly necessary – to ensure we awarded work where it truly counted. 

We recognized many interesting pieces of work, and I look forward to seeing these shared with a wider audience during the rest of the Festival.


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