Myra Nussbaum: ‘Every Brand Should be Trying to Save the World’


Myra Nussbaum travelled all the way from Chicago – Busan’s sister city – to join the judges at AD STARS 2016.

Myra, SVP and Creative Director at FCB Global in Chicago, is one of the most demanded female creative directors in America, and she’s passionate about her job. She says she loves judging awards shows because she likes to “feel jealous”.

That’s what fuels me. Some people say they hate looking at awards catalogues, but I love seeing work and thinking, ‘I want to beat this’. I’m really competitive.

 
 

“McWhopper is brilliant, but it wasn’t really trying to promote world peace at all, in fact it almost mocked Peace Day to get its own message across. It’s evil brilliance.

Myra judged the PSA (Public Service Advertising) category this year, and says a lot of debate took place behind the closed doors of the jury room.

“To me, if you’re going to do PSA as a brand, but you are also selling a product, then your message has to match your brand purpose or it will seem disingenuous.”

 
 

After much discussion the judges decided that campaigns like Brewtroleum, created by ColensoBBDO, and McWhopper, by Y&R New Zealand, weren’t quite right for the PSA category.

“McWhopper is brilliant, but it wasn’t really trying to promote world peace at all, in fact it almost mocked Peace Day to get its own message across. It’s evil brilliance. And Brewtroleum used a green process to create a biofuel – but ultimately their goal was to sell more beer.”

McWhopper and Brewtroleum won lots of awards at AD STARS this year – just not in the PSA category.

In the end, Publicis China won Gold for the OPPO ‘Missing Children’ campaign in the PSA category.

“It was a super simple idea, but it felt very honest. Oppo used its own phone screens to raise awareness of missing children. It felt smart and genuine.”

So if brands shouldn’t engage in Public Service Advertising unless it aligns with their brand purpose, does this mean creatives shouldn’t set out to change the world, after all?

Myra disagrees: “I think every brand should be trying to save the world at least once in a year. Give yourself one campaign every year, or even every few years, that’s not necessarily trying to save the world, but raise awareness, or gets people to think differently.

“I think advertising should always be pushing to educate, entertain and yes, sell product and build loyalty. Sometimes you’ll only be entertaining, sure. But if you can teach people something too, that’s even better.”

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