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Good is Good

Being asked to judge ICAD this year was a lovely surprise and an honour. I’m still not sure what a half-Scottish American was doing on the jury when my fellow Irish judges were thoroughly up to the task, but I am very happy to have had the opportunity.

The scope of work being done in the Irish advertising market was a revelation to me. The character design, beautiful music, and some world-class concepts were awesome, as were the more-expected gorgeous landscapes and beautiful casting. It’s especially inspiring to see such good work in this lousy year.

It can be intimidating to sit with a group of people you have never met before and to lay bare your taste and opinions. But the conversation with my fellow judges proved that good is good no matter where it’s produced. And bad is bad all over the world. (Actually, nothing was “bad”; some entries were just not outstanding.)

I’m told these judging panels usually convene in person and that alcohol can be involved. I was robbed this year. There was talk of things returning to normal by the time next year’s judging starts up and now that I know what camogie is (having missed that reference in Waiting for Godot), I am hoping to get asked back and to see it in action.

A personal thank you for giving me a new window into our magnificent business. Judging ICAD was a much-appreciated reminder that Cannes is not the only way to see what’s happening in advertising and who’s directing/scoring/shooting/designing/animating great work outside your own home country.

Insights by Mary Knox, International juror for the broadcast craft jury.

Mary Knox is the founder of Minerva, a management consulting and business development shop that works with both ad agencies and production companies. She has run production and post-production companies in New York City for the past decade plus, producing work for the top ad agencies in the US and working directly with many brands, packaging entire productions from storyboards to delivery.

Most recently, Mary was executive producer on a campaign extolling wines from the country of Georgia for San Francisco ad agency Odysseus Arms (release date soon). She was executive producer on the original Girl Effect film, for the Nike Foundation, which became an international phenomenon by challenging people to think differently about the contributions women can make to the world. She also led the team that won an Emmy for creating the opening titles to the HBO show, “Bored To Death.”