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Shay Madden


We caught up with Shay Madden, chair of one of our two Advertising Juries at Judging Weekend 2016.

What was the standard like overall?

This was definitely one of the strongest years I can remember. Overall I would say the standard was particularly good with a number of exceptional pieces that stood out as world standard.

What are your takeaways from the judging?

The main takeaways for me were the importance of holding on to the purity of an idea from concept all the way through to final production. It’s always good to be reminded of that. Also, that different people can have very different opinions. However the outstanding work is acknowledged by all.

What surprised and inspired you?

A number of pieces … The Examiner Jonah Lomu tribute ad. (I remember clearly where I was on the day I saw it for the first time). The Hailo Heterophobic taxi driver and the Daintree ‘Shred of Decency’ campaigns also stood out.

What, to you, makes a great project stand out?

The best work stands out by being different. By inventing its own rules. I’ve always applied the rule of “I wish I’d done that” to work I really admire. The best work seemed to go beyond the realms of normal advertising. In the case of the three pieces mentioned above, the brands associated themselves with broader issues in a way that both enhanced the brand’s reputation and grabbed the imagination of the public..

What were you looking for in award winning entry?

Clear original thinking and great execution.

Did the range of submissions give you a good sense of what is happening in Ireland at the moment?

It did. It was interesting to see the best of ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ advertising sitting happily side by side.

Did you spot any trends?

As mentioned before, a lot of the best work attached itself to broader themes. The Marriage Equality Referendum and sad passing of Jonah Lomu provided the inspiration for some great work.

What was most memorable about being on the 2016 ICAD Awards Jury?

The chance to sit back and discuss great work with contemporaries is always a good thing. I’ll remember lots of long discussions, good humour and some truly inspiring work.