10 of the best things about my One Show experience — Graham Lang

Posted: April 9, 2015

One Show Cross-Platform Jury 2015, Santa Barbara9 April 2015


  1. It’s very American.

I’m a big fan of American advertising. When you flick through a One Show book, you can really taste that American flavour running through it. The One Show hasn’t been watered down and made all ‘global’ like some of the others.


  1. I visited Santa Barbara.

The Cross-Platform jury took place at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. A stunning location with ridiculously airbrushed sunsets and a pristine beach. The hotel was perfectly manicured. The air was good for breathing and the wine flowed like water. There wasn’t much to do. It’s a small town with a couple of wealthy locals who go to bed at about 9pm. This meant that all you really had to do was focus on the work.


  1. You get to meet great people.

Most ad folk are cut from the same cloth. So whenever you meet people on a jury you can very quickly find common ground. I met some amazingly talented people. People who I knew by the work they had done and some by the agencies they’ve built. That’s the great thing about being on great juries — you get to hang out with your heroes.


  1. You get to learn from great people.

If you’re just in it for the jolly, then you’re missing the point. When you are surrounded by some of greatest minds working in the industry, you need to listen, watch and take note. The better your jury, the more you can learn about how to craft your work, how to prepare a case study and, most importantly, how to not irritate a jury.


  1. You get to see a lot of crappy work.

A collective sigh and roll of the eyes from a jury is a great way to bond. Let’s be honest. It makes you feel good when you see crap work on a jury. It means that your work may have a better chance of winning. It also reassures you that even great agencies, with tons of budget and the best creatives, can also screw it up once and a while.


  1. You get to see a lot of great work.

Once you have tossed out all the turds, you get to the sharp end of the stick and all your effort and finger-pressing on the iPad starts to bear some fruit. There is a great sense of accomplishment on a jury when your selection starts to shape up. Knowing that you are curating the world’s best work is a real thrill. I love that moment when you start to see the good stuff making it through…especially if it’s work you’ve been backing. It means that you kinda know what you’re talking about.


  1. You get to see something that makes you jealous.

There is always one idea that you wish you had come up with. This year it was an idea that I had never seen before. It was authentic, simple and devastatingly smart in terms of the psychology it used. It was a stunning example of how to use the moronic ideals of racists against themselves. The campaign was called Nazis Against Nazis. (I think.) I’m sure it’s going to do well.


  1. No lobbying.

On our first day it was made crystal clear. You may not lobby for work. Your work, your friend’s work, your mother’s work. No lobbying. You may not stand up and make a passionate speech to the jury about the local relevance of a piece of work and how it saved lives and got seven billion Likes that helped it gain five gazillion in earned media. Lobbying for ideas is frowned upon and stamped out before it even has a chance to begin. I think that this is so important. The smallest, “harmless” remark from a jury member can have a massive influence.


  1. No talking.

You are encouraged to not discuss the work while you are judging. This is different to lobbying, apparently. This means that when you are judging you may not comment casually or instigate a debate over a piece of work. You just have to use your brain, decide what you think of the work in front of you and give it a score. Just you, your brain and the work. It really does seem that the One Show only wants you for your individual opinion as an experienced advertising professional. Imagine that?


  1. No idea what won what.

So you spend five days locked in a small room and then, at the very end, after all your scores are in, you have a little, fleeting, almost non-discussion discussion about what you thought the best work was and then you go home. That’s it. You have absolutely no idea what won. No big party. No fireworks. Being on the One Show Jury is just about judging the work. That’s all they want. You are there to serve and I feel very fortunate to have done just that.