AD STARS, a relatively new and up-and-coming awards show and the world’s first convergent advertising festival, took place from 18 to 22 August 2015 in Busan, South Korea’s second largest metropolis.
The AD STARS festival celebrated its eighth anniversary this year and set a remarkable record with 17,698 entries from 67 countries, and boasts a 41% increase in entries compared to 2014. These statistics are testament to the festival’s gaining momentum on the global awards circuit.
“The theme of the festival this year was ‘Beyond’”, explained Nkanyezi. “The intention was for creative leaders to reflect on innovative changes in the advertising paradigm, that go beyond its traditional limits.”
Nkanyezi was asked to present on the topic based on his learnings and insights from working as a creative in the South Africa. His presentation was titled: Opportunity in Difficulty. “Difficulty, whether it’s a tight budget, short turnaround time or the absence of superior technology, forces one to be more inventive and it inspires lateral thinking. Some local campaigns by Y&R South Africa are great examples of that – including Hope Soap, GIVA, Edward Snell’s ‘Reflector Protector’ and Land Rover’s ‘Non-genuine Animals’.”
On his experience at AD STARS, he shared: “I had long chats with some of the judges from big and small agencies in different regions, and I learned that we all face the same issues,” he continues. The only thing that separates great agencies from the average ones, is a relentless spirit. It’s about how you respond to your challenges,“ he added.
Submissions to AD STARS are open year-round and are not limited to creative work from any particular country, although there is a slant towards Asia-specific work. Nkanyezi particularly enjoyed the Japanese and Thai films during the judging process, as these have a very unique, irreverent voice and humour.
This is the second consecutive year that Y&R South Africa has enjoyed representation at AD STARS. Rui Alves, Executive Creative Director at Y&R SA’s Johannesburg office, served on the finalist judging panel in 2014.
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Y&R South Africa is a community of creative minds who come to work to constantly challenge and reinvent; to find better and more effective ways of making our clients’ brands move their customers. And to do so in a manner that is differentiated for their brand while being relevant to their specific customer. In a phrase, we come to work to help our clients’ brands Resist the Usual. To be clear, this is not difference for difference sake; that way lies gimmickry and short-termism. This is difference and relevance, the cornerstone of all successful brand building. Our community use the power of insights, ideas and impact to deliver work that is impossible to ignore.This is what binds us together. This is what fires us up in the morning. This is who we are.