The eurobest of the euro rest

By Bram Holzapfel, Creative Director at DDB & Tribal Amsterdam

There are so many awards festivals competing for entries, you have to think twice before spending the agency’s time and money on entering them. I like to look at the quality of the jury and the fairness of the voting system. I also try to gauge what aspect of advertising a festival represents. And finally I look at the respect a festival commands within the creative and marketing communications community.

So about eurobest… If you’re expecting a rant, then I’m going to disappoint you. There it is. I’m a bit of a fan. Can’t help having had some positive experiences. So I’m going to shamelessly sing this festival’s songs of praise. But since you’re making an effort to read this, I’ll make an effort to give you some real arguments in favour.

First of all, I love creative ideas that transcend local cultural differences; plays on universal truths that speak to a real and widely shared human insight. An awards festival where work from across a wide region of distinctive cultures is entered is inspiring for me. Here you’ll find that in spite of cultural differences, deep down we are all driven by similar needs, dreams and passions. So when you see the work entered at eurobest, you get a very real sense of je-ne-sais-quoi. Let’s call it “European-ness”. Ideas that every European can relate to. Remember the Hornbach Hammer campaign. The Measure of Pleasure. The Gap. Push to Add Drama. Just call us. Monty’s Christmas. Sunday Grannies… to name just a few. I rest my case.

eurobest is also a perfect opportunity to get a sense of where our industry is headed across the region. Advertising usually amplifies all sorts of trends, so this is the opportunity to spot what they were last year, are now and could be next.

But let’s not forget the kudos! For agencies and their clients operating in Europe, the eurobest Awards are a coveted prize. The jury is an assembly of the region’s top creatives and marketing communications specialists. Having them judge your work adds real clout. And if you win, you’ll know your work was at the creative pinnacle of what Europe’s advertising industry produced that year. Through the years I have been lucky enough to win several eurobest Awards and share in this sense of pride. And as a judge at eurobest in 2013, I thoroughly enjoyed debating the work with such a diverse group of creative minds. Often in several languages at once…

So am I right? Is any of this ringing true? All I can say is; head for Rome and prove me wrong.

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Bram Holzapfel is a creative director at DDB & Tribal Amsterdam.

Ivo Roefs, DDB & Tribal Amsterdam’s CEO, will be speaking at Eurobest this year about Centraal Beheer Achmea’s 30-year “Just call us” campaign legacy with marketing manager Marteyn Roose.