AdAsia interviews Bob Greenberg, Chairman of the International
ANDY awards.

Bob Greenberg

AdAsia: Can you tell me what people should know about the International ANDY Awards?

Bob Greenberg: The ANDY Awards is an institution of our industry, a constant in recognizing the best creative on the planet for 47 years. The Show is an outstanding opportunity for creatives to be judged by some of the most prestigious names in the industry, all of whom are present on one jury, judging all categories of work, which is a distinct differentiator from other award shows. As well, as the first Show of the season, the ANDYs serve as a predictor of what work will win awards throughout the year, and as a result there is much attention given to this particular show.

AdAsia: What do you hope to bring to the ANDYs as its Chairman? What is your vision for this creative show and what do you hope to change and add to the judging process and the Show & Party?

Bob Greenberg: It is my hope that I can help the ANDYs further strengthen its global reach and better inform creatives worldwide about the show and its inherent value. We certainly see digital and integrated marketing playing a key role in the submissions and in terms of the Show itself and the Party – there are some very fun and interactive elements in the works.

AdAsia: How did the agency come up with the “Enter Before the Apocalypse” concept?

Bob Greenberg: When we were brainstorming for the ANDYs, we wanted to convey to the whole industry that this is the most important advertising award show out there. In fact, it’s so important, that winning an ANDY is probably something on everyone’s bucket list. So we thought about how we could create that bucket list-like urgency, and we naturally landed on the Apocalypse.

In pop culture and now, to some degree, in every Doomsday conversation, 2012 is positioned as the year the world will end. Whether it was the Mayans who predicted it, or Nostradamus, or Roland Emmerich, one thing they all agree on is that on December 22nd, 2012, it’s over. And since this is something we cannot stop, we may as well go out on a high note and win some awards!

AdAsia: Why do you think Award Shows like the ANDYs are important to the industry?

Bob Greenberg: Award shows provide an opportunity to acknowledge the best of the best and reward the most talented and hard working folks in our industry with the recognition they deserve. They also serve to set the standard for work going forward, helping to motivate and inspire people at all levels.

The ANDYs in particular give back through things like the student ANDY competition in addition to a $10,000 award for best PSA — the Richard T. O’Reilly award.

AdAsia: What do you feel are the “next steps” in advertising today? What do you predict will continue to be the direction for brand marketing from a creative, media and executional standpoint?

Bob Greenberg: Our industry is in a constant state of change, perhaps now more than ever. At R/GA we operate in nine-year cycles; you may have heard about our plans for the next nine years, which are centered on functional integration – the notion of building a series of complementary offerings all of which add a distinct value for our clients. For example, at R/GA, we have different teams working collaboratively (and often times globally) from the inception of a project. In addition to the traditional teams like creative and copy, you may have media and connections helping to determine where the work can be leveraged through paid, earned and owned channels, analytics helping to set and evaluate metrics, brand development to assist in delivering on the brand promise, and data visualization to make sense of the data in compelling ways, just to name a few.

Applying this type of integrated and collaborative model will be crucial to the success of modern agencies moving forward.

AdAsia: What skills do you feel are most important for a creative executive and what do you look for when you bring new talent into the agency? In other words, what advice do you have for creatives who would want to work for a company like R/GA?

Bob Greenberg: Be courageous and take risks. We encourage everyone at R/GA to think differently and approach the work with collaboration top of mind. The ability to work across specialized teams and offices while maintaining the core integrity of the creative is a skill set we put a great deal of stock in.