The Grand Jury is NYF’s front line in selecting the World’s Best Advertising®. These award-winning creatives evaluate NYF’s entries from over 100 countries worldwide and determine which creative campaign will move on to the medal round. Not an easy task. It takes experience, brilliant creative chops, and dedication to their craft.
NYF’s 2018 Grand Jury of 300+ creatives are one of the most diverse juries on the planet, with advertising creatives from over 50 countries around the globe, this jury is a powerhouse of innovation and creativity.
2018 Grand Jury member, Dylan Davies is a Creative Director for FCB Cape Town. Dylan’s career journey for now has returned to home base. Starting in Cape Town in 2000, the journey took him to Kenya and onto Ireland where he spent over a decade working on prominent brands like Heineken, Tiger Beer and Coca-Cola. Returning to South Africa in 2014, Dylan continues to apply his talents at FCB Cape Town on Amarula and Western Cape Government and in 2017 was awarded 2 silver Cannes Lions.
New York Festivals: Why judge…and how do you find the time? What do you expect to learn this year from judging and what do you hope to bring back to your creative team?
Dylan Davies: Judging is a fantastic opportunity to see a full body of competitive thinking from around the globe in one go. From that perspective you are able to identify trend’s and nuances in markets and see how gems stand out of the rest. The ‘why’ is probably the best takeaway from the judging experience.
New York Festivals: What are your personal criteria for choosing award-winning work?
Dylan Davies: Does the work open up new ground? Perhaps that’s a cliché. Any work that blindsides my healthy skepticism about formulaic ad tricks and notions get’s my vote.
New York Festivals: When judging, what trends do you hope will fade away, and what “old school” trends do you hope will make a resurgence?
Dylan Davies: The case-study video. Please stop.
New York Festivals: What was the first ad you saw that made you say “wow!” and got you on the track to a career in advertising?
Dylan Davies: There’s one that definitely sticks out. Spike Jonze’s Wrangler piece titled ‘Tank’ from 1997. I clearly remember sitting in the cinema and staring in awe at it and deciding that creating pieces of film like that was what I wanted to do with my time.
New York Festivals: What philosophy drives your career?
Dylan Davies: Everyday is a new chance to make a better idea.
New York Festivals: What’s the single best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Dylan Davies: I have two…
‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’. That’s from Gareth Leck, a founding partner of Joe Public United. Being soft-tongued in working with people has stood me in good stead.
Another and it’s from FoxP2. Perhaps it was Justin Gomes who said it, ‘If you have to eat shit, don’t nibble’.
We all face those briefs and situations. Get it over with as quickly as possible and move on to the next opportunity.
New York Festivals: What is your all-time favorite ad? Or What are your top 5 favorite ads from the last 60 years?
Dylan Davies: There are too many… but below are a few I always enjoy revisiting:
But pressed for a name: Anything from Dougal Wilson. I’m a big fan.
New York Festivals: Who gave you your big break in advertising?
Dylan Davies: It was my sisters then boyfriend (Bruno Bossi from carbon Films). At the time he was an ad photographer connected to the industry. Like the mob, he vouched for me at a Cape Town hot shop and managed to get me in as a junior art director. It worked out and 20 years later and we are still good friends.
New York Festivals: Did/do you have a mentor and what have you learned from them?
Dylan Davies: Pepe Marais. Also a founding partner of Joe Public United. Craft was Pepe’s gift to me. Take the time to think it right. Then take the time to make it beautiful.
New York Festivals: If you could work in advertising alongside any one person past or present, who would it be?
Dylan Davies: Photographers Steven Klein and Miles Aldridge.
New York Festivals: How do you tap into creativity? What do you personally do to fan the creative flames?
Dylan Davies: I take to the streets with my camera. It’s a great decompressor and a incredible way to meet people from all walks of life.
New York Festivals: What’s the one smartphone app you couldn’t live without?
Dylan Davies: Instagram is just a wealth of inspiration and encouragement for me. There are gifted creative people out there and a daily peruse is essential for me.
New York Festivals: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Dylan Davies: Other than glorious cape Town it would be Bangkok. Over the years I have been fortunate to have worked on assignment in the Eats and Bangkok for takes the title.
New York Festivals: If you’re binge watching…what are you watching?
Dylan Davies: Any documentary. Though more recently was David Flincher’s Mindhunter.