GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR
NYF’s powerhouse Grand Jury represents the most diverse brain trust of prominent advertising creatives from 50 countries around the globe. This esteemed peer-nominated panel provides a 360-degree creative view of the advertising world today.
The 2018 Grand Jury is comprised of Chief Creative Officers, Executive Creative Directors, Creative Directors, Art Directors, Copywriters, Executive Producers and Marketing/PR pro’s all playing a pivotal role in selecting the World’s Best Advertising® winners.
Grand Jury member, Derry Simpson is Group Managing Director for MullenLowe Australia. Derry brings 20 plus years’ agency experience and along with a diverse mix of client and agency experience to the judge’s panel. From brand strategy at Diageo to insights and innovation at Fosters International, she found herself in Planning over ten years ago and hasn’t looked back. Known as one of Australia’s most credentialed and talented Planners, Derry has worked across a wide range of categories, but it is in social and behavioural communications that she has found her greatest passion. Under her strategic stewardship, 303 MullenLowe has earned itself an enviable reputation for creative effectiveness, having received numerous awards for effectiveness, including Grand Prix in both Australia and Asia during her tenure.
New York Festivals: Why judge…and how do you find the time?
Derry Simpson: Judging in a show like this is wonderful professional and personal development. It is so easy to get stuck in the churn of the day-to-day and forget to look up. But when you do, you have the opportunity to see fresh ideas, brilliant insights and amazing work from all over the world. I return to my little patch in the world with renewed vigor. And that’s certainly something worth making the time for!
New York Festivals: What do you expect to learn this year from judging and what do you hope to bring back to your creative team?
Derry Simpson: I have no idea what I will learn this year from judging – and that’s what I love about it the most. Just when you think you’ve seen or heard it all, a great piece of work will come along, blow you away and change the way you think about things. Fresh insights, new technology, new channels, different ways using the channels we have …. it keeps us all on our game and pushing for the very best in our work.
New York Festivals: What cultural/social changes do you think will influence this year’s work?
Derry Simpson: I think it would be hard to ignore the gender equality debate. We’ve already seen the influence this is having on work across the world and I’d imagine we will see more of this in 2018.
New York Festivals: What are your personal criteria for choosing award-winning work?
Derry Simpson: I get excited by big, simple ideas. Ideas born from insights that are so powerful and so obvious that we kick ourselves because we didn’t think of them sooner. And I’m focused on work that works. As a planner by trade, effectiveness has always been my personal measure of success. I love seeing the impact great work can have on individuals and communities.
New York Festivals: In 3 words or less, what do you think about 6 second commercials?
Derry Simpson: Noise.
New York Festivals: What philosophy drives your career?
Derry Simpson: Never say ‘no’ to an opportunity – no matter how big, strange or scary it may be.
New York Festivals: What’s the single best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Derry Simpson: Just listen. Listen to those around you – your clients, your staff, the people out there – and without saying anything, you’ll learn more about your world and have bigger, better ideas than you ever could by talking your way through it.
New York Festivals: Did/do you have a mentor and what have you learned from them?
Derry Simpson: I’m not sure I’ve ever had the ‘will you be my mentor’ conversation with any of them though. These are people who have come along at various points in my career and changed it/me for the better.
I’ve had those who have challenged me and helped me in developing my craft. And I have had those who have guided me through the politics of business. Each and every one of them has played a huge part in who I am today, and I have a world of respect and admiration for them.
New York Festivals: How do you tap into creativity? What do you personally do to fan the creative flames?
Derry Simpson: I’m a classical musician and a passionate cook so I’ve always had plenty of creative outlets. But funnily enough, I think my greatest source of creativity these days is my three young children. Seeing and experiencing a world that is full of nothing but adventure and possibilities, and being part of these giant imaginations does wonders for one’s creative spirit.
New York Festivals: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Derry Simpson: Right where I am.
New York Festivals: Favorite music album of all time?
Derry Simpson: Shelter Me – The Waifs
New York Festivals: Favorite travel destination?
Derry Simpson: Broome – Western Australia
New York Festivals: What is your mantra for life?
Derry Simpson: Adventures are the best way to learn.
New York Festivals: If you’re binge watching…what are you watching?
Derry Simpson: I’m out of options! I think I’ve binged on everything interesting I can at the moment. I’ll be reading everyone else’s answers to this question looking for my next one!!