Why the Clio Awards is recruiting a CMO jury

Esteemed advertising award program, the Clio Awards has this year recruited a jury of chief marketing officers for the first time.

Recognising the importance of clients when it comes to rewarding creativity, esteemed international advertising awards body, the CLIOs, has appointed a jury of chief marketing officers (CMOs) for the first time this year. The panel of marketers will meet in Bali for four days in August to judge the categories of ‘Integrated Campaign’ and ‘Innovative’.

Headquartered in New York, the Clios have run continuously since 1959, and this clout has been bolstered by cultural cachet through Don Draper’s win for ad agency Sterling Cooper in Mad Men.

The jury of senior accomplished brand marketers will determine the finalists along with Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. Winners will be celebrated at the 2016 Clio Awards on 28 September in New York City. Although the jury is still being finalised, confirmed brands already include Google, Citi and Samsung.

And in a first, the Clios team was in Sydney last week to present M&C Saatchi with the Clio Award for Australian Agency of the Year. Accepting the award was Andy DiLallo, chief creative officer of M&C Saatchi Australia.

Clios president Nicole Purcell said that although previously there was a Clio Global Agency of the Year award, this is the first time they have awarded a ‘best agency in the country’ award. The top 15 countries in the world that won the most Clios make up the list.

The involvement of CMOs in judging is premised on the idea that part of marketer’s job to know the best creative work.

DiLallo says in terms of big prestigious advertising awards, it is important for marketers to be well-versed in what’s happening. “Looking at the award winners from Clios and other major international awards shows is actually part of their job as marketers”, he says. “To know what the best work in the world is… to see what others are doing.”

Asked what does it mean for the agency’s clients that M&C Saatchi has won the Clios’ inaugural Australian agency of the year, DiLallo says it’s about being with world class talent. “Creativity is the last competitive advantage in business. A show like the Clios, which is all about creativity, highlights where that talent is, who that talent is and what work that they’ve done. It’s shorthand for marketers to start a conversation with agencies,” he says.

DiLallo goes on to say that it’s also about attracting the best talent. “For me it’s about momentum,” he adds. “And hopefully clients want the best talent working on their business. So it does play a part and it is an important part.”

“The Clios are judged from a global viewpoint, by what are effectively the best creative leaders, across a myriad different categories. To have them weighing in on what they think of the work is important. I think also for clients, to be able to find interesting solutions for problems. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world; the problems aren’t that different. Marketing issues are very similar and the briefs are very similar”.

Asked about the often prohibitive cost of entering big advertising awards festivals, DiLallo said that ad agencies wouldn’t do it if the value wasn’t there. “The first thing the financial leaders at the top of those organisations want to cut when it comes to saving money is award entries”, he says. “If it didn’t have value, it would be gone”.

As well as the long-running signature Clio advertising awards, president Nicole Purcell says the company produces six other international festivals including “healthcare; our entertainment one, which is television, film and gaming; music, sports and fashion. The smaller ones we had been incorporating the brands in the juries, but this is the first year that the main Clio awards, which have been going for 56 years, will have their own separate client juries of CMOs.”


Image: Alec Baldwin, host of the 2015 Clio Awards.

BY Susi Banks ON 20 January 2016