Francesca Greggs on the beauty of small budgets, her favourite subreddits and judging the ADCC

This partner content brought to you by… The Advertising & Design Club of Canada 

Since its founding in 1948, the Advertising & Design Club of Canada (ADCC) has been a non-profit, non-political group committed to encouraging excellence in Canadian advertising and design.

Every year, the most important demonstration of that ADCC commitment is brought to life at the ADCC Awards show, Directions—long recognized by the advertising community as the premiere creative show in the country.

“As anyone who’s been to our show readily knows, there’s something extra special about winning at the ADCC’s,” said Andrew Simon, ADCC president and chief creative officer at Edelman. “It’s one of the rare industry events that celebrates advertising and design work equally.”

One of the unique elements of the ADCC is that the jury is entirely international, made up of leading creatives from around the world. Ahead of the Nov. 14 awards show in Toronto, The Message spoke with some of the judges about their experience judging the show, their thoughts on the industry today, and their own creative inspirations.

Today it’s Francesca Greggs, who serves as director of creative strategy at Edelman in Los Angeles.

What stood out for you about the judging the ADCC?

I really thought it was clear that budget and client size doesn’t matter, creativity will come out if it’s there. My favourite piece of the whole show was a local [restaurant], and it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe they convinced the client to do it. It’s cool to see something that’s so well done be very local creative.

Are you seeing industry trends influence awards shows?

I think the biggest shift has been the emphasis on earned impressions; how far something travels in the media has definitely changed the way people are doing their work. How work is being judged and the value of the creative work is how far it’s traveling online and in the media. If its winning a Cannes Lion, you saw it [shared] on Facebook or Instagram.

What does that mean for how brands are using media these days?

Brands are willing to take more risks because they’re seeing audiences respond… It’s showing brands that they need to have a personality in order for people to notice them. It’s making them more willing to try out new creative things, or even think about what their personality is and who they really want to be out in the wild.

Are there trends you hate?

Brands trying to co-op organic movements is always going to ring false. Everyone now wants their Popeye’s chicken sandwich moment on Twitter, but you can’t really chase that.

What do you do for creative inspiration?

I read a lot of media, I subscribe to a lot of different editorial outlets. So I’ll take breaks by just scrolling through design outlets… there are so many interesting creative outlets now.

And what design media should we check out?

There’s a French site I really like called Fubiz. I really like Design Milk. I read a lot of film blogs, but then also stuff that eases the day a little bit, like the Onion.

What’s your platform of choice?

I’m Instagram, Twitter sometimes. I’m really into Reddit, and that is something that brings me to a lot of communities that I wouldn’t naturally be a part of.

Like what?

It’s a nice combination of stuff that I care about that’s professionally relevant. There’s a beautiful subreddit that is all these really interesting data visualizations, and there are design subreddits that are great. But then there are also video game subreddits, different subculture subreddits… I don’t play videogames, but Reddit helps you stay really relevant as an advertiser. You just get a really easy temperature of what’s going on in different industries.

The ADCC Awards are Nov. 14 in Toronto. Click here for more information and tickets. 

David Brown