The One Club of Creativity Special Section

#OneShow2019: Jenny Ehlers' interactive and integrated judging panel insights

The One Club for Creativity's Creative Week is just around the corner, taking place in New York City from 6 to 10 May 2019. Here, SA's own Jenny Ehlers shares her experiences as a juror on this year's Art Director's Club (ADC) interactive and integrated panels.
King James Group’s executive creative director and One Club for Creativity's Art Director's Club 2019 interactive juror, Jenny Ehlers.
King James Group’s executive creative director and One Club for Creativity's Art Director's Club 2019 interactive juror, Jenny Ehlers.

While chatting about her recent ADC 2019 judging experience, King James Group’s executive creative director, Jenny Ehlers shared:

Sadly, I won’t make it to The One Show Creative Week in New York. How fabulous, though. I would have loved to attend to witness the fruits of all the judging panels' labours. And the ecstasy of the winners. These are such prestigious awards.
Ehlers says this with confidence as she’s no stranger to judging international award shows. For example, when we chatted before her Cannes Lions 2019 judging experience in 2017, Ehlers said, “As judges we are always seeking uniqueness, something that is of course relevant and beautifully executed, but also that surprises us and instils envy, in a good way.”

That sentiment is what makes Ehlers such a good fit. Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club for Creativity, adds: “The quality of jurors has long been a hallmark of The One Show. This year’s gender-balanced juries consist of the industry’s top tier of creative thinkers and doers from around the world.

Here, Ehlers shares insights on some of that envy-inducing uniqueness from this year’s One Show judging experience as well as what to expect from The One Club for Creativity’s Creative Week 2019…

BizcommunityLet’s set the scene… Describe the Dominican Republic as a creative award judging destination.

The judges were very much focussed on the task at hand, locked away in dark rooms with no access to daylight. We did, however, manage to sneak in the odd evening swim in the Caribbean.

I was even dive-bombed by a pelican, which almost took off my ear - see it in the above pic. The beautiful beaches and clear waters of the Dominican Republic inspired clarity of thought and focus on the work.

BizcommunityIt certainly looks it. What did you most enjoy about this year’s One Show judging experience?

Meeting such diverse and talented international greats from the advertising industry always has me awestruck and humbled. That and, of course, seeing a collective of global work of such a high standard all in one place and over a short period of time. Truly inspiring, and the energy is fantastic. I wish I could bottle it and bring it home to share with the agency.
And The One Club takes such good care of us. Much gratitude needs to go to them for the invitation.

BizcommunityDefinitely. Let’s take that a little further: Describe your personal judging process and how you stuck to the brief.

The judging requires immense concentration, to give absolutely fair consideration to every entry. Although it is tiring, I felt incredibly upbeat having seen so much smart thinking and beautiful execution.

I wanted to share so many amazing case studies, but had to restrain myself to maintain confidentiality. Initially there was no discussion, but once we came to awarding metal, there was much debate.

I paid attention to what everyone had to say and then formulated my own opinions. Final voting was anonymous.

Bizcommunity Without giving too much away then, talk us through the quantity and overall calibre of entries you judged and any stand-out trends.

Each of the jury members was required to do online judging before their departure. This round of judging of approximately 400 pieces determined which work moved on to the final judging, which took place over three days. There were 11 jury members on the Interactive panel, and we doubled up with the Advertising jury on the final day to do Integrated, as I was fortunate enough to participate on the ADC Interactive and Integrated juries.

Ehlers with the rest of the One Club for Creativity's ADC Awards' Interactive panel.
Ehlers with the rest of the One Club for Creativity's ADC Awards' Interactive panel.

Our jury chairpersons encouraged us to award work that was expressed with exceptional taste and style, without, of course, overlooking the big idea. There were many interesting and insightful pieces. Most encouraging was the rise in work that not only keeps the client happy, but benefits society as well.

There was also much exploration around alternative digital media, places where our audience are already hanging out, for example Google Maps Street View, Spotify, and virtual assistants like Alexa. There was also a definite surge in activity around voice-activated devices, which are fast becoming popular in South Africa.

Awarding the Best in Show for both categories required heated but very respectful debate. Diverse and interesting perspectives were offered, with great outcomes.

Sounds like an intense time. Fingers crossed for all our finalists!

Keep an eye on our One Show Awards special section, where roving reporter Ann Nurock will be sharing insights and interviews on all her One Show Creative Week experiences. Also be sure to follow Nurock as well as the SA Creative Circle, Bizcommunity and The One Club for Creativity on Twitter for the latest updates.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

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