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Stéphane Xiberras: What Does Excellence Look Like in Direct?

BETC Paris is perhaps best known for it’s award-show favourites, 'The Bear', ‘The Closet' and, although famously skirting the limelight, its once wild maned President and CCO, Stéphane Xiberras.

Here, Stéphane discusses the importance of award shows as well as sharing his favourite piece of work from 2016. In this call for entries ahead of his stint as Jury President, Stéphane makes a plea for excellence, not just in the Direct, but across all 26 categories. 
132685 - Stephane Xiberras

Of course creatives don’t work to win awards. That’s like saying Spiegelman wrote 'Maus' to win the Pulitzer one day. Put like that, it sounds obvious but I still see a lot of campaigns that are set up for awards. It’s a shame - it's a perversion of the system but the good news is that work like this never goes very far. Usually. In any case, not in awards as intransigent as D&AD.

We all know really well the work that breaks categories, the ideas that make us say " how did I not think of this before", the executions that make us drool with jealousy wondering “how could they push the idea so far?”
 
Excellence is a rather simple word that makes juniors laugh, and delights seniors. It is nevertheless towards this that our industry must move at all times, because in our job, the devil is in the detail.  
 
Speaking of excellence, I have an example that comes to mind immediately: 'Shoplifters' by adam&eveDDB. I remember the first time I saw the campaign. I was amazed, admiring and jealous all at once, so I pinched myself, I applauded and gave myself a slap, all at the same time which is complicated because I have only two hands. Thanks guys.
 

Harvey Nichols' Shoplifters

Graphite Pencil / Direct / Direct Response/Film Advertising / 2016

I don’t know where the idea came from, how it became what it did, but what I do know is that it required a lot of talent, hard work and conviction of courage.

I hope that we will have the opportunity to reward work just as brilliant this year, especially in the Direct jury of which I’m honoured to be Jury President of.
 
Rewarding those who worked on the campaigns of course, but also showing our clients what great things can be done together, and showing younger people in particular, students and juniors, that this profession is definitely one of the most wonderful, unexpected, fun, and enriching jobs in the world. Even more so when you have a Yellow Pencil in pride of place, proving that you’re not alone in thinking so.

 

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.
 

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