10 questions with Wesley Ter Haar

founder, MediaMonks

It's easy to say something is great work because you like the way it looks, works or thinks, but if the numbers don't add up it's just window-dressing.Wesley Ter Haar


1. What are your top three criteria when deciding if a campaign is successful?

On a personal level, I look for campaigns that successfully tell their story consistently across different platforms without losing sight of context. Mobile isn't desktop, TV isn't online, etc. As we're a production agency I can't help but focus on execution, but I’m mostly interested in seeing campaigns that have picked up great results based on interesting and innovative solutions. I think nothing is as strong as an insight or idea that manages to redefine what people expect of brands or categories.

2.What are your favorite campaigns of all time?

NIKE has defined what digital can do for a brand and their focus on platforms over campaigns, and early adoption of mobile is probably the most consistently effective work of the last digital decade. It has changed the way we think of the brand, the category, and how we live our lives.

3. Do you have any advice for our entrants?

Do some really smart, creative and effective work and explain it succinctly and you're giving yourself a half-decent chance.

4. How has the definition of success for advertising campaigns changed over the years?

Has it changed? The best advertising still moves products and/or services. It doesn't really matter if you're being discussed around the water cooler or on Facebook, word of mouth has always been there, it's just being spread differently.

5. What’s the biggest campaign challenge you’ve faced as a creative?

I think the industry as a whole is struggling with integrating mobile as a natural part of campaigns and storytelling. There are some nice examples out there, but too many campaigns bolt on mobile at the end. It's not that dissimilar to how digital was handled 10 years ago.

6. What, in your opinion, is the number-one mistake to avoid when creating an AME entry?

Personally I think it's good to not go full "award show" in case-videos. Judges will be able to tell if something is groundbreaking or not, and overselling can backfire.

7. What can a small market entry do to compete with one from a large market?

In a smaller market there may be more freedom to redefine a problem by using a different insight or idea. Big markets tends to translate to more stakeholders and more process where a smaller market may give you the change to do something that's braver to what the big guns are rolling out.

8. Which aspect of the AME Awards made you interested in judging?

As someone that has always worked in digital you are always focused on the numbers. It's easy to say something is great work because you like the way it looks, works or thinks, but if the numbers don't add up it's just window-dressing.

9. How do you feel regional judging and maintaining an international jury affect the outcome of a competition?

It should allow for the best local market work to bubble up, which isn't always the case if you have a full international jury from the get-go.

10. What do you consider the value of an AME Award to a winner?

In today's climate, an award that recognizes effective marketing is going to have pride of place on anyone’s mantelpiece and RFI responses.

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