EABL Head of Digital Waithera Kabiru shares insights on judging best global ads - Capital Business
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EABL Head of Digital Waithera Kabiru shares insights on judging best global ads


Waithera Kabiru, Head of Media Futures and Digital East African Breweries Diageo talks about her first judging experience at London International Awards 2018 in Las Vegas, US. 

LIA President, Barbara Levy, said the globally acclaimed advertising awards was honored to have Kabiru as one of the jury where she brought her experience and a fresh perspective as LIA marks 10 years.

“We were very happy that Waithera Kabiru accepted our invitation to be part of the New and Social Influencers jury. This is her inaugural judging experience with LIA and she brought invaluable insight into the judging room, “ said Levy.

The jury awarded 12 Gold, 11 Silver and 17 Bronze Statues, as well as 11 Finalists for The New category.  There was no Grand LIA for the NEW.

In Social Influences, however, the jury honored MGM Resorts International “Universal Love Songs” with the prestigious Grand LIA. There were also four Gold, four Silver, four Bronze Statues, and five Finalists that were awarded.

Kabiru shares her perspective on LIA judging, the work and how Creative LIAisons is a game changer for the industry.

Can you please tell us what it was like judging The New and Social Influencers at LIA 2018?

First, there was a diverse pool of entries from all over the Globe, which made the process interesting.  At first, the sheer number of entries felt daunting to review, but as we went through the amazing work, it was just fascinating and time flew by! The discussions and debates we had were fun, eye-opening and exposed me to various points of view. I loved the fact that I was able to review work from all over the world and the standards were best in class. Despite the fact that we were locked in a room in sunny Vegas for a few days, I would do it again!

What do you think of the judging process?

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The process enables Juries to review a large amount of work efficiently, whilst ensuring we get to the detail behind the work that we need to make an informed judgment. The statue discussions were open, honest and authentic, enabling interesting debates!

What would you say is the best thing about the LIA judging?

Networking with other judges from all over the world, from different agencies was surely very valuable. However, I would say the best thing was getting exposed to so much good work in a short time, hearing the opinions from the other judges who are experts and thought leaders in their own fields. I left feeling inspired and refreshed!

What do you think of the standard of the work?

World-Class! Storytelling was at its best, and the impact it made was well documented in most cases. However, I would love to see more work from Africa and I hope to influence agencies in this area to submit entries.

Can you tell us some of your favorite pieces of work and why?

I had some many favorites but I will attempt to narrow them down.

  • Getting Greenie by Carmax– showed us how a brand can get involved in a viral conversation with speed and precision resulting in marketing effectiveness.
  • Country Time Legal-Ade by Kraft/Heinz Country Time Lemonade– the amazing thing was how a legendary/old brand decided to take action using new media in a fun, smart and humorous way.
  • The Doctors Season II by Cigna– as simple as this was, it was an interesting spin on how we leverage TV celebrities/influencers using social.
  • Xbox Design Lab Originals: The Fanchise Model by Microsoft – I loved the use of crowd-sourcing and content co-creation that empowered fans to earn revenue from a big brand.

Creative LIAisons is an initiative by LIA as a way to give back to the industry. This year, LIA flew in about 100 young creatives and put them up in Las Vegas so that they could sit in on master classes by the world’s top creative gurus, have the chance to interact with them, as well as sit in on the judging process. What do you think of the Creative LIAisons program?

This is definitely a great way for young and upcoming talent to grow their capabilities and networks through the exposure that the program offers. Every creative should find a way to get involved in such a program during his/her career.

What would you say to people to encourage them to participate in LIA?

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Awards are not only great in raising an Agency/Brand profile in the creative industry, but they are also a catalyst for discipline and hard work that is required to produce great work and document results. Entries from LIA are great case studies for learning and inspiring others.

Great work builds brand saliency, which in turn influences purchase decisions. As such, I am sure there is some correlation between award-winning work and business performance.


To see the winning works, go to www.liaawards.com


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