A cruel and unusual punishment

With their wild claims about ‘world-firsts’, staggering numbers of ‘media impressions’ and soaring user stats, case-study videos have become the bane of the advertising awards juror’s life. Fresh from this year’s judging marathon, James Hilton lists their worst crimes, brought to life by David Sparshott

While the term ‘case study video’ may be unfamiliar to some of you, it can elicit from a creative awards jury the same resigned look that dogs have before they’re injected with Windolene, or whatever it is vets use. For the uninitiated, a case study video is meant to be a short, informative presentation of an ad campaign that is sufficiently involved to warrant making a film explaining it, all for the purpose of enlightening/convincing an awards jury to nominate it. In reality, they’re often overblown, drearily predictable wankfests that are seemingly created to celebrate an agency’s ability to open AfterEffects.

Watching your video in isolation might be a lovely thing. But watching hundreds back-to-back (as is the way many juries review the entries) brings it somewhere closer to being waterboarded. ‘Unpleasant’, you might say.

So, in order to save the souls and sanity of juries everywhere, and aid your work in getting noticed more readily, here are the top five ‘neither big, nor clever’ observations from the judging pit.

James Hilton is co-founder and chief creative officer of AKQA

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