Art director’s role grows more complex

Mobius Awards recently interviewed 2016 judge István Bracsok, creative director and partner at White Rabbit, Budapest. Here is the interview.

Q: What is the most fun you have had on a project?



A: There’s a fun moment in every project you do. In our latest “Nature is cool” work for WWF Hungary, we gave a raw deck of boards to brown bears to leave their marks on them. However, one of the bears had a different opinion. First, with one swing of his claw, he ripped apart the boards and then he got bored, climbed up a tree and didn’t want to come down. We had to buy 2 kilos of salmon to bait him to the boards again. That was fun.

Q:  When you are judging a work, what process do you use?  

A: I always look for that never-changing notion of “idea.” Is it there? Can I find it? Does it touch me emotionally? Does it give me goosebumps? Does it make me laugh, bring tears to my ears? Does it give me an insight into a fresh truth? Show me the world in a new way? It’s as simple as that. If I have one of these reactions, the work – works.

Q: What roles must a Creative Director/Art Director play on a project? Have these roles changed?

A: The role of an art director has changed much more than the tasks of a creative director. When I started my career, it was normal that an art director used pencil and paper. Today, that’s unimaginable. In addition, there were many fewer channels to convey a message to the consumers back then, so it was enough for an AD to have strong skills in print and television. Now, the channels have become much more complex. One thing hasn’t changed at all: IDEA comes first.

Q:  What trends are you noticing?

A: I see pure product innovations instead of ideas and communication solutions. I’m not happy with that. And I don’t like the tendency of covering up the lack of ideas with the number of “likes” and impressions. This suggests if something has reached that many people it must be good.

Q:  Do you think that national context/touch is important in today’s advertising?

A: Yes. It’s getting more important as it’s getting more difficult reaching the consumers. But it might help a lot finding a touch-point to reach them, have a visceral impact on them. Nowadays this “national context” plays a crucial part in the world of communication.

Q: You live in a small country. Does it make your work harder/easier?

A: Sometimes it’s bloody hard. Small country, small market, small budgets. Many brands are centralized, and for a small market like this it’s not profitable to develop anything locally. It’s not quite the most inspiring environment for a creative mind.

Q: Are advertising festivals still important?

A: Yes, definitely. More than ever. We need those milestones to see if we are heading for the right direction. They’re inspiring to us and the clients. But we should not forget: those awards must reward not the creative idea but the business results and profitability of that idea for our clients as well.

Q: What inspires you most?

When I feel that I might get closer to understanding the “why” of human existence. Then it turns out that I never will.

Bracsok Fast Facts:

Favorite music: I like classical music for a while, especially the great baroque composers Bach, Forqueray, The Goldberg Variations. Glenn Gould is a genius. Earlier, I was involved in the world of underground music:  Industrial, experimental stuff. Psychic TV, Coil, Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle. Things like that.

Last book read:The one which falls off my hand in my death bed (laughs) There’s a wide range of books I like. Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbul” was my last book, and it’s a good read. It guides us into an Istanbul that we will never discover.

Best meals: Northern Indian, fresh seafood, spicy Hungarian sausage.

Greatest vacation: Japan. There’s no other place on the Earth where you can find that fine sense of proportion that pervades even the smallest details and things.

Sports Interest: I like swimming. Or, I’m willing to do it, at least.


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No dust on porcelains, or the artist behind the calendar

From the Meissen Porcelain calendar

Behind every winning work are many creative hands.

For example, a decade ago, Scholz & Friends, Berlin, was enlisted by Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen GmbH to add some spark into sales of its porcelain figurines. The result was a pinup-calendar that was nominated for Best of Show in Mixed Media in the 2006 Mobius Awards.

The 200-year-old figurines became sexy models in a calendar “sent to high-value customers with the invitation ‘to get to know one of the beautiful ladies a little better,’ ” according to the Scholz information.

The Art Director on that project, Anje Jager, is now a freelance

Jager's Snoop Dogg

Jager’s Snoop Dogg

illustrator, artist, graphic designer and part-time teacher at the Edinburgh College of Art. You can see her more recent work at


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Grey Put Animals in ‘Flight’ for Frontier

frontier_frame_grab for blog

One of stars in ‘Flip to Mexico’

“Flip to Mexico,” a Mixed Media campaign from Grey Worldwide for Frontier Airlines won a Mobius statuette in 2006 and remains delightful to watch. The  campaign was guided by Creative Directors Rob Baiocco, Gary Ennis and Shawn Couzens, who was also Copywriter on the project. Art Director was Gary Ennis with Tim Mellors as Chief Creative Officer, Aaron Royer as Executive Producer and Rob Simone as Associate Producer. Production company was Neverstop, The work won a Mobius Statuette.

Where are the key people now?

Baiocco, who had a long tenure as Executive Creative Director at Grey NY, has since founded BM with Maureen Maldari ( Ennis is a Freelance Art Director in New York, and Mellors is based in London where he is Creative Partner for Pointblank, Couzens is Freelance Creative Director at Ferrara & Company, New York, Royer is Director of Content Production and Operations at Narrative_ Simone heads Hiccup NY as President,

For looks at the “spokesanimal” campaign from Grey for Frontier, visit and Read some Case Studies at

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Kotex delivered with a ‘Kabe-Don’

Kotex 1Through a partnership with Golden Mouse Awards in Beijing, China, Mobius Awards’ website features winners from the 2016 Golden Mouse Digital Awards. One of the more creative offerings promotes the anniversary of selling Kotex sanitary napkins to young Chinese women. To highlight that event, promised customers who ordered the products online could have star Chen Xiao or other “fresh meat” models  deliver the goods and give a ‘Kabe-Don’ pose. The delightful work was done by Vision Squared Advertising Co. Ltd, Shanghai Branch.

Kabe-Don, popular in manga, is loosely-translated as “hitting the wall,” or, in this case, leaning in toward a girl.

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Just for Curiosity

Melbourne_Ads_Art Center of Melbourne_Box of Curiosities_2While we wait to open the 2016 competition in a few weeks, it can be so much fun to look in on the work of creatives who have been Mobius Awards winners in the past. We chose a visit to Leo Burnett Melbourne, a 2015 Best of Show in Direct. At the agency’s website, we discovered a 2012 treasure, a project to find sponsors for Spiegelworld, a circus of a different sort. As Burnett points out in its explanation of the project, they had to attract the attention of a “notoriously disinterested” group, corporate executives.

Melbourne_Ads_Art Center of Melbourne_Box of Curiosities_5And they certainly piqued that group’s interest, with a mailing of a “Box of Curiosities.” The big box included jars and little boxes containing such oddities as a chocolate-flavored edible toupee, a voodoo doll complete with pin, jerky made from a two-headed goat and a response enclosure in the form of a tag to be tied on a carrier pigeon’s leg.

It worked, the agency said. One hundred percent of those contacted accepted a call about sponsorship and/or participated as a sponsor.

What’s that saying about “daring to be different”?

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Awards Presented at ‘Leo’s Academy’ in Frankfurt

leo burnett webMobius Awards chairman Lee Gluckman (right) was excited to be part of “Leo’s Academy” to present Leo Burnett staff the Best of Show-Outdoor award for “The Interactive Parking Billboard.” The project was for Fiat Group Automobiles Germany AG.
Accepting the award May 13 were (from left): Thorsten Zeh, Head of Production; Daniela Ewald, Creative Director, and Viktor Kislovskij, Creative Technologist. The company was also a Best of Show nominee in Package Design and received four Certificates for other works in the 2015 Mobius Awards.

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JDO Presentation

JDOwebThanks to JDO Brand & Design, Tunbridge Wells, UK, staff for this photo of winners receiving an award for “elit by Stolichnaya Pristine Water Series: Andean Edition”

From left are:  Phil Marlow – 3D & Technical Director; Paul Drake (kneeling), Co-founder & Executive Creative Director; James Davies, Production Director; Sara Faulkner, Design Director.

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