Meet the Jury: A Conversation with Paul Venables, 2017 Community Judge

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Great ideas – driven by purpose and by a creative force for good – have the power to create, bridge, and change entire communities.

During the D&AD Impact Awards, the Community category celebrates ideas that effect community in its many facets; either by starting a new community, nurturing an existing one, or building a community around a common interest, shared asset or geographical area. The projects, products or initiatives that excel in the Community category demonstrate actionable work that helps communities build on their assets, abilities and interests, and fosters community and engagement among groups such as company employees or projects that empower communities with information, education and new skills.

Paul Venables, Founder of Venables Bell & Partners and one of the esteemed 2017 Impact Award Jurors for the Community category, offers his insight about the industry, the importance of community, and the larger movement toward purpose-driven creativity today.

What campaign or project this year do you think has done an exemplary job of bringing people together?

No campaign brought us all together and had everyone in pure, complete agreement like Pepsi’s disaster. A perfect example of what the D&AD Impact Awards is not about —transparently trying to generate brand affinity by co-opting and exploiting a significant cultural issue. But we all sure rallied around that one.

When businesses have community in their core mission, how do they benefit in the long haul?

The Triple Bottom Line is becoming more important than ever. People are attracted and loyal to brands who have values they share. But the brands must live, and not just market, those values. When they live what they believe, it’s brand loyalty nirvana.

How do you see ideas evolving around community?

Community, social justice, social impact—all these important components make for more substantive, more authentic brand communications, if done well. I.e. with respect and sensitivity and adeptness. The worry is brands glomming onto causes to try to make themselves look good, without actually meaningfully impacting or helping the cause.

Why do you think we’ve seen such a significant, industry-wide push toward creating work that is socially/environmentally/politically-conscious in the last decade?

The cynic in me says creatives are award chasing. The optimist in me thinks that every day, every human on this planet sees and feels injustice, danger, exploitation, neglect, racism, etc. And the ones in marketing and advertising have been moved to do something about it.

D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate great, transformative ideas that contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. If you think you have a campaign that makes a real and positive difference to the world then why not enter it into D&AD Impact.



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