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Judging insights and other secrets: our experts reveal

These are some of the 2021 Outdoor Media Awards judges who will be sifting through entries next month. But who are these people? What are these experts looking for in a stellar entry - and how to get on the best side of them?

Entries to the Outdoor Media Awards, run by Clear Channel in partnership with Campaign, close April 1 2021

Rory Behrman, principal, Amazon

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
• Actually having something worth talking about
• A clear narrative linking insight through to execution
• Clearly evidenced business outcomes that are linked to the campaign objective

One thing that makes me happy
A good salt beef sandwich

What you may not know about me
Many things (except that I like salt beef sandwiches)


Sannah Rogers, managing director, Zenith UK

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
• An easy read - clear and straightforward, not over-intellectualised. Don’t tell me everything there is to know about a campaign, just the bits that matter
• A clear red thread - from business challenge, insight or strategy through to execution and outcomes
• Inspiring work - innovation, creativity and/or bold ambitions met

One thing that makes me happy
The little things in life - my first morning coffee, being slung on a hammock between trees, freshly cut grass, uncontrollable laughter – there is nothing funnier

What you may not know about me
I’m (generally) a happy camper



Matt Willifer, chief strategy officer, Carat UK

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
Powerful, simple acts of innovation. OOH has undergone an incredible evolution over the past five years. Movement. Sound. Smell. Data feeds. Face recognition. Context dependent creative. Linked screens. And from building brands, to precision targeting, to ecommerce.

One thing that makes me happy
Emerging from lockdown

What you may not know about me
I once carried the World Cup hand luggage from Zurich to New Orleans


Credit: "File:Ousmane Dembélé World Cup Trophy.jpg" by Антон Зайцев is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0



Verra Budimlija, chief strategy officer, Wavemaker UK

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
• An exciting provocation around the business challenge or audience insight
• Don’t just make it right, make it interesting
• Ambitious objectives which track through to precise KPIs

One thing that makes me happy
Discovering that the dishwasher has been emptied without me having to ask

What you may not know about me
People not just data. Let’s put humanity back into our thinking, our ideas



Richard Friar, managing director, Starcom

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
A stellar award is just like a stellar story.
•An opening (business context) that grabs the attention.
•A middle (solution) that is unique and exciting.
•An ending (results) that is believable and demands a sequel. With a laugh or cry along the way.

One thing that makes me happy
Seeing the underdog win. Unless it’s football and against (my team) Liverpool. Which seems to happen a lot.

What you may not know about me
I sang backing vocals on Baddiel & Skinner’s legendary “3 Lions”. And I can’t sing…




Zaid Al-Qassab, chief marketing officer, Channel 4

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
I only need 3 words:
• insight
•Simplicity
• Cut-through!

One thing that makes me happy
Discovering a new music artist with a unique sound but whom I’ve never heard of before.

What you may not know about me
I started my career in marketing completely by accident by applying for a job in a company that I thought was a management consultant




Gen Kobayashi, chief strategy officer, Engine UK

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
• Storytelling. The best entries tell a captivating story.
• Simplicity. The best entries tell a simple and focused strategy.
• Swagger. The best entries are confident in their own success.

One thing that makes me happy
Being on holiday with my family. Holidays, remember them?!

What you may not know about me
As a child, I once appeared in a Japanese TV ad


Lee Ramsay, planning partner, McCann London

3 things that lift an entry from good to stellar
I’m looking for confidence in the role the campaign plays shown through the contextual empathy the brand displays. Whether that is being entertaining, informative or just looking plain gorgeous.
Great outdoor advertising always understands the body language of being on, what can arguably be called, the most democratic media channel. Outdoor must surely be in a state of flux. As a medium it has steadily become the most strident, interruptive, and indeed invasive channel.
In a post-pandemic world where we’ll be more emotionally fragile and perhaps even wary of going out (FOGO) we’ll desire (and the opportunity for outdoor becomes to provide) more beauty and support.
Now we as marketers have a serious responsibility with what we put out on in the world.

One thing that makes me happy
I’m at my happiest when I’m cooking in the kitchen while working my way through the entire back catalogue of Desert Island Discs. That format is flipping untouchable.

What you may not know about me
Growing dahlias and growing my vintage vinyl collection have both become slightly unhealthy lockdown obsessions

The deadline for the free-to-enter awards is April 1st. The shortlist will be announced in May and the winners in June.

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