Yes – craft and artistry DO still matter

Five important things we learnt about craft


You need to really make time for craft. The team at Droga5 spent weeks trawling through footage, voicemails, texts and photos for their New York Times work: it was meticulous and exhaustive. They didn’t cut corners – and it shows. Referencing this piece in his 'Expert Wrap-up', Anselmo Ramos, GUT Co-founder and Creative Chairman, drew viewers’ attention to the details of the work that he admired: the music, the pace, the energy, the visuals.

It’s often lamented in adland that no-one is a specialist anymore. Everyone is a generalist. So look out for people with a unique skill set. IKEA Tel Aviv described Copywriter Eldar Yusupov’s superpower as being thinking rather than talking and that’s how he brings value and insight.



Really get under the skin of the client: what they do, what they think, what they worry about.

“Listen, listen and listen again until you get to the least obvious, most valuable insight that can inform an idea’s execution.”

Chris Beresford-Hill, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York

Writing about his home city of Dublin, James Joyce said, “In the particular, contains the universal” and our speakers echoed his sentiment. Many speakers advised creatives to niche the idea down until it’s at its most reduced but also its most potent. BBDO and Snickers talked of the “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” platform being both simple but also open to precise cultural nuance – and this is one of its secrets to success.



Just get on with it. Don’t let the big idea paralyse you. Heavyweight creatives from Kate Stanners to Marcello Serpa talked of the perennial ‘still being afraid of the blank page’, even after years in the business.

Once you pick up the pen and tap out a few words, you’ve overcome the very first hurdle. As Marcello says, "You have to vomit ideas up. Once you have the belief in you, once you have the problem that you have to solve, just vomit ideas."


Multiple LIONS Live interviewees are at the top of their game precisely because they hold the artistry that goes into their work in such high regard. Styles of craft may change (Lo-fi is certainly having a moment) but its importance hasn’t waned. Whether it’s a beautifully simple piece of copy or a new production style, thinking through an execution that is as unique as the idea itself pays off.

And if you need it reiterating again, here is multi Lion winner Anselmo Ramos, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, GUT to repeat the message: "Don’t underestimate craft."

And with great ideas and great craft, as Anselmo says, you hit the holy grail of advertising, one where you get measurable results. Read on to find out more…