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"I hate advertising that looks like advertising..." says Creative Awards chair Juan Carlos Ortiz of DDB Latina


By The Drum | Editorial

November 19, 2023 | 5 min read

Authenticity, simplicity and connectivity were the key themes that emerged on the judging day of The Drum Awards for Creativity, which take place in London on December 5.

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Recognising the very best work that the global creative industry has to offer, the awards were chaired by Marie-Claire Maalouf, chief creative officer at Edelman, and Juan Carlos Ortiz, president and CEO at DDB Latina who shared the view that much of the work on display this year connected with real people in a real and authentic way.

Speaking of the work that inspired him during the judging day, Ortiz said: "I hate advertising that looks like advertising, I love advertising that looks like life. I love simplicity, I love authenticity and I love that people connect with things that they feel define themselves."

The Drum’s reporter Audrey Kemp caught up with Maalouf and Ortiz to talk about what went on inside the jury room as they deliberated the entries.

​After a few years of brands investing heavily in ‘purpose-driven’ work, the most noticeable trend Ortiz saw emerge from work entered into the Creativity Awards this year was a return to thinking about how to change human behavior on a smaller scale.

“The [creative] idea has the power to connect to people and generate change in human behavior. But for the last few years, we’ve been trying really hard to push ideas about big purpose, changing the world, changing everything,” he says. “Every brand is trying to change something. But it’s been too much. We can’t change the world every day. And every brand can’t change the world. But to change behavior or to change a feeling or emotion, that’s more simple.”

Maalouf agrees that it was encouraging to see a return to simplicity in the work that most impressed the jury.

“You can think about all the executional tricks that are emerging, like the metaverse etc. But the beautiful pieces [of work] reaching us in the jury room are ones that really start from what the audience needs or are solving a cultural tension, so having a finger on the pulse of the people rather than the product the brand is trying to push. It wasn’t about the brand’s agenda but the people’s agenda first. How can you add value to their lives?”

For more insights into the creative trends jurors saw in the work submitted this year, watch the full video above. You can check out the nominations for The Drum Awards for Creativity here.

Winners will be announced during The Drum Awards Festival, taking place from November 27 to December 8. For more information on the Festival and how to attend, visit the website.

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