Q&A with the LIA's Tony Gulisano
LBBOnline: Congrats on your new role. What is your aim for the next year at the LIA and will there be any changes?
TG: Thank you. At the moment, as you know, we are in our annual call for entry mode, accepting submissions into the 2009 LIA competition and all the preparations for this year's awards, but we cannot help looking ahead to 2010, LIA's 25th, anniversary. We will have a unique opportunity to showcase its history, award the present, and refocus the lens on the future. LIA is all about providing the most relevant stage to showcase the work and the talents of those that create and execute the ideas that alter the way we see, think, and feel. Inherent in this is a commitment to think in new ways, so change is not only inevitable it is essential.
LBBOnline: We note that LIA is growing in stature and seems to be on the awards entries lists of more and more agencies. Why is that?
TG: LIA's legacy and commitment to awarding only the most creative executions across all channels has established itself among the leaders of international awards and it has remained true to its origins, celebrating the power of ideas. It has demonstrated throughout its history a dedication to recognizing the most talented individuals, and as a tribute to the winners and finalists, LIA has a long tradition of showcasing the award-winning work worldwide.
LBB: Do the new breed of creative and the young up-and-comers put as much stock in awards shows as has traditionally been seen in the ad industry?
TG: It's not about age; it's about ideas, and being current. The new breed is the same as the old breed, both fuelled by a passion to make a difference and finding new ways to tell compelling stories. Today the difference is in the tools available and taking advantage of the skills that this new generation was weaned on to execute their ideas. The multitude of channels available builds communities that can participate in the message. Everyone wants to be recognized for one's accomplishments, this will never change.
LBB: The LIA has launched a category called the 'NEW' category, tell us about it.
TG: The NEW category is LIA's most current category that reflects work being created to solve problems in unique ways, the new landscape we all compete in. The jury we have assembled to evaluate the submissions is as current and relevant as the category itself and it will set the bar for the future. We have described the NEW as the category "recognising ideas and executions without boundaries, merging the power of an original idea with a relevant compelling execution - emotionally inspirational, imaginative work, effectively creating new dialogues, creating new spaces of interaction, altering perceptions, setting new benchmarks that invite and reward at every level of engagement". We are certain the work that will be awarded will redefine this description in ways yet to be imagined.
LBB: Everyone has their favourite piece of work. What is yours??
TG: I probably have a new favourite every time I see, read or hear something about what inspired the conversation or the internal wiring of the people involved that led to the hatching of the idea.