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The industry has a bright future — if it can hang on to talent

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Judging for the Campaign US BIG Awards took place virtually last week, and it was a pleasant reminder that the industry is filled with bright, insightful talent that’s eager to participate, learn, grow and be heard.

When we launched the BIGs in the U.S. as an extension of Campaign’s flagship creative awards program in the U.K., we thought long and hard about why the industry needed another creative awards show in the region. And we decided that between Cannes, the Effies, the Clios and the like, it really didn’t.

However, we could add value by changing the narrative. So we invited an emerging group of diverse jurors to tell us what they think is this past year’s best work. After all, they’re the future of this industry, so their opinions are paramount.

It was not only the first time we’d brought the BIGs to the U.S., but also our first endeavor to include up-and-coming talent in an awards program. I’ll be honest, I had my hesitations about how it would all come together — from recruiting the right group of people (it’s difficult for journalists to make connections beyond the executive level) to getting them engaged, able and willing to participate.

But we pulled it off. Over the course of three days, we gathered nine groups of jurors with three to five years of industry experience to discuss, debate, geek out and delight over a crop of stellar entries. The jurors were not simply engaged, but enthusiastic. Their insights were uniquely shaped by their generational views and experiences,........

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