March 3, 2020

Judge Spotlight

David Lennon, Executive Creative Director, Fortune

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, David Lennon

Executive Creative Director, Fortune

David Lennon is an Executive Creative Director with a proven track record in building out successful creative teams at global media companies. Lennon joined the newly-independent Fortune Media (New York) in 2019 to launch FORTUNE Brand Studio. Lennon previously ran branded content teams at Vice Media (Brooklyn), WSJ (New York) and Bloomberg (New York & London). Lennon started his career in advertising at McCann-Erickson (Manchester). Lennon has created branded content and commercial campaigns for the world’s leading brands and organizations, helping to generate more than $550m in ad sales revenue and winning 250+ international creative awards, including D&AD Pencils, Webby and Cannes Lion awards.

How has your work structure changed with all of the fluctuations of the 2020 landscape?

It’s made commuting every single day to work seem like a strange thing for everyone to do, all of the time. I’ve had some really good ideas for projects at 7:30am, whilst I’m watching my son play with his toys. I don’t remember being as creative sat on a packed NJ Transit train. Working from home has forced me to think more about what I want us to produce as a team and how I can communicate that to the people I’m working with. It’s made me want to fix all the things that we didn’t fix before the lockdown and ensure we set aside more time to experiment and support each other when we have really good ideas. We definitely look out for each other more, now that we’re working remotely. And we talk about the global pandemic and the much-needed reckoning on racial injustice and what we can do individually and as a team to make a difference.

What new and exciting trends do you expect to see in your industry in the next 1-2 years?

I think with any kind of recession in the past, there has always been a real need from industry people for things to get back to normal as quickly as possible. But this time around, the talk is about how much is going to fundamentally change across companies and entire industries, forever. A lot of the clients we are working with are excited about the opportunities we have to rethink how we tell their stories. That’s a big positive that we take from all of this – everyone seems ready to experiment and take more educated risks than before.

What are the elements that make a successful creative team, in your opinion?

None of it is worth anything if you haven’t got a real respect for each other and a love for the work that you do… and that takes a lot of time and effort on all sides. Demonstrating that you’re dedicated to your work and your clients is always going to give you an edge over the competition as well. While you can’t win every pitch, or make every new campaign your best, you have to keep focused on doing all the right things, all of the time, and hold that line. It sounds almost flippant when you say it, but it is hard to do in real life with multiple pitches, productions and surprise projects coming out of nowhere. I also think you should always discuss your team’s mistakes out in the open, find ways to solve them together, then everyone can gain first-hand experience of dealing with that issue at the same time.

What do you think makes an award winning piece of work? What type of work stands out to you?

The moment that I see something and say “(bad word) …I wish I did that”. Stunning work that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about it days/months/years later. Other times, I just think “that’s boss” and want to show it to my team or my mates. It’s an immediate feeling that you get when you see great work.

What do your Telly wins mean to you and the team?

I’ve been lucky enough to work with talented teams and together we’ve won lots of Telly Awards. It’s made us happy and it’s made our clients happy and they give you a push to do something even better next time. We just won our first five Telly Awards at FORTUNE Brand Studio for a campaign with Zurich Insurance. We all loved working on that campaign from start to finish, with boss clients, boss crew, and boss shoots with world-class golfers. We shot Collin Morikawa in February before the lockdown in his first ever branded content interview, on the morning of his 23rd birthday in Las Vegas. Our Zurich campaign won Telly Awards in May. And then last Sunday, Collin went out and won the 2020 PGA Championship in his first appearance. We’ve been basking in reflected glory ever since.

February 10, 2020

Judge Spotlight

Sylvain Borgarino, Creative Director at June, TwentyFirst

Sylvain Borgarino is a French Creative and Art Director currently working as a Creative Director at June, TwentyFirst in Paris. Since 2006, he has worked with brands such as Sisley, Cartier, Celine, Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta, SNCF, Orange, Carrefour and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, to name a few. From early insights and strategy to design and production, Borgarino is involved at every stage of projects, to create thoughtful concepts and push the boundaries forward. Throughout his work, Borgarino aims to build concept-driven work in aesthetic forms, while trying to have fun along the way.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you? 

The New York Times’ “The Truth is Worth It” campaign, created by Droga5, is an incredible piece of work. It won two black pencils at D&AD and two Grand Prix at Cannes! And it was fully deserved. I also stumbled upon a film by Aaron Tilley, “Thin Skinned”, that is pretty amazing.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry? 

One word: DATA. It’s a real game changer. Our industry has always evolved with technology, but in the digital advertising ecosystem, data is now the most valuable thing in this new era of openness and transparency. The information you tell has to be 100% reliable, specific, and targeted. Data enhances the relevance of our work by helping it be more useful. We’re also in a moment during which advertising and design agencies are changing, getting closer to consulting and engineering companies. The idea of working alongside engineers to solve problems by design is pretty awesome and exciting.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you? 

I’m a space enthusiast nerd—I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. I can’t wait to see another human being walking on an astronomical body again. If NASA offers me a job, whatever it is (design related would be appreciated, but I’m pretty sure I can learn how to fly a space shuttle pretty fast), I would jump at the chance!

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on? 

The Sisley Phyto-Touche film was a pretty cool project to work on. We were a very small team and we really did not have much time to realize it, besides the budget was pretty tight. The entire team mobilized to create the set, find a place to shoot, and make it happen in record time. Considering all this, I think we can be quite proud of the result, that won the first Gold Telly in Art Direction for commercial, alongside with Partizan’s “Runner” clip made by Michel Gondry ! (of course it’s impossible to compare to them, but it’s still rewarding ;) ).

Who is else in France is creating work that inspires you? 

I really like the work of Murmure, a young French agency with a strong taste for great typography. I also like the work of Bonsoir Paris, a design studio for experiential narratives, as they like to be called. In a completely different field, I like everything that comes from Études Studio, a Parisian brand with a multifaceted creative universe and a very strong visual aesthetic.

February 4, 2020


Andrew Wareham, Managing Director and Executive Producer – The Taxi Group

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Andrew Wareham

Managing Director and Executive Producer of The Taxi Group

With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, Andrew Wareham is seen by many as an experienced and trusted mentor. He has been instrumental in shaping the careers of some of Australia’s top producers and directors and has been the driving force behind multiple award-winning, multinational TVC campaigns.

Andrew has spearheaded Taxi Film Production from its humble beginnings in 2001 to the dynamic powerhouse that it is today. Through his forward-thinking and creative approach, Andrew has grown flagship brand Taxi to encompass an assortment of enterprises fit for today’s dynamically evolving landscape. Officially penned in 2018, The Taxi Group encompasses Taxi Film Production, Traffic Film and Video, Tasty Pictures, Welcome Fiji, Changer and Born and Bred Talent.

Andrew loves nothing more than a good chat, meeting new people, and supporting emerging leaders in the industry.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?
I’m absolutely taken by ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) “Old People’s Home for Four Year Old’s” at the moment. It’s a social experiment series that connects nursing home residents with four year old kids. I love a doco series that can make you laugh, tear-up and most importantly teach you to be kinder to one another.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?
No matter what is happening with the ongoing changes in all sectors of the industry with technology, budgets shrinking etc, I still love nothing more than getting a really great script come across my desk. It might sound a bit old school, but the power of a great idea is really at the core of what we do in television and content production

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?
The past 25 years of life may have been devoted to the film & TV industry, but before that I was a certified wool classer working in outback Australia! People are often quite surprised when I tell them that. I also split my working week between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, so people are always surprised to hear that I love retreating to my property, pottering around with the cows and horses at every chance.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?
It’s hard to have favourites, but most recently we just completed an unusual brief for a Transport Authority in that it was large logistical challenge. We had to find 40 real life drivers of varying demographics throughout the State of Queensland and film all of their driving movements for a week and collect that data for a formal behavioural study and corresponding educational TVC to drive behavioural change and safe driving awareness.
I’m also in pre-production for an amazing charity – 4 Aussie Heroes – which is committed to supporting Australian war veterans and first responders. I am privileged to sit on the board of the charity and it’s been amazing being able to bring the creative community together to get behind a great cause and help them create their first ever television commercial to generate the awareness of the important work they do.

October 21, 2019

Judge Spotlight

Annie Granatstein, Head of WP BrandStudio at The Washington Post

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Annie Granatstein

Head of WP BrandStudio at The Washington Post

Annie Granatstein heads up The Washington Post’s in-house creative agency, WP BrandStudio (explore our portfolio site), shepherding inventive multimedia programs for hundreds of major brands, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Prudential, Paramount, FX, Canon, Allstate, AT&T, Dell, Samsung, Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi. 

 In just the past three years, she has dramatically increased revenue, staff and number of advertisers, garnering a slew industry accolades from leading organizations, including Webby, Digiday, OMMA, Pearl, FCS, min, MarCom and dotCOMM. She has also led talks at numerous industry events, ranging from SXSW to the IAB Leadership Summit.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?

I’m loving GLOW (about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) on Netflix. It flips gender expectations on their head with characters and storylines that you don’t see anywhere else. (SPOILER ALERT) For example, the woman who is reluctant to start a family so her husband breaks up with her or the hot guy that turns out to be a male prostitute.  It’s so important to surprise your audience and you may even influence culture along the way.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

Digital storytelling is becoming increasingly immersive as technology develops. The key to creating more immersive experiences is collaboration between different types of talent. As a content leader you must find ways to continuously encourage and improve that collaboration. One way we’ve done this is by creating multi-disciplinary initiatives such as our Emerging Media Taskforce. 

This group of about eight creatives from across the Studio’s disciplines gets together once a month to discuss which innovations in storytelling are most promising, plan for researching and prototyping them, and report back to each other. Innovations such as in-browser AR and development of proprietary emotion recognition technology arose out of this Taskforce. We can then use these innovations to create out-of-the-box content for advertisers. For example, we used emotion recognition technology in a 360 campaign for Mike’s Hard Lemonade where our audience was able to test how good video news affects their emotions in digital content (see The Good News Effect) and at an exciting experiential event.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I come originally from the entertainment industry – the heart of Hollywood—working at CAA and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and as an independent creative producer. The audience and story-first mentality of that industry drives the content we create at WP BrandStudio. That methodology is crucial to ensure that our stories uphold the high journalistic standards of The Washington Post and will resonate with our readers.

 What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

For Optum, a health services innovation company, we created a multimedia investigative feature on the opioid crisis, Working to End the Epidemic, that blended educational elements such as infographics and interactive maps to inform our audience of the scope of the epidemic with emotional, human elements such as video interviews with recovering addicts and treatment providers. 

The program was incredibly successful, garnering high time spent, a flurry of social media activity (including organic tweets from important influencers such as Katie Couric), earned media (named to the top of Ad Age best branded content partnerships list), and awards. This blend of educational and emotional elements on a pressing topic resonates deeply with our intellectually curious and highly intelligent audience.

Judge Spotlight

David Weinstein, VP of Production at Complex Networks

Our Q&A with telly Jury Council Member David Weinstein

VP of Production at Complex Networks

David Weinstein is an award-winning and results-driven Head of Production with over two decades of experience working at networks, agencies and running production companies, creating broadcast, digital, and social content.

In David’s current role as VP of Production at Complex Networks, he oversees branded and editorial production, as well the talent team.

David is a collaborator first and foremost and pushes his teams to create fresh and relevant content on all mediums and across every discipline, constantly exploring and developing new ways to tell stories on existing and emerging platforms.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?

I really loved the Travis Scott Documentary “Look Mom, I Can Fly”, directed by White Trash Tyler.   It’s a beautiful piece of filmmaking, and shows the vulnerabilities of a larger-than-life artist. That’s something you rarely see, and I’d like to see more of it.   The way the director weaves archival footage from Travis’ youth with new footage was amazing, and the whole piece had an ethereal feel that captured the essence of his artistry.  Really beautiful all-around.

 What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

 The most exciting thing for me right now is the continued democratization of content and access to technology across the internet.  Every athlete, musician, artist, and seemingly every kid in the world with a phone is now a storyteller with the ability to reach (and impact) the masses, without having to rely on a production company or a network to get their voice or vision out there.  It can be scary for those in traditional media (yes, a media company is now traditional media) because it’s a challenge to how we create content, but I embrace it and look to those new creators as inspiration. When it’s authentic, well done, and doesn’t cost a ton, that’s an inspiration for what’s possible.

 What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I tell a lot of war stories around the office, but to be honest, I love what I do and my favorite part of my job is telling other people’s stories.  I’ve spent my life behind the camera because of that passion. There’s something humbling about being given the opportunity to tell the story about another person.  

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I’ve been really lucky to have had the chance to get my hands on so much amazing work over the years.  I appreciate the process of creating. And the people that I get to work with, that’s who I’m most proud of.   Hopefully, they’re proud to have worked with me as well.

Judge Spotlight

Joanna Popper, Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment, HP

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Joanna Popper

Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment, HP

With a new season comes new members of The Telly Awards Judging Council and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Joanna Popper as a new judge for the 41st Annual Telly Awards.

Joanna Popper is a Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive. She is HP’s Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment. Prior to that, she was EVP of Media & Marketing at Singularity University and VP Marketing at NBCUniversal. Joanna was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” “Top Women in Digital: Game Changers,” “101 Women Leading the VR Industry” and is on the Coalition for the Women in XR Fund.

Needless to say, Joanna is deeply entrenched in the Immersive & Mixed Reality communities!

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

When They See Us inspired me to think deeply about the justice system, racial discrimination, political activism and what we can all do to effect positive change.

What is the most exciting for you at this moment within your industry?

I am thrilled to be working in the VR industry as I see it as the future of computing as well as the future of media and entertainment. It brings together the inspirational storytelling with innovation, technology, immersion and interactivity. The industry is focused on building the future, bringing in new voices and representation and discovering new ways for technology and story to work together.

What is the one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I love binge-watching.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I worked on many influential TV works in Spanish TV including La Reina del Sur, El Senor de los Cielos, the World Cup bid and more. These works created a shift in the marketplace and a new type of modern programming with strong characters.

July 16, 2019

Judge Spotlight

Dylen Postnikoff, VP Global Brand Strategy at Shaftesbury

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Dylen Postnikoff

VP, Global Brand Strategy at Shaftesbury

This month we are featuring Telly Award Council Member, Dylen Postnikoff! She is an award-winning and results-driven marketer with 13+ years of experience working in media and entertainment. Dylen draws on a proven track record of success in leadership and relationship-building skills, balanced with the pragmatism and cultural sensibility needed to create highly-visible 360 marketing campaigns for both the domestic and international market. 

In Dylen’s current role as VP, Global Brand Strategy at Shaftesbury, she is responsible for cultivating and serving the company’s global audiences while expanding its content footprint, focusing on audience awareness, audience loyalty, and increasing engagement by building on existing global fandoms, and tapping into passionate audiences to create deep and dynamic new ones. 

Prior to joining Shaftesbury, Dylen served as Head of TV Entertainment and Content Marketing at CBC where she led a team that launched award-winning shows, including Schitt’s Creek, Kim’s Convenience, and The Baroness Von Sketch Show

What video/television piece inspired you recently? 

I just finished watching both seasons of Fleabag and I may actually be Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s biggest fan. She has an innate ability to capture a moment in between what people are saying and create that time in space to feel so relatable it’s as though you have been transported into the scene and real life is playing out in front of you.  And while it’s been done before, there is something special about the way Waller-Bridge breaks the fourth wall drawing the audience into her complicated, messy, imperfect, and eclectic world while sharing an inside joke or comedic beats as she flirts with the camera. From the writing to the directing to the brilliant performances on screen, there is a nuance to Fleabag that so accurately captures the agony and ecstasy of life (and everything in between).

What is the most exciting for you at this moment within your industry?

I was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Toronto division of Women in Film in Television (WIFT-T) and I’m so proud to be joining a group of inspiring and talented people who are committed to the development and advancement of women in the screen-based industry.  

While there is still a huge gap to fill in terms of gender parity and equal representation within the entertainment industry, I am hopeful of the progress that is being made towards recognizing and addressing the vast imbalance of women and people of color, both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera.  As we start to see powerful movements rallying for change, not just in Hollywood but globally, I’m excited for a world where we are all collectively working towards inclusivity and equality and where bias in this industry, conscious or unconscious, is no longer a part of the discourse. I realize we still have a long way to go to get there but I’m cautiously optimistic that this will eventually become a reality.  

What is the one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you? 

I love to travel. I love meeting new people, trying new food, visiting places that I’ve never been to before, and immersing myself into new cultures while learning about the history of a place. My sister and I were fortunate to have started traveling at a very early age with our mom, who more often than not opted for experiences off the beaten path and our family vacations consisted of hitchhiking in Mexico, riding camels through deserts in Egypt and surfing off remote islands in Venezuela. She gave us a life changing opportunity to see the world through a different lens and this has influenced not only who I am on a personal level but also how I’ve approached my career, the people I work with and the perspective I bring to the table.  

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on? 

I’ve had the chance to work on a lot of great shows so it’s hard to pick just one campaign.  But if I have to, I’m really proud of the brand we built and the cultural impact that the series Schitt’s Creek has had not just in North America but around the world. When first launching the show, we knew that the tremendously talented cast and brilliant storytelling would resonate with viewers. Our goal initially through the marketing efforts was to build and grow audiences to drive tune-in each week but we quickly realized that what we were actually doing was cultivating a global fandom. It has been amazing to see how the viewers have gravitated towards this little show made in Canada with the underlying message of acceptance, laughter and heart.  Now going into its sixth and final season, Schitt’s is more popular than ever and while the show is coming to an end, the narrative it’s based on of love and humanity, will hopefully continue to inspire audiences well beyond its final episode. 

April 5, 2019

Judge Spotlight

Frank Kivo, Film Director / Executive Producer at Team Frankie

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Frank Kivo

Film Director / Executive Producer at Team Frankie

Pushing the limits and testing the boundaries of each project, Frank never fails to exceed his client’s expectations.

Cultivating relationships with nationally recognized brands on broadcast and digital platforms; Frank Kivo is captivating diverse audiences.  

Frank’s strong directorial foundation can be accredited to his mastery of editing, which he obtained while cutting some of the most popular shows on television for Bravo, NBC, MTV, National Geographic, History Channel and more. His commercial work has garnered millions of views online, played Super Bowl LIII, and made headlines in various media outlets and publications including Sports Illustrated, Wired Magazine, CNN, MSNBC and Bloomberg News.

Today, Frank lives in Los Angeles, California. He still misses New York.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?

The most inspiring piece of video work that I have seen lately is definitely Kacey Musgraves latest music video, Rainbow. The social issues addressed, coupled with the flawless cinematography really made it a stand-out viewing experience for me. I think the message, paired with the serene vocals set in such a captivating visual scene created a beautiful work of art. I’m also a huge fan of Kacey.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The video production industry is always an exciting place to be. Right now, the most exciting facet of the industry definitely has to be that the archaic model of client-to-agency-to-production company is changing rapidly. As a production company owner, we are partnering directly with our clients and end users more than ever before. It shows that sophisticated production companies can fill the role of both creative and production. As a director, this is ideal as it eliminates a middle man and there becomes a more clear channel of communication with our clients.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m a rather private person so I can’t think of too much to share. However, there are two things I am most proud of. First is my beautiful daughter Coco, who is 14 months old. She’s really into getting into my camera bags and running off with cords and memory cards. Secondly, I’ve traveled over a million miles in the last five years for projects. I’ve set foot in over 25 countries. I’ve won numerous Telly Awards from productions on these trips—probably 15 Telly Awards or more.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

The piece of work I am most proud to have worked on is the commercial my company produced, and I directed for Pizza Hut which aired on Super Bowl Sunday. We worked with the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley and Jared Goff on a cute “Bromance” campaign. The whole idea was Goff and Gurley go together like Pizza and the Superbowl. We shot for a whole day, doing fun little vignettes. The commercial was lauded with praise from both the NFL and the clients at Pizza Hut. I made a lot of friends that day and am happy to stay in touch with everyone involved in the shoot.

February 11, 2019

Judge Spotlight

Folayo Lasaki, Principal + Founder, Striped Elephant Marketing + Communications

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Folayo Lasaki

Principal + Founder, Striped Elephant Marketing + Communications

Folayo Lasaki is an award-winning marketing executive, creative, and brand strategist who specializes in developing innovative campaigns for digital and traditional media. A 15-year entertainment industry veteran, Folayo is Principal + Founder of marketing and communications firm, Striped Elephant where she works with clients across industries to develop new business strategies and creative marketing initiatives. She recently served as VP and Head of Marketing at Participant Media-owned content studio SoulPancake, where she oversaw brand, content, and social media marketing as well as communications, distribution, and strategic partnerships. She has held marketing positions with companies including Variety, Landmark Theatres, Hollywire TV, Film Independent, IFP, and FILMMAKER Magazine. Based in Los Angeles, Folayo is a public speaker and writer, member of IADAS, a voting member of the Telly Awards, and sits on the board of directors of WIMMIES | Women in Media.

Read our Q&A below to get to know Folayo!

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

I’m inspired by everything I watch, and I watch a lot of content across a lot of platforms and screens. I caught Tidying Up on Netflix over the holidays, and after getting over the shame of at least three “multi-functional” drawers in my house, I was not only inspired to go through my things with a new level of intention but to also consider the motivating driver behind the whole experience for me.  I found myself thinking about the human need to simplify as well as the human need to hoard. I started asking questions about the key takeaways when you strip away the vehicle of the series and drawing inspiration on how to best utilize those from both a personal and professional standpoint.

In terms of video, I recently re-watched Viacom’s “Culture of Proximity.” Although it’s a year-and-a-half old, it still got the wheels turning in me. I tend to re-watch a lot of things because I always get something new on the next view. Honestly, I think if you’re paying attention you can find inspiration in everything—even if that inspiration is about things not to do or things that wouldn’t work for you.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

I’m really excited by the gigantic question mark that’s shrouding the industry. We’re at a time right now when tech and ideas are actually moving at the same (or similar) speeds, and that presents such crazy opportunities for innovation. Simultaneously, people are slowing down to try to bring that human-to-human connection back to the experience, which I love. Right now, there are so many things you can do from a content perspective, which is exciting to me as both a creator and a consumer.

I’m also thrilled by conversations about representation and inclusion being brought more and more to the forefront. That’s actually what I’m most excited about.

What is one thing the telly awards community should know about you?

As a kid I loved to take things apart so I could see how they worked. I would do it with old electronics or simple furnishings (I am a master of the Ikea build). I just always really loved seeing how the pieces created the whole. I still love that, it’s just manifested in more meta ways as an adult: “What’s the science of a good story? What are the elements that make for a successful campaign?” That urge to explore or look deeper is always there.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I worked with the very brilliant choreographer Christopher Scott to develop a dance video as a companion piece to SoulPancake’s series on youth incarceration and education (Gateways). The idea behind it was to approach the conversation from a different angle and get people thinking and feeling differently. The result was a really beautiful and haunting video that we were all really proud of.

January 3, 2019

Judge Spotlight

John Weiss, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Human Design

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member John Weiss

Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Human Design

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The angst and churn around how to create something meaningful that is based on both creative instinct or experience and data, and deciding which is the greater force in driving business results. There’s a chasm between the two camps (instinct vs. data) that agencies have to figure out. Creative and data are clearly not mutually exclusive, but I believe the agencies that stake a conviction on their ability to create the unpredictable (which data cannot always predict) will win. In the meantime, it’s fascinating to see the positive impact and conversations that have been a result of the stress on the system.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m a huge fan of humanity. It’s why it’s in our agency name (Human Design). Human creativity, ingenuity, and imagination will be the singular force moving the human race forward. It will be the equivalent of the next industrial revolution.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

The work Human Design did for International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to protect The Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has protected key species on our planet since 1973. Its own survival was called into question when the new administration threatened to cut its funding. Human Design created a campaign that clearly showed how the ESA is the critical one-act that we cannot stand to lose. We rallied celebrities to “act” for a species of their choice, by lending their name, social feed, and signature to a petition to the US Government to keep the ESA funded. Visuals depicting the fall of the ESA—which then set off a cascading downfall of species, ending with humanity—were created to mimic dominos falling; a narrative that anyone ranging from 7 to 70-years old would immediately recognize and comprehend the gravity of the situation. The campaign was executed from start to finish in 6 weeks, and what started with 5 celebrities ended with 33 signing on to participate and share their voice.

October 22, 2018

Judge Spotlight

Kate Dohaney, SVP, Strategic & Creative Operations at Dow Jones

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Kate Dohaney

SVP, Strategic & Creative Operations at Dow Jones






What video/ television piece inspired you recently?  

The Handmaid’s Tale. I think it’s an important show at this moment in history.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

We are evolving as an industry from selling to solving. Content has to meet an objective, not just check a box. Our clients need results to show their CEOs and we need to help them do that. We have an obligation to push storytelling into new and different avenues that create real results… beautifully. It’s exciting to think differently.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I still follow the rules set by my very wise grandfather, “Every time you point the finger, look at the three fingers pointing back at you” or “Respect everyone, dear. From the Janitor to the CEO, it takes a village of different skills—all of equal importance—working together to really be great.” He would always illustrate the best of his life lessons to me on the back of dinner napkins, as we shared jelly-covered toast and conversation.  

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I oversee a team that does the work. I am most proud of the WSJ Custom Studios team’s evolution. We are a team of makers and thinkers with hundreds of asks, deliverables, and challenges going on at any given moment. We take on these challenges with thought, precision, and creativity.