19 November 2008
Design 360° interview with Kevin Swanepoel, President of the One Club.
Design 360° interview with Kevin Swanepoel, President of the One Club.

With the development of economic globalisation, set-in advertising is rapidly spreading from Europe and America to the world. This style of business operation is extended from traditional areas of film, television, and publication to games, sports, events, music, databases and even life style and daily life. As advertising' equivalent of the Oscars, One Show forecasts the future of interactive advertising and one trend is "Branded Entertainment". Kevin Swanepoel, the president of the One Club, is interviewed by Design 360° Magazine for his take on the way the advertising industry is moving.

Kevin Swanepoel (above) forecasts that digital media will become more prominent in the advertising industry. One of the trends emerging is Branded Entertainment, which is also the future of interactive advertising. As advertising's equivalent of the Oscars, One Show, organised by the One Club, highlights creative concepts. One of the main differentiators that make the Show stand out from other advertising awards is the way they select judges: they do not simply select a judge from every country just to promote entries from those countries. The One Club judges are nominated from past judges on merit and are the top creative professionals in the industry.

Design 360°: Could you introduce yourself in one sentence?
Kevin: Kevin Swanepoel, president of the One Club, a visionary and a thought leader who inspires, promotes and educates creative advertising across all channels.

Design 360°: What made you come into the world of the advertising industry? What changes has advertising brought to your life?
Kevin: I was a traditional creative and then was fortunate to work at Apple computer as the "Publishing, Entertainment and New Media manager". This period in my career allowed me to first hand see the power and the future of what new media held for the advertising industry... I EMBRACED IT WITH OPEN ARMS.

Above: Print campaign for the Economist.

Design 360°: According to your experience, how do you see your profession and your works in the next five years?
Kevin: This is the dawn of the second personal computer revolution. We will see digital media become more prominent as an advertising and social media. This, however, will present challenges to traditional media, like print and television, and with those challenges the advertising and design agencies will struggle to adapt.

Design 360°: Winning a One Show Pencil is a career-defining honour. As the president of One Show, what trends do you forecast going into One Show in the future?
Kevin: One of the trends emerging is Branded Entertainment, as media fragments and the consumers attention is split between TV, internet, gaming and print, the emphasis of good creative advertising is turned to branded entertainment.

There are two reasons for this. The modern day consumer is now entering the pull generation. They have the ability to record and view any content for playback when and where they want to view it. They are the new program directors... The BIG question is, do they want to view advertising as part of their programming?

Social networks and web 2.0 sites are beginning to take up more of the new generation's screen time, advertising must be entertaining. This will help aggregate it. The consumer will share it or pass it on and perhaps even spend hours with the brand.

Above: Advertisement for the Volkswagen Touareg.

Design 360°: As advertising's equivalent of the Oscars, One Show highlights creative concept. Besides great ideas, what makes One Show stand out from other advertising awards?
Kevin: There are some main differentiators.
  1. The way judges are selected: We do not simply select a judge from every country just to promote entries from those countries. The One Club judges are nominated from past judges on merit and are the top creative professionals in the industry.
  2. The judging: During the judging there is no discussion, lobbying or swaying of votes. All votes are done by secret ballot, allowing for the fairest, unbiased results.
  3. The One Show is run by the leading non-profit advertising organisation globally. The funds from entries are used for education and raising the creative standards of advertising globally.
  4. There are many award shows that are awarding hundreds of awards each year, their awards are loosing value. The One Show awards only the very best of advertising in each category.
  5. The One Show Pencil is the most sought after award in advertising. It will help your career path greatly.

Design 360°: How does the One Show jury select excellence from a large pool of work? Is there any criterion?
Kevin: The One Show is judged based on concept. Value is on fresh and original ideas that make you see the product or service in a new light.

Design 360°: The interactive category has really begun to mature in recent years. The boundaries are continuing to expand. How will the term "interactive" develop to a new level in 2008?
Kevin: One Show Interactive has been the leading interactive advertising award show for the past eleven years. We continue to closely follow trends and emerging technologies. We have 30 of the top interactive creative minds in the industry judging the work. Where the interactive future lies (in the short term) is in branded entertainment. We will also see a major ramp up in online gaming and web use due to the release of the iPhone and other phones that are maturing to offer better web integration.

Above: Installation-style advertisement for Nationwide Insurance

Design 360°: What are the basic qualities for beginners who love advertising?
Kevin: As Paul Rand, a recent inductee to the One Club Creative Hall of Fame, said: "Don't try to be original, just be good!" This might be a naive quote, however it is true. Most creative ideas are not original. This, however, does not give today's creatives the license to open up award books and reproduce past winners.

Design 360°: Would you please share your opinion on Asian advertising, especially in China?
Kevin: China is embarking on a new, wonderful creative journey. People today are encouraged to express themselves and be creative more than in the past. This bodes well for creative advertising in the future. China is developing a great creative advertising community and we, the One Club, are helping with that education. Our educational and professional workshops have helped many new aspiring creatives get jobs in the leading 4A agencies. It's just a matter of time before we see Chinese creatives in the One Show annual and awards archives.

This article originally appreared in the October 2008 issue of Design 360° Magazine, Vol. 17, and has been republished with permission.