The judges

Meet the jury members and find out how they picked the 2014 winners


The ICAD Awards represent a hugely important part of ICAD's mission statement - to foster, promote and reward creative excellence in Irish Advertising & Design. Each jury is made up of respected and awarded peers as well as an international judge.

Print Advertising

Pearse McCaughey (Chair)
It was a privilege to serve as Chairman of the Print Jury for The 2014 ICAD Awards. From the start of the process it became clear that the rumours of Print’s imminent demise as a viable advertising medium were greatly exaggerated. Indeed, I believe that this year Print was one of ICAD’s most vibrant and interesting categories. So it should be. For print combines the very essence of our craft: words and pictures. For me it was obvious that agencies had been selective about their entries and consequently we saw a very high standard right across the categories. I was delighted to see that the best work reflected a joy in creation and craft that I have not seen for some time. So print lives on to fight the good fight.
Laurence O'Byrne, Ogilvy
For me the print work that stood out had both a strong idea and great execution.
Bairbre McGlade, Boys and Girls
It was great to get the chance to sit in a room and properly debate the year's work, and to also get an international perspective on it. Although the number of entries initially seemed quite low to all of us, the standard was very high.
Adrian Cosgrove, OwensDDB
What struck me about print this year was the uniformly high standard of the entries. The work that was commended and awarded displayed two common traits: clarity of thought and simplicity of execution. And this made for ads that were not only arresting and engaging, but also, and very importantly, unambiguous and extremely effective.
Vinzenz Stimpfl-Abele, Newcleus (International)
The French artist Jean Dubuffet once said: “For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity“. From that perspective I really was happy that I did not had to judge too many works of normal people. The output of the Irish creative scene definitely doesn't need to shun away from comparison with other European countries. Nevertheless after a first screening it was a quite long and intensive process to separate the best from the good entries -  we did not take the easy way out.

TV & Cinema Advertising

Roland Mahon, DDFH&B (Chair)
Approaching the awards the Jury was hopeful of matching the bumper crop awarded last year. On reflection this seems a tad optimistic.
The overall standard we felt fell a little short, apart from a few obvious examples.
We were, as a Jury, firm but fair and the awards given were well deserved and reflective of the overall standard of the work submitted.

Anne-Marie Curran, Russell Curran Productions
Fantastic weekend, brilliantly organised. The facilities in Screen Scene helped towards making a seamless judging process.
Overall the number of entries across the categories was very low, but this is probably a true reflection of the amount of television commercials made in Ireland in 2013. The online system meant that the judging process was very fair and democratic (all rumours of my prowess at arm wrestling are greatly exaggerated), and  I now appreciate how difficult it is to get as far as a commendation from the jury.

John McMahon, Rothco
For me the judging went really smoothly. Everyone absented themselves in the proper manner when work they had an interest in came under discussion. The use of the app made it all very simple and straightforward, and luckily there were no major disagreements among the jury... well, nothing we couldn't settle in the time-honoured way i.e. by arm wrestling (though there's no defeating the vice-like grip of Anne Marie Curran...)
On the whole, though, it was a triumph of fairness and smart technology, so well played.

Orlagh Daly, Chemistry
I really enjoyed judging, although as there were not a lot of TV ads made last year, it did make it that little bit harder. It was great to have Mike Moloney there as he helped us to see the work through fresh eyes. Having it in Screen Scene also made the whole weekend go incredibly smoothly, as did Elaine McDevitt’s astonishing organisational skills.

Mike Moloney, Art & Graft (International)
It was a pleasure to be asked to judge at this year’s ICAD Awards and I throughly enjoyed the whole decision making process with all the guys on the panel.
It would have be nice to have seen a higher standard of animated entries and, although I was informed that the number entries was down this year, there were certainly a number of strong pieces that stood out from the pack.
A superbly organised weekend and a wonderful way to meet a load of great people from a whole range of creative disciplines. Lots of credit must also go to our fantastic hosts Screen Scene who did a marvellous job. I hope to be back.

Radio Advertising

Emma Sharkey, McCann Blue (Chair)
There were less entries in the radio category than I expected, but of what was entered, the over all standard was solid. That being said, we weren’t tempted by any spot or campaign to award one of the shinier bells. Good spots were let down by two much extras being piled in to the end of the ad. Just when a spot should end, the announcer was listing a phone number and a website and what else you’d find in store that week! We still need to convince clients not to throw in the kitchen sink when it comes to radio.

Des Creedon, Publicis
Plenty of above average entries in radio. However, nothing stood out enough though to push the judges to consider the higher metals.

Aidan Dowling, Irish International
After a challenging year, when radio was often used simply for announcements or retail offers, it was good to hear campaigns and individual spots that really stood out. Good scripts, good productions and a few good chuckles.


Mary Doherty, Red Dog (Chair)
The ICADs are taken very seriously by all involved from organisers to judges.
The main discussion of the weekend was around the quality of entries and level of creativity and judges were at pains to ensure only the highest quality work was commended.
It is an exhausting process with every entry getting due consideration and thought.
It is amazing how many entries do not do themselves justice by submitting less than par visuals. The design entries were disappointing overall but the good ones stood out a mile.
The design jury lamented the low level of entries from some of Irelands best studios.

David Torpey, Image Now
I had a great weekend of creative debate. It was fantastic to have such great discussions about the industry with like minded creatives - oh and to be a part of judging the submissions for the design awards.
Thank you and the ICAD team for a successful weekend and to Screen Scene for the setting and facilities.

Jason Delahunty, Zero G
A very enjoyable and engaging process, which prompted as much discussion about the wider design industry in ireland amongst our panel as it did around the work under consideration.
Heartening to see a real passion to see quality creative being produced in ireland, alongside a commitment to be both fair & rigorous assessment of the work.
There is some work to do on the organisation's part to re-instill the belief that the organisation & the awards are a valid advocate / measure of creative fields, probably most so in design related fields.

Matthew Thompson, Matthew Thompson Photography
Firstly I was honoured to be asked to be involved, the notion of there being any form of competition is synonymous with notions of creative standards, and acknowledgement of the designers ambition. In a profession overwhelmed by target audiences and marketing research attempting to evaluate efforts in communication under a broader criteria seems vital.
I appreciate that this work not only exists in a conceptual state but crucially in one that has been ratified by a client, gone to print and manifests its presence in society. Thereby influencing our culture and progressing the public's expectations of creativity and craft, or more simply put, great work changes expectations. This suggests that acknowledgements of creativity are good for society and the designers that attempt to help it function.
As with any competition a spectrum of talent is represented, at the leading end of that is truly exceptional and undeniably inspiring. These designers year on year distil their craft and emotional intelligence in responding to clients but the questions remains, how do we propagate this attitude of excellence beyond these exceptional practitioners?
Obvious questions arise, as to could this be fairer, is it possible to evaluate an identity for a bank with one for a coffee shop? Should things be categorised in a more prudent way? It does feel sometimes that we are forcing projects into categories when their strengths lie elsewhere and would achieve higher if in that context. This years competition raised many questions for the jurors and the consensus would agree a shift of perception of the awards is needed for any true progress to be made in its breadth of who it attracts and therefore who it influences.
Ohhh yeah...loads more photography please, you know who you are, the talent is out there.

Amie Norman, Norman-Hulzink (International)
I hope your future campaigning will drum up other studios to submit work, as I know that there is so much going on in Dublin, its really great and inspiring for me to see. I feel its an important legacy to document the standard of work that is currently out there, as this becomes a promotional tool for design in general, as clients and the public become more aware and have an understanding of what a high standard there is.


Ian McFarlane, ICAN (Chair)
One of the oldest creative institutions in the world, ICAD still stays abreast of current & emerging trends. This is reflected in new award categories like Earned Media this year.

Sheena Cattigan, In the Company of Huskies
It was a pleasure to Judge the ICADs this year. The entire experience was really quite inspiring, the dedication and focus of my peers, the diversity and strength in categories, the incredible hosts at Screen Scene and of course the integrity and drive of Elaine, Oran and all of the ICAD board. Thank you.

Adam Crane, Cawley Nea\TBWA
In this years work you could see the gap between creative and technology shrink further again - the result being that we saw a few things that we’ve never seen before. There’s currently a lot of invention going on in creativity.

Geoff Barker, CKSK
ICAD judging was a valuable experience in looking at my own work with a more critical eye.
It was inspiring to be around a high calibre of skill and opinion, and to get under the skin of how we define the standards and future of the creative industries we work in.
It was amazing to see how fast the industry is changing, highlighted by the task of judging the digital category, and the vast breadth of work submitted in it.