The Goonies have all grown up and now judge the DMAs | DMA

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The Goonies have all grown up and now judge the DMAs


I love the Goonies, probably more now than when my hair was 87% wet gel.

Back when I was up to my wrist in a luminous tub of gloop I liked Data best. Mostly for his inventions and surprisingly for his old man who was cut from the same patiently optimistic cloth but lacking his son’s questionable success. By the time I owned it on VHS I really fancied Andy, there was something strangely exotic yet weird about having a girlfriend with the same name as me.

Now I’m older, and the pot of gel is gathering dust – hidden somewhere at the back of my mum’s bathroom cabinet – I realise that it’s the sheer eclecticism of the group that keeps bringing me back for more. A bit like all the parts in a toilet cistern – not one of their Goonie talents is wasted as they search for treasure whilst escaping the Fratellis, foiling the death traps of One-eyed Willie and saving their town from evil developers.

This week I found myself in a room full of grown-ups and experts in their field of marketing. All with different skills that would be instrumental as we searched for our very own gold and silver.

The Goonies have all grown up.

For anyone who doesn’t know how DMA judging works, the first phase is where the judges look at all the work and score it privately on a tablet. Each piece is scored on strategy, creativity and results. After a break, the highest scored work comes back to the table for the second and final phase where the room debates what they liked and didn’t like about each remaining piece.

With so many different opinions, all with a lot of experience behind them, you soon find your favourites aren’t as strong as you thought they were. And the runts in the litter start to show some teeth. I like to think I know a good strategy when I see one, and I definitely have a strong opinion on creativity and whether it’s gold standard. In truth, my understanding of the results will never compare to the forensic insights that a client from procurement would have.

So here’s the thing, if it takes people from across all aspects of marketing, from agency planners to client procurement to – judge a piece of work properly – then why aren’t more people involved in the building of the ideas?

Some agencies use the word collaboration like some Brexiteers think of democracy. That it starts and ends in a vote, or sadly a brainstorm or tissue session. Collaboration like democracy has to be constant to work. It's an ongoing process. And it should involve people from across the business as well as the agency.

It’s not about creativity through committee. If you believe nothing good comes from working together then I only have to cite the awards as proof that that's not true. Eight of us in a room debated the best work across all the categories, not the safest or the most bland.

We pushed each other harder. To reconsider and re-evaluate.

Collaborating is about committing to a higher notion that egos get in the way and different tools and experiences can give you more to work with and more chance of being successful across the board.

Much the same way the Goonies, used their combined skills and found success where Chester Copperpot (esteemed expert explorer) only found his gruesome end.

So we found some gold after much digging and I was proud to be a ‘Goonie’ for the day. Some might say with their tongue in cheek it was a rewardingly hard experience.

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