Jury Duty You Want

By Jake Edinger


Tuesday of last week, I received a forwarded email from another local Ad Club Board Member. The original message was a Hail Mary, in search of a judge for the Louisville ADDYs (known affectionately as the Louie’s) on Wednesday. Which was the next day.

So, not only had a judge backed out and they needed a replacement at the last minute, but I was the second choice in that scenario. The ground under the bottom of the barrel.

But what the hell, Louisville’s not far, and Rodgers Townsend was kind enough to let me make the trip on short notice. So, off I went, in lieu of Mike Spakowski.

Being a judge is always gratifying. People appreciate you taking the time. They take you to eat at the coolest restaurants in their town. And they literally bring you their best work to evaluate.

In this case, though, they were especially appreciative. And the circumstances of me swooping in made it that much more interesting.

I got to see the best work from Louisville and compare perspectives with great creative directors from Chicago and Austin, Alma Klein and Mike Ferrer respectively. (Mike’s in the photo.) When we differed, they were quick to remind me that I was a total fill-in.

And it was a blast. The work was fun. The process is impressive if not slightly grueling. But it’s a wonderful team effort. Plus, we did the judging inside the Evan Williams Experience, inhaling bourbon fumes all day.

After we sifted through the 400-ish entries, we had a pile of beautiful executions across multiple categories and industries. I’d love to ramble on about the specific pieces, but in case any Louisvillers (I’m pretty sure that’s how they refer to themselves) read this blog, I don’t want to give anything away.

But after doing a handful of these trips, I still jump at the chance. It’s an opportunity to think beyond your daily client-specific concerns, see how others solve problems and experience another city with people who love the industry as much as you do.

I say, go for it.