From the Jury President’s Perspective: Alexander Kalchev,Leading Eurobest 2023’s Direct and Outdoor

What moment in your career defined where you are today?

There’s not one specific moment. My career so far is a series of encounters with brilliant people who pushed my work further. But if I had to pick one it was the moment I took the creative leadership of DDB in Paris.

Is there a legacy piece of European creativity you’d like to shout about?

There’s a beautiful piece of work that came out a few years ago which is a brilliant mix of Outdoor and Direct. It’s for British Airways and it was called Look Up, featuring a kid that looks at a real plane as it passes by. The billboard then told you in real time which flight it was. It was a great use of invisible technology that provoked wonder and feels fresh even ten years later.



How has European Creativity evolved over the last few years and what trends do you expect to see this year?

We’ve seen European creativity recover after the pandemic and even thrive. A lot of wonderful things have been happening, such as the return of well-written copy and humour. When it comes to direct, we’ve seen some great activation ideas that have shown new ways to add value to our clients’ businesses. This year I hope to see even more work that feels part of a bigger picture and not just smart tactical activations.

In your opinion, what creates the best conditions for creative success?

A benevolent organisation in which people are not afraid to be themselves and fail. More than once.

What does ‘creative excellence’ mean to you?

There’s a million ways to solve a problem, but the simple and beautiful ones are the hardest to come by. Strive to find the most elegant and simple solution to complex business problems. Don’t treat everything as if it were a nail.

What’s the most common piece of advice or feedback you find yourself giving your teams regarding reaching ‘creative excellence’?

It’s ok to be uncomfortable. It’s not OK to be complacent.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to entrants entering work into the Awards?

Be honest. Be very specific with the way you share your work – Juries are always really interested in how things came to life, what obstacles you faced and how you overcame them. The context is as important as the solution.

Why does having your work benchmarked matter?

Beyond the recognition, every award show is a conversation. Be part of the conversation.

What’s the best bit of advice you can give to creative leaders looking to foster creative excellence in their teams?

Get out of the way for the good, be there for the bad.

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