Gerry Graf, founder of famous New York agency, Barton F. Graf, and one of the world’s truly legendary creatives, has been appointed Jury President for the 2020 AWARD Awards.
Graf began his career at BBDO NY where his work for Snickers was named Campaign of the Year by Adweek and Commercial of the Year by Ad Age. In 1997, BBDO was named Agency of the Year at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.
In 1998, Gerry joined Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. In 2000, USA Today called Graf’s E*Trade TVC, Monkey, one of the Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of All Time.
In 2001, Gerry returned to BBDO as its youngest-ever executive creative director. By the end of the year, BBDO NY was Ad Age’s Agency of the Year.
In 2004, Lee Clow asked Graf to run TBWA/Chiat/Day/NY. In 2006, Ad Age named him one of the 50 “biggest and best thinkers and doers from 20 years of advertising and consumer culture”. In 2007, Ad Age named TBWA/NY the Most Awarded Agency in the World and Gerry the Most Awarded Creative Director in the World.
In 2008, Gerry was appointed chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi NY. Among other accolades, The Gunn Report named Saatchi NY’s Crest campaign the Most Awarded Campaign in the World.
Gerry launched his own agency, Barton F. Graf, in 2010. The agency was included in the Ad Age Agency A-List in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2014, The American Association of Advertising Agencies named it Mid-Sized Agency of the Year.
Forbes magazine has named Graf one of the 14 Most Influential Agencies in America. Business Insider has named him The Most Creative Man in Advertising.
In 2019, Barton F. Graf threw itself a funeral. The agency has closed. Ad Age wrote, “…a sadness hung in the air, not only for Barton F. Graf, but the “death” of this award-winning creative shop was seen by some as a bad omen for indie agencies increasingly bogged down by client budget cuts and shifts to project and in-house work.”
Brian Collins, chief creative officer and founder, of strategy and brand experience design agency, Collins, commented, “In an industry full of people who are all talk and no talent, Gerry Graf is all talent. On one side it’s sad to see this chapter close, but on the other side, I can’t imagine what’s next for him. He’s the real thing in the world that needs more real things.”
AWARD Chair, Cam Blackley, described Graf as one of the most outstanding creative minds in the global advertising industry.
“AWARD has always been the standard-bearer of great work in our region. We are pushing to lift that bar even higher through a series of changes across education, inspiration, events, and the Award show. The appointment of Gerry Graf as our Jury President this year confirms AWARD as the place to have your work validated. Gerry is a hero to a lot of creatives, including myself, for his mad, silly, lateral and straight-up entertaining body of work. His influence will be the next step in defining the best of the best from a global point of view.”
Graf added, “Some of my all-time favourite ideas have come out of Australia and New Zealand. I can’t wait to see what these lunatics have been up to.”
The AWARD Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, March 27 2020 at The Venue, Alexandria as part of the three-day creative festival that will incorporate the awards judging.