Executive Jury Spotlight: Ken Muir
Each year, the Midas Awards assembles the most creative award-winning agency and brand leaders who have worked in the field of financial advertising, as well as international experts in financial policy and communications to be part of the Midas Grand Jury.
These prominent industry professionals are recruited to view global entries into the Midas Awards and select the World’s Best Financial Advertising. The results of the judging sessions are parsed into the annual Midas Report which includes Agency, Brand and Network Rankings—a veritable who’s-who in the world of financial services.
This week’s Midas Awards Grand Jury Spotlight interview features Ken Muir, Founding Partner, Mohawk, UK.
Ken brings over 20 years of award-winning experience as a creative director across all media to the Midas Awards Executive Jury. He’s created work for such prominent clients as HSBC, Vodafone, Shell, Merrill Lynch, Tesco, BMW, Microsoft, Gatorade and Blue Cross Blue Shield. He founded his agency Mohawk in 2007 to create ideas in a truly collaborative spirit while taking advantage of the huge changes occurring in the media landscape. He passionately believes that the opportunities for the combination of creativity and insight to drive and inspire business have never been greater than they are today.
In the interview below Ken shares his thoughts on the benefits of judging financial creative work, his opinion of what are the hallmarks of award-winning work, and what inspires him about the industry.
Midas Awards: What are the benefits of judging Midas and does judging the year’s creative work within your industry influence your creative process?
Ken Muir: For me, the opportunity to judge the Midas awards is an annual treat. It gives me the chance to enjoy concentrated exposure to the best work in financial services from around the world and provides insight into a wide range of innovations from creative thinkers of all disciplines - whether creative, digital or strategy. I feel that judging the Midas Awards is a huge benefit to me and to my agency.
Midas Awards: In your opinion what are the hallmarks of award-winning financial advertising?
Ken Muir: The three definitive hallmarks of award-winning financial advertising are an innovative approach, a genuine customer insight and the opportunity to engage with the work. What is most important, however, is the way these aspects combine to create communications which differentiate the client from the competition. Those are the ads which stand out in the marketplace and which are remembered by customers. An example would be the HSBC ‘world’s local bank’ campaign in airports which I worked on a decade ago (example attached). This used innovative media space in airport walkways, shared insights with customers to show our understanding of their similarities and differences with others worldwide, and encouraged people to think about their own ideas for the campaign - many of which they sent to us in the agency!
Midas Awards: What inspires you about the industry and what do you wish you could change?
Ken Muir: The most important thing for me about financial services advertising is how much customers care about their finances and what it means to their lives. Some advertisers and agencies make the mistake of believing that customers’ thoughts and actions are based on strict logic (which is what customers tend to say when they are in focus groups!). In truth, there are very few things which are more emotional and based on gut instinct. What inspires me about our industry is tapping into those emotions - while of course giving the impression that we are being logical and rational.