Midas Awards Grand Jury Spotlight: David Garant
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 David Garant, Vice President and Senior Creative Director at Quicken Loans USA.
An import from Windsor, Canada, Garant joined Quicken Loans as Creative Director of Marketing in January 2010, and is the company’s premier Canadian drummer and rock enthusiast. He currently leads, motivates and mentors the 72 talented designers, editors, strategists, writers and videographers of the Creative team. His vision and coaching abilities have led the team to create compelling communication campaigns that have educated and persuaded hundreds of thousands of Americans to choose Quicken Loans for their home loan needs. David brings his creative insights to this year’s Midas Jury.
Prior to joining Quicken Loans, Garant worked with J. Walter Thompson Detroit focusing on interactive and digital media for accounts as varied as Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Goodyear, Kohl’s and White Castle.
Midas spent a few minutes with David and asked him to weigh in on the challenges and benefits to judging global work, the most prominent changes and much more!
Midas Awards: What are the challenges and benefits to judging work from around the globe?
David Garant: It is often challenging to fully understand the context of the work being judged. Not living or being culturally immersed in the area the work comes from means that I need to be more thoughtful about the criteria I use to review a piece of work.
On the other hand, I love the idea of looking at beautiful work regardless of where it comes from. There are as many ways to solve a problem as there are creative individuals in the world. I think that’s very exciting.
Midas Awards: In your opinion, what are the challenges of working in financial advertising?
David Garant: There are several hurdles that we face daily. The largest is probably government regulations that require disclaimers as long as your arm! The biggest challenge is getting clients to trust you in an industry that is not generally trusted.
Crafting a message that is true to our culture and core to what we believe in, then trying to deliver that message in an honest way and have potential clients believe us and trust us is the biggest challenge.
Midas Awards: What will be the most prominent changes in financial advertising in the next few years?
David Garant: Mobile and user experience (UX). Mobility is driving everything today and will continue to grow, and financial services is right in the middle of it.
UX is everything. Brands often fail to realize that mobile, web and in-person interactions ARE the brand experience. All the advertising in the world will never change user experiences. UX is, and will be, the driving force behind success for financial brands.
Midas Awards: Why did you agree to participate on the Midas Awards Grand Jury?
David Garant: I feel being a member of the jury is a way to give back to an industry that has provided me so much. Also, having been in the automotive sector for a good part of my career, I enjoy looking at other industries – especially in other countries – as a way to see different points of view and find different ways to solve problems.
Cultural influence on the work is intriguing as well because it sheds light on a particular region and their take on financial services advertising.
Midas Awards: What is your favorite financial advertising campaign and why?
David Garant: Ameriprise Financial with Dennis Hopper. Still one of my favorites. Dennis Hopper was exactly the right choice at the right time and the messaging was clear for the progressing boomer generation.