Midas Awards Grand Jury Spotlight Interview: Leslie Hanson

The Midas Grand Jury is tasked with selecting the World's Best Financial Advertising and its all-star jury of award-winning executives are recruited from the most prominent agencies and corporations in the world of financial advertising.

This week’s Grand Jury interview shines the spotlight on Leslie Hanson, Senior Designer, Seamless / Grubhub USA.  Leslie brings his award-winning creative talents to the 2016 Midas Grand Jury. He has built his background in advertising and marketing-focused design from Susquehanna University to work with Mack Industries, Levinson Trachtenberg, Kaplan Inc, Seamless and Grubhub Inc.

In the interview below Leslie shares his thoughts on judging, how technology is impacting financial advertising, what he’d be doing if he wasn’t working in advertising and more.

Midas Awards: What is your opinion of the Midas Awards? What makes the competition stand out?

Leslie Hanson: Financial advertising offers a unique challenge of personifying an industry that is seen as monolithic and predatory, but also essential to daily life. Over the years I've seen designers and advertisers come up with some truly unexpected ideas and executions, some bringing great vibrancy and humanity, some bringing refined cleanliness. These awards bring the best of those ideas forward.

Midas Awards: Can you comment on the international reach of the Midas Awards?

Leslie Hanson: Finance is a universal factor and it's been interesting to see how different parts of the world humanize it. The Midas Awards has attracted entries from all over the world, some really really slick designs from Europe, and amazing concepts from East Asia that have used very specific cultural symbols come to mind.

Midas Awards: Why did you agree to participate on the Midas Awards Grand Jury?

Leslie Hanson: Participating in this Jury is an amazing opportunity to see into the minds of some really high-level, high-powered creative people. I'm always in awe of the details that different members of the Jury are drawn to.

Midas Awards: What do you look for when determining whether a campaign is successful and award-winning?

Leslie Hanson: Concept, and how it's applied through the visuals, are what I'm drawn to most. It's what separates a piece that's instantly skipped over,  which is so easy to do with communications from financial institutions; from a piece that captures your attention and stays in memory.

Midas Awards: Is it difficult to judge work from other countries around the globe? What are the challenges and benefits?

Leslie Hanson: It's a great opportunity to be exposed to the way creative minds from around the globe think, but there may be cultural references or styles, colors, messaging, for example, that are designed for a specific audience that I simply may not be able to have a complete understanding of. But being exposed to it is what enables that understanding to begin.

Midas Awards: How has technology impacted creative in the financial advertising industry? What brands have utilized technology in a unique way to attract the digital consumer?

Leslie Hanson: Mobile-focused advertising has exploded so much over the last 3-5 years, and the possibilities that constantly emerging technologies allow have brought so many interesting and new ways for advertisers to flex their creativity. A few years ago people were concerned over Facebook advertising their Likes to their friends as endorsements. Today Snapchat has people excitedly putting their own faces in ads with their geo-filters and selfie lenses. Video is becoming ubiquitous, and new ultra-short-form ads are being experimented with. With the advancements of AI, automation, and true Virtual and Augmented Reality on the horizon, I think we're on the cusp of a new level of immersing ourselves in intelligently served, placed, and therefore, desired (?!), advertising.

Midas Awards: What would you be doing if you weren’t working in advertising?

Leslie Hanson: I'd love to be a visual artist, doing abstract mixed digital and traditional art and collage, along with trying to produce music—I love hip hop, deep & acid house, vaporwave, and drum 'n' bass.

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