Midas Awards Grand Jury Spotlight Interview: Liam Wielopolski

The Midas Grand Jury is instrumental in selecting the World's Best Financial Advertising. This all-star jury of award-winning creative executives is recruited from the most prominent agencies and corporations in the world of financial advertising. They come to the judging table with enviable experience, brilliant creative chops and dedication to the industry.

This week the Midas Awards shines the spotlight on Liam Wielopolski, Chief Creative Officer, DDB South Africa. Liam cut his teeth on prominent global brands including Guinness Land Rover, Virgin Atlantic Airways and P&G and responsible for holding the creative bar not only at DDB in Johannesburg, but the rest of Africa and the Middle East as well. 

Keep reading to find out Liam's thoughts on judging, what’s on the horizon for financial advertising, what he’d be doing if he wasn’t working in advertising and much more!

Midas Awards: What is your opinion of the Midas Awards?

Liam Wielopolski: It’s the only international awards show that I am aware of that recognises great, standout work in the financial sector.

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

Liam Wielopolski: It’s a great award show for a particularly difficult industry to create great work in.

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

Liam Wielopolski:  Fresh thinking, great execution, relevance to the brand, to the target audience and to the chosen medium.

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

Liam Wielopolski: Nope, I think we’re becoming global citizens.

Midas Awards: What’s the biggest challenge to working in financial advertising?

Liam Wielopolski: I think the biggest problem is that there’s product parity in financial services, which makes advertising and differentiation difficult. You don’t have anything truly unique to hang your hat on anymore.

Midas Awards: How has financial advertising changed since you started working in the industry?

Liam Wielopolski: In all honesty, I don’t think it’s really changed that much from what it was a few years back. Generally speaking, it’s all the same bouquet of promises, just in different colours.

Midas Awards: How has technology impacted creative in the financial advertising industry?

Liam Wielopolski: I think technology/digital allows us to be far more targeted in our creative and advertising. It’s also a great conversion tool – a critical piece in the path to purchase.

Midas Awards: What’s on the horizon for financial marketing and advertising?

Liam Wielopolski: I think there will be new players entering the market that are going to erode the landscape of financial services – Discovery announcing the launch of a bank soon is such an example.  I think that these new players are going to bring in new value propositions which will shake up the industry.  As such, their approach to advertising and marketing will be different too.  I think that banks and financial service institutions are going to start developing their own closed eco-systems to keep people locked in, and these will form the basis of their marketing and advertising campaigns.

Midas Awards: What is your favorite financial advertising campaign and why?

Liam Wielopolski: I love the Barbara ads for ANZ Bank done around 6/7 years ago. They really cracked me up, and in my view broke the mould for Banking communication. 

More recently, again for ANZ Banks, the GAYTM’s idea. It’s brave, it’s fun, it’s brilliant.

Midas Awards: What inspires you?

Liam Wielopolski: Being able to get up every morning and create something that never existed before.

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

Liam Wielopolski: I honestly don't know what I'd be doing. I love coming to work every day, learning about and creating new things. I love seeing an idea on a piece of paper evolve into a big ad campaign. If I had another job, I probably wouldn’t be happy. But if I had to guess, I’d be an international art and jewel thief.

NewYork Festivals