Oriel Davis-Lyons used to be a chef. But, after getting tired of the long hours and intense pressure he decided to get into advertising. He started his career in New Zealand at Colenso BBDO and in 2015 made the move to New York where he worked at R/GA and Droga5 before joining Spotify. He has won over 100 awards across every major show and his work often uses a non-traditional approach to highlight social issues, like creating a partnership between Amnesty International and AdBlock to protest online censorship or a campaign to put graphic warning labels on boxes of ammunition. He is also the founder of ONE School, a free, online portfolio program for Black creatives and an attempt to address systemic barriers to entry in the advertising industry. He lives in Brooklyn with his family in an apartment that gets smaller every day.
Why I am judging the awards... "I'm excited to judge the awards because it takes into account not just the work we make as an industry, but also how it's made. It rewards the agencies that invest in their culture as much as their output. And this year, the "how" is even more important because it provides answers to questions we're all asking. How have you adapted to the new normal? How did you take care of your people through everything? These awards are a great opportunity to highlight what best practice could look like going forward."