I don't care if y'all hate me for saying this but I noticed that you seem to give accolades to each other just based on wizardry of photoshop eventhough sometimes the ads are pure crap while entirely oblivious to the fact that an average customer while reading a magazine in a dentist's waiting room can care less about the visual effects. [Damn that was a long sentence!] So what I am saying is...and since I am speaking from an audience's perspective because I am not in the industry...the focus should mainly be in the idea because to an average consumer a cool visual -whether it's been worked on for 5 mins or 5 hours- means nothing if the idea is not strong enough.

I agree with you. A lot of

I agree with you. A lot of people here do applaud nice visuals but it will only take you so far when it comes time to giving out awards. We have this same problem at my ad school and I'm strongly against it. I'm all for using awesome photographers or illustrators to bring out an idea but I hate it when a nice visual is used to distract the viewer from a bad idea. I say, if you draw out your concept on a blank piece of paper with a black marker, and if it isn't intriguing... then you better keep working.