The 11th AD STARS festival begins today in Busan, South Korea. Over the next three days from 23rd to 25th August, advertising professionals from around the world will gather at Bexco (Busan Exhibition and Convention Center) to experience Asia’s fastest-growing international advertising awards show.

A three-day program kicks off today across three streams: the Creativity Stage will feature some of the world’s top creatives; AD tech will feature leading technologists digging deep into the trends shaping our industry’s future; while the Open Stage is open free-of-charge to anyone with an interest in the creative industries. The festival concludes this Saturday night at the AD STARS Awards, where two Grand Prix of the Year winners will take home a prize of US$10,000. 

“Since 2008, AD STARS has worked hard to create an awards platform that is unlike any other global advertising awards show. Based in Asia, it is free to enter the AD STARS Awards and free to attend talks on our Open Stage. We aim to be a festival for everyone interested in creativity, and as a non-profit organization we offer a level playing field for creators in all markets. We are delighted to welcome so many people to Busan this week – the popularity of this year’s program proves our model is resonating with industry professionals globally,” says Hwan-Jin Choi, Chairperson of the AD STARS Executive Committee.

AD STARS welcomes its roster of judges

Established in 2008, AD STARS received 20,342 entries from 57 countries this year, and recruited 34 judges to travel to Busan to vote on this year’s winners. AD STARS also gave 229 advertising executives from 74 countries the task of determining this year’s shortlist in the pre-judging stage, with 1,719 entries making the cut.

Today’s highlights include: Cindy Chen of Focus Media, China; Christian Mix-Linzer from Tracks & Fields, Berlin; Bolaji Alausa, Executive Creative Director at Noah’s Ark Communications Limited, Nigeria; Andrei Ivanoff from MullenLowe in Mexico; and Cinzia Crociani, Creative Vice President at EnergyBBDO, Chicago.