Ben Welsh's Cannes Diary: Day Five

photoinside.jpgBen Welsh, ECD at M&C Saatchi, Sydney is a judge on the Cannes Lions Outdoor jury. Welsh, is giving daily insights to this year's judging for Campaign Brief Asia.

Day five? I think so. Yes, yes, it is, and it's our last day which means we have to keep going till we have finished. We have 28 categories to go through and then we have to pick the Grand Prix. Will I make the Aussie drinks thing at the Grand? Bump in to Ben Coulson on the Croisette and for the second time we are dressed identically, two bearded Bens. He tells me of controversy amongst a few entries which had kept them at it till two or three in the morning. Will I make the end of the Aussie drinks thing at the Grand?
photoBW.jpg10.00pm. Ok, I won't make the drinks thing, but I wouldn't miss this for the world. We are choosing the Grand Prix. Last year there were two awarded because the category is so diverse, but that seems a bit of a cop out so we are looking for just one. The one from 5,700 entries, 600 shortlists and X Golds (no that's not a Roman numeral). It's like a mini election. We all suggest what we think is the best and why. I am torn between two, one traditional, one almost a product in itself and very, very clever. There are five pieces of work that keep coming up. We vote by writing our nomination on a piece of paper and handing it toTony. He reveals the slips, one by one. Now there are just three and while one has a small majority it needs 2/3 to win. We eliminate the third place and vote again. One for idea A, two, three, then one, two, three, four for B. Pretty soon it's six all. If it gets to seven all I think it's a recount (17 jurors, we need 11 for a 2/3)..........
It doesn't. A stays at six counts and B (there is no significance in the A or B either) gets to 11. We have a Grand Prix winner!
We had our bit of controversy, which was handled with aplomb. We've had different opinions, we've been through long discussions, we've been back and forth, but looking through the different coloured Lions we feel we have done a good job. Sure, we don't agree on everything and people will undoubtedly say "how did that get gold, and why was that only a bronze?" Thank you Mr Granger, thank you fellow jurors.
It's been "nickel" which may not be bronze, silver or gold, but is, I'm assured, French for cool.

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