Ben Welsh's Cannes Diary: Day Three & Four

WELSH-photo[5].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 three. We have a short list. A rather long shortlist given that we started with close to 6,000 entries, but in theory, today should be shorter, which is just as well as I'm knackered. I was visited by all the last two days' entries in the night, each case study, over and over again. I feel like Alex in 'A Clockwork Orange'. I need some Milk Plus.
We start going through the folios, the 114 have become 22, and it's scan, scan, scan time again. 17 scanners are continuously doing this so it sounds like a forest full of Bell Birds. The work is much better for the culling and I'm seeing stuff our group didn't get to look at. It's surprising how little automotive and alcohol work there is when they account for so much outdoor.
Ben-Welsh-Cannes.jpgAfter two hours there is only one folio left to do, but out of some mathematical anomaly it is the last folio for nearly all of us. Then it's case study time again and we find ourselves asking 'was that outdoor?' We check the category description. It was. Then we go on again. There's a trend of big brands collaborating with charities and NGOs, a lot of the work has a social purpose. There's also a big range in budgets which reminds me, isn't it time we had a budget based award show? Tricky for earned media, but a certain way to eliminate the more suspicious entries.
We close at six. Ben Couslon told me at lunch that they'd be at it till after midnight in promo.

Day four. It's metal time. No more scans, no more beeps, now it's down to a show of hands after some healthy discussion. In fact, it's a really healthy, collaborative jury. Mr Granger is keeping it fun but flowing. There are disagreements, but so there should be. Gold is suitably rare and pretty much unanimous. The only drama of the day happens shortly after lunch when the coffee machine breaksdown.
There's loads of work from Latin America and Asia, very little from the US and UK. I know this because the case studies always begin: "In Mexico/Brazil....." also, because the shortlist has the country of origin printed on it, until Tony quite sensibly asks for another list to be printed without it.

We stop at seven, 17 categories down, 28 to go. I hear from one of the jurors that psychologists have shown that having to make multiple decisions is bad for the ego, which is why, after a long day's judging we need a drink.

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