Matt Dickson's Cannes Diary #1

Matt Dickson Cannes (1).jpgMatt Dickson, national head of creativity, Southern Cross Austereo, Perth is sitting on the Cannes Radio Lions jury. Dickson reports on the judging exclusively for Campaign Brief.

Day one of judging the radio/audio category, and most of the day was spent whittling the broader categories down into some sort of shortlist.
From the huge number of entries, there were perhaps 4 campaigns that stood out from the pack.
What I found interesting was the use (or misuse) of effects in bringing an idea to life. Several campaigns used minimal and realistically recorded effects to paint beautiful pictures in the mind. On the other hand, in several instances a great idea was weighed down by effects that were artificial - made in a laboratory (studio) far away from the realism of life.
It begs the question - now that high end recording equipment can be had for a few hundred dollars, why would you resort to a library of audio clich├ęs to bring your ideas to life? The campaigns I most liked were the ones that transported you to the intended place, by clever, realistic and considered use of effects.
A few campaigns suffered in execution by using library effects. The difference? Time. Effects are very cheap to record now, so it isn't a question of cost. It's a question of taking the time to record and create bespoke audio landscapes, and recording voices in situ rather than in a sterile, sound proof room and adding effects later
Where effort was taken to record effects, it clearly showed in the execution, which is after all the final product we the jury, and listeners, are judging a campaign by.

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