Luke Chess' Cannes Diary: Day Four

Luke on Croisette.jpgLuke Chess, creative director at Clemenger BBDO, Sydney is Australia's representative on the Cannes Outdoor Lions jury. Chess, along with most of the Australian and NZ jurors, is course reporting exclusively for CB.

I Should Get Outdoors More.

Another 1,340 entries for me to judge today. I kid you not. And that's just a third of the total number of non-ambient entries in Outdoor--we're still split into our three sub-juries.
As such it difficult to give a true perspective on the work so far. I've only seen a third of it, and we've had no real discussion on any of it yet.

In fact, in a weird way the first two days has been more about identifying the less-than-good--weeding out the average work so as to create a shortlist that the entire jury can then concentrate on.

And this, as has been explained to me before but which is only truly sinking in now, is the danger for your piece--any piece--at Cannes.

If you have an ad entered into Outdoor this year, there's only a one-in-three chance that it's been in front of me. More likely, it's been in front of a different third of the jury--six people--none of whom may be familiar with it or the market it ran in.

Those people are judging 1,340 entries in a day--approximately one every 20 seconds--so think about what that means. Namely:

Four paragraphs of description is three and a half paragraphs too long.

Photos of people building the thing are irrelevant, and take up room better used to display the creative itself.

Support videos are helpful but you can't guarantee they'll be watched--say it briefly yet elegantly on the board. (That said, I watched all of the AV supplied for our section, so maybe I'm being a tad too paranoid on that one.)

If your support video doesn't get straight to the point (i.e. in the first ten seconds) then forget it. Jurors are too tired and stressed to search through chaff for the truly great bit in each of 1,340 entries. I certainly was.

Lastly, and it's totally inequitable, but work that has been PR'ed or has won elsewhere already has a distinct advantage--crucial extra seconds in every juror's consciousness prior to the twenty that it's allocated here.

Such PR may have saved one Australian piece which, in my opinion, was entered poorly. Turned out that most of the Asian jurors were already familiar with it (thank you Campaign Brief), so I'm expecting (and hoping) to see it in the shortlist for discussion.

So a word of advice, perhaps most especially to some of my fellow St Leonards-based colleagues--check your entry boards and vids. You've spent a bit of money entering, it's worth spending a bit of time as well.

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