Emily Beautrais' Cannes Diary #1

IMG_6724 (1).jpgEmily Beautrais (left), creative director at Clemenger BBDO Wellington is representing NZ on the Cannes Brand Experience + Activation Lions jury. Beautrais, along with most of the other NZ and Australians jurors writes exclusively for CB.

When we got sent our judging packs earlier in the month, there were three key notes in bold type at the top of the page.
1.    Take this with a heavy sense of responsibility - agencies have spent good time and money to enter
2.    Be unbiased and don't vote up work from your own network or country
3.    Bring a jacket - air conditioning very cold

Because of the weight of the first two points, I felt compelled to take the third with the full seriousness it didn't appear to deserve.
I could only conclude, from the ease of turning up the air-con a notch vs the ease of contacting every one of the jurors from around the world, that it was a test to see who in the room had read the other two instructions, and therefore easily spot those who were going to vote up their own network.

This theory was confirmed upon arrival this morning, finding the jury room as pleasant as the air outside on La Croisette.

So after each of us passing the test by displaying our second layer prominently on the backs of our chairs, we were safe to review our collective shortlist, established during the pre-judging phase.

The work had been whittled down by 45 shortlist judges to just 14% of the total category entries. So almost everything the 10 of us saw today had an element of wow, and the hours (and hours) flew by.

I always find private judging-without the discussion part-tricky. It's easy to have a clear opinion on whether an idea is good or not. It's harder to decide what you're looking for in a particular category, and what rules you'll collectively apply to the work. This could take a piece from a 9 to a none very quickly. And because Brand Experience is an entirely new category, there was no cheat sheet for how we'd treat it, so we kept our minds open and debated some of the sub-categories between us.

Category definitions aside, we saw a shitload of good work today, and we've only got through half. Bring on day two!

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