The Cannes Lions advertising festival, the Big Daddy of the global advertising awards calendar, will be kicking off in just over one week. And StopPress will be bringing you all the action, every single bit of it, almost constantly.
Our roving reporter on the ground will be lucky bastard Martin Bell. Some say he can write 700 words about absolutely anything. Others say his beard is even better than Chuck Norris'. But that's beside the point. He's heading to Cannes next week and he'll be talking to the Kiwi jurors, asking some of the international heavyweights about New Zealand's entries, attending a few of the 55 seminars, 20 workshops and ad exhibitions on offer, probing some of the Kiwi finalists about their work, going to all the trendiest parties, sitting around the pool in his European man pants and ensuring that, like many of our MPs, someone else will be paying for his drinks.
We'll also be sourcing a few guest posts from our fellow countryfolk lucky enough to be over there to find about the insights they've gained and the kerazzee Gallic adventures they've embarked on. And we might even see what these Young Lion winning whippersnappers think about it.
Fairfax Media is the official New Zealand media representative to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and group sales and marketing manager Sandra King says having Kiwi jurors on six of the 12 awards juries is an indication of the nation's creative standing. Hopefully we'll also be well represented when it comes to the award winners.
In case you were wondering, here are the Kiwi jurors: Media Lions: Barry Williamson, media director, Mediaedge:cia; Direct Lions: Vaughn Davis, creative director, Y&R; Cyber Lions: Lachlan McPherson, executive creative director, Publicis Mojo; Radio Lions: Chris Schofield, creative director, DraftFCB; Promo Lions: Guy Roberts, creative director, TBWA/Tequila; and Titanium and Integrated: Nick Worthington, executive creative director, Colenso BBDO.
This year there were 358 entries from New Zealand, which places it equal 22nd spot (with China). This is up 19 percent from last year's 290 entries (check out the cream of the crop by downloading this New Zealand). Australia reached the 1000 entries mark, up 30 percent on last year's 784 entries. And all up, there were more than 24,000 entries from 90 countries, the 4th highest level of entries ever and an overall increase of seven percent over last year.
Here are some more exciting numbers: there were 3370 entries from the USA, 2115 from Brazil and 1076 from India and 793 from South Africa.
"Cannes Lions reflects the communications industry, and these results tell a fascinating story," says Philip Thomas, the festival's chief executive. "Firstly, of course, they suggest that the industry as a whole is recovering from the distress of 2009 (entries were down 20 percent last year) and indeed they show recovery coming not only from places you would expect like Latin America or India, but also countries like Sweden, Turkey, the UK, France and the USA, all of which have picked up considerably."
"The figures also show different categories showing differing levels of growth. While some traditional sections are down year-on-year, there are significant increases in Media and Cyber as well as in the newer Cannes Lions sections, especially PR and Promo & Activation which have grown by 32 percent and 43 percent respectively."