StopPress: Barry, you were a juror for the Media Lions. What was it like judging this category?
Barry Williamson: It was a huge job. There were over 2200 entrants of which around 10 percent were shortlisted. Starting last Thursday, the jury (25-strong and headed by Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer for Starcom MediaVest Group) spent three days sifting the entrants. Then on Sunday we debated and eliminated to arrive at the eventual winners.
SP: What sort of criteria was used for determining the eventual winners?
BW: The criteria was; insights and ideas 35%, execution 30% and results 35%.
SP: With so many entries from so many countries, were there any major themes and trends that emerged?
BW: Integration of social media and digital was evident in a lot of the entries and getting away from a reliance on paid media. For example, Picnic produced over 200 commercials for free for their “It’s No Picnic” campaign (winner of a Media Gold Lion for George Patterson Y&R Melbourne).
SP: What advice would you have for an entrant in this category?
BW: You must be able to demonstrate a clear insight that leads to human interaction.
SP: What was the standard of entrants like overall and which countries surprised you with the quality of their entries?
BW: I have to say that the overall standard was less than I expected, particularly in the integrated section. In the (economic) context of the last year, I got the sense that there were not too many brave clients. I was surprised with the quality of the stuff coming out of South America and thought that overall there was a lack of quality from North America.
SP: And finally what’s the best and worst thing about attending the Cannes Lions?
BW: Just the chance to work with and spend time with the best people in the industry. Really, there’s nothing bad (although I suspect that a NZ$70 buffet breakfast would be nibbling on the heels of bad – ed)