Both the scale of the entries and its internationalism. Other shows claim the same thing, but Cannes really delivers on these two.
What was the overall caliber of work in the areas you judged this year?
I thought 80 percent of both print and TV suffered from sameness. The really top pieces, though, were very good.
In each division, did you notice any trends in the work? Did the winners fall in line or buck the trend?
In print, a lot of the work seemed to be ultimately done by the computer. The "march of the machine" produced a lot of generic-looking ads. The stuff that stood out was genuinely crafted and probably not done with a mouse. In TV, a lot of the production was slick but not particularly innovative. In America, particularly, a lot of production is lit and edited like a 30-second sitcom. The other extreme is lush production values with no idea attached to it. The great work didn't seem to follow previously endorsed guidelines.
What distinguished the Grand Prix winners in each category?
The Grand Prix isn't just a great idea, beautifully executed. It's also an original thought that seems to have come from a new place.
Was the jury like-minded in its opinion of the top winners, or were there many different points of view?
In both print and TV, the jury was pretty like-minded on the Golds. As you went through Silver and Bronze, there was more debate. For any Lion, you needed a two-thirds majority, so I guess democracy rules.
What is the relevance of awards shows?
Awards shows are important as a kind of archive of the best work of the year. I think it's important to have your peers offer their opinion of your work.
To what degree have awards shows evolved to take into account innovative new work across media?
I think they're behind the curve in acknowledging how advertising is changing. But it's a tough task. Awards have always been about silos and now the lines are blurring everywhere.
Did the show speak in any way to the continuing debate about the relevance of traditional advertising today?
I'm not sure if, in a few years time, we'll talk about "traditional advertising" and "new media." We'll just be using all forms of communication in an interlinked way to ensure we get a moment of the consumer's time. So old-fashioned TV and print will still play their part, but they'll only be a portion of the process.