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Tony Granger's ANDY Diary, Part 1

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OK, so I'm in trouble for not writing my daily diary, which was to begin yesterday. Apologies. But in truth you didn't miss very much.

The first day of judging is always rather dull actually, even though the ANDYs always take us to an amazing place each year. And Playa del Carmen in Mexico is no exception.

We got broken up into groups of four and went through all the film, radio and digital ideas--in or out. A short shortlist was our mission.

The print/outdoor was laid out in a big room and again, in or out.

I was struck by how many agencies waste their time and money in entering work that is so bad that we often would find ourselves scratching our heads wondering if we had missed something. (More often than not, sadly, we hadn't.)

Our group judged the retail/fast-food categories, or the "I want to out-Skittles Skittles category." The problem is that Skittles has already done Skittles. And really, really well.

So, on to Day Two: We judged print from our shortlist (a greatly culled amount of entries from yesterday), gold, silver or bronze by secret ballot. Tomorrow we discuss the winners so that should be interesting. I was inspired by the student entries. Some really smart thinking. My favorites were a campaign for slim TVs and a billboard for WD-40. (Note to self - hire more juniors!)

We spend most of the rest of the day poring over the shortlisted film, digital and radio. Didn't get though it all but hopefully we've broken the back of it.

It seems to me that our industry has spawned a new industry. It's the "how do I explain my idea in a trendy upbeat DVD" industry. With voice-overs that boast "this unique idea" and "this unbelievable original idea" and (my personal favorite), "for the first time ever idea." To be serious for a minute, it seems that the presentation of these digital/integrated/community ideas is as important as the idea itself. Just a little advice: present the idea, demonstrate the experience, and let the jury decide if it's a brilliant/never been done before/once in a lifetime idea or not.

Shows need to be inspirational, otherwise there's no point to them really. Tomorrow, when we start discussing the gongs, we'll see the work that will be just that. In the mean time, it's off to the beach--oh it's dark, oh well, off to the beach anyway.



Young & Rubicam's worldwide CD Tony Granger is judging the ANDYs on the Mayan Riviera; he'll provide a view from the judges' perspective throughout the week. Our previous special correspondent, Andrew Keller, wrote us diaries from Buenos Aires and Sydney.
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