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Before the Cannes ad festival got underway in earnest, it kicked off with a new mini-festival focused on health, wellness and pharmaceutical advertising. Edelman's Carolyn Paul explained how the first jury for health and wellness came to its decisions.
Since it was the first year for this jury, was it difficult setting ground rules for how to choose award winners?
The added responsibility of being on the jury in the inaugural year was certainly something we were all very aware of, and something our jury President, the very gracious Kathy Delaney, reminded us of when we first gathered in the dimly lit and chilly jury room. Winning a Lion is a great accolade and we wanted to be sure we set the bar at a level that provided inspiration and drove aspiration for future years. At the same time, we strove to reward a broad range of excellent work that crossed borders, budgets and briefs, and I hope we succeeded.
Who was the most outspoken juror?
Have you looked at the list? Did you notice the coterie of Aussies, the smattering of Brits and the duo of New Yorkers?
Seriously, it was a marvelous group of people and I can honestly say, I don't think anyone was more outspoken than anyone else. Everyone had their say and everyone listened. I think that was one of the most amazing things for me about this jury: not just the willingness, but the desire of each and every juror to hear other points of view. And not just listen, but be prepared to change their mind as a result.
Which campaigns were the most debated?
The only real debate centred on the awarding of the Gold Lions and the Grand Prix, but even then, there was a remarkable degree of agreement. What was perhaps most remarkable was to see a juror putting forth an incredibly powerful and impassioned case for one side of the debate and then, after hearing similarly compelling arguments from other jurors, give an equally powerful plea for a position totally opposite to their original thinking.
What surprised you?
Other than the vast number of extremely small dogs being walked along the Croisette? The amount of wonderful work from Latin America. Of the five Golds awarded by the Health & Wellness jury, one went to Brazil and another to Colombia. We were also all thoroughly delighted to see one of those two campaigns capture the Grand Prix for Good. Seeing a plethora of brilliant ideas coupled with exquisite execution, reinforced once again what a hotbed of creativity South America is and made me wish I was actually at the World Cup rather than watching it in a French Irish pub.