The first day is always brutal. You’re setting your own personal scale for what makes great work. You’re looking for great work and seeing a lot of good and bad work. But you’re also seeing a few trends emerge. Here are three:
1) Some people are entering their work in too many categories. And it doesn’t help the entry. We saw a campaign that was entered in at least 10 medium and craft categories. This did not help the entry. And while it was very good in some categories, it was weaker in others. And that impression hurt the overall entry.
2) The most successful ideas are picking the perfect category to excel. Category management is the key to a successful entry (of course, besides creating an outstanding campaign).
3) Craft has improved dramatically since I last was on the Pharma Jury two years ago. There is more work that is very well crafted. Better photography. Better illustration. Better cinematography. Some have equally well-crafted ideas and copywriting. Some do not. And while it’s very early in the judging process, I would say that this is the biggest (pleasant) surprise.
Rest assured, you have a very dedicated and talented Pharma jury who are working very hard to “get it right.” We have people from every corner of the globe. And they are bringing amazing local insights to the process.
There is one other trend in the jury room – envy of other juries. As we were taking a short break, we noticed the Radio jury sitting outside while judging their entries – which, of course, are digital and can be taken anywhere…on the terrace, on the beach or inside the jury room. And while our new jury room is quite nice, it’s still not as nice as the beach.