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Inside the Pharma Jury – Day 2

Lions Health_Interview Template_RICH_Day 2

The final votes have been cast on Day 2, and I’m shocked that I’ve left the jury room and it’s still daylight outside. (Then again, it does stay light in Cannes until about 9:30 PM.)

A very focused jury pored through hundreds of campaign ideas today. Tomorrow we begin creating the short list.  Possibly the most important discussions are yet to come.  What pieces deserve to be on the short list? We know that everyone is eager to see if their entries make the cut, and by Sunday afternoon, you’ll know.

If you’ve ever wondered what a day in the jury room is like, imagine a room about the size of a small agency conference room that holds 6 people.  Now imagine 11 people in that room, plus hundreds of printouts, collateral pieces, snacks and drinks.  Make the room as cold as humanly possible (think meat locker).  At one end of the room is a small video monitor. We all vote on tablets and everything is controlled electronically by an amazing awards coordinator from the Cannes Lions staff.

We begin at 9 in the morning.  And just like on a long road trip, we only stop when someone has to go to the toilet. At 1 PM we break for lunch.  As soon as we finish eating, we’re back in the room until we’ve completed that day’s task. If you think this sounds glamorous, because we’re in the south of France, you’re wrong.  It’s only glamorous when it’s done.  Now, it’s work. Hard work. Pressure-filled work (and we’re all loving every minute).

Now imagine you’re voting on work.  Some work is amazing and voting is easy.  Some work is not amazing and voting is difficult because you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. And some work is just very average. That work is the hardest to judge because there’s nothing wrong with it. But there’s also nothing amazingly right about it either.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s voting.  Short list day is the most important because you can’t win a Lion if you’re not on the short list.  Good luck everyone.  I hope your entry wins.