The good news is that the jury was strong, cared passionately about print and was united about the outcome. We made sure that anything that felt remotely scammy was discussed and we threw out a lot of weak, cheap work for products that we felt clients would never had invested in (which for some reason always includes biro and marker pens).
Sadly, the numbers were down on entries by roughly 10%, partly, I believe due to clients spending their money elsewhere in other new media and also because the young talent out there are enjoying playing in new media too.
Hopefully the introduction of Publishing this year to the category, although not huge in entry numbers, will help refresh and inform clients and creatives of different ways to play around with the print medium.
The numbers were down on entries by roughly 10%, partly, I believe due to clients spending their money elsewhere in other new media and also because the young talent out there are enjoying playing in new media too.
My favourite campaign of the show was, in my opinion, grand prix material. But it wasn’t eligible due to being in the health and safety, public sector & awareness category. For PASSOP, it did win gold and featured Muslim women wearing their national flags like burkas.
It didn’t look like a traditional charity print campaign. It was provocative, iconic and very current. It made a massive statement and brought a huge issue to life in a very clever and unique way and I loved everything about it.
There was also stand out golds for Interflora and the Dutch Mill Co. Both unanimously liked, cruising through all judging rounds to receive top honours.
The coffee campaign was so of the moment, using social media, which helped make it stand out. It entertained all of us in the room and we discussed the fact that you could see that it had taken a lot of time and effort to create.
Sure looked like a fun campaign to create. As for Interflora, which was a more of a classic print campaign, it was also a great example of what the perfect print campaign should do both for client and consumer. The copy was spot on and the photography blended perfectly with it. A cracking piece of work and each execution was beautifully thought out and executed.
The craft category had the largest number of shortlists this year. Perhaps a little too generous in my opinion, and some good pieces in photography and art direction seemed to disappear in the early stages, which is strange, but that can happen unless the campaign has had previous exposure in other awards festivals and creative publications.
However I did enjoy seeing some wonderfully refreshing Illustration and two that stood out for me were for Tic Tac and Journal, for their weekend supplement. Although the ideas were not the most original they were forgiven for the execution and use of Illustration, which demonstrates perfectly the power of craft.
Choosing the grand prix was tough and there was much debate around it. We discussed the quality of the writing as well as the craft that went into it and although both were not outstanding we agreed that the power of the idea, and using print to start a conversation, was great.
The "Open letter from Burger King to McDonalds" made global news quickly, with that very press ad from Burger King being held in the hands of news anchors live on TV. It showed the power of what a print ad can do and should do and for that it was a worthy winner.
We agreed that the power of the idea, and using print to start a conversation, was great.
Now, it’s not the best written piece and is by no means the perfect example of a beautifully crafted ad but in the end it set out to do what it was meant to ... and boy it made a lot of noise.
So what do we expect to see next year? I hope what we selected for gold and the grand prix will be liked and I hope it encourages people to think about falling in love with the medium again.
The inclusion of Publishing will definitely up the entries next year and examples like the gold winning piece titled "Paradise Hill" for domestic violence will inspire agencies, creatives, strategists, media partners and clients to think again when they are looking at their next brief to solve.
Richard Denney is executive creative director at MullenLowe and UK judge on the Print and Publishing jury for Cannes 2016.