Jeff Benjamin, chief creative officer of Crispin Porter + Bogusky and president of this year's Cyber jury at the Cannes Lions festival, has a tougher job than his predecessor.
Benjamin and his 24 fellow jurors yesterday began bushwhacking their way through some 2,603 interactive campaigns and case study videos that were submitted for consideration in the category. That's 18 percent more than last year, when the global economic crisis took a hit on both delegates and entries.
As of yesterday afternoon, the Cyber jury had waded through the first 100 or so entries, and had several more days to go. Many of its members have also been sharing their impressions on Twitter, using the shared hashtag #cyberjury.
To judge by their tweets, themes of this year's Cyber submissions have been augmented reality, real-world integrations, binaural sound, and - of course - the full embrace of social initiatives. That's according to Chloe Gottlieb, head of interaction design at R/GA and the most prolific Twitter user on the jury.
"Fun digital-to-physical work. Tweets + emails have a real impact; grow trees, make phones move, blow up balloons," she tweeted this morning.
Later she observed, "Outside of mobile advertising category, mobile integration continues to be noticeably lacking this year."
Juror Stef Selfslagh, creative director at Belgium and Amsterdam-based Boondoggle, said much of the judging process is a slog. "A lot of digital advertising is as traditional and unremarkable as a lot of offline advertising," he said.
But Selfslagh does see a silver lining. "The good news: 9 out of 94 cases really surprised me today. That's a pretty good average," he tweeted.
Jury prez Benjamin was overall impressed with the polish of this year's cyber entries. "Build quality and craft is high this year - so ideas will be more important than ever," he tweeted.
Across all categories, agencies and clients have submitted more than 24,000 entries this year from a total 90 countries. That's a 7 percent uptick from last year's festival and the fourth largest number of entries in the festival's 57-year history.
Last year's Cyber winners were dominated by independent agencies. CumminsNitro won a Grand Prix for its "Best Job in the World" campaign for Queensland Tourism. AKQA also won for Fiat's "Eco:Drive" utility in the U.K., and 42 Entertainment for the "Why So Serious?" viral campaign on behalf of Warner Bros' flick "The Dark Knight."
Follow Zachary Rodgers on Twitter at @zachrodgers.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
March 19, 2014