NOBBY'S DIARY: ANDY'S JUDGING IN BUENOS AIRES, DAY 4 AND 5
Saatchi & Saatchi Australia executive creative director David Nobay is in Buenos Aires, judging the Andy's, along with a star-studded panel of the best creatives in the world, including Mother´s founder, Mark Waites, DDB Chief Bob Scarpelli, Leo Burnett's Mark Tutssel and Crispin´s ECD Andrew Keller. Here is his report on the final two days...
This morning we discover that the luxury suite, free gifts, gallons of fine wine and top grade cow all come with a price. In our case, the price was five grueling (hungover) hours with our noses glued to individual laptops as we collectively wade through 200 assorted websites via a broadband width that you’d be pushed to download Google on. Joking aside, it was hell. We really pushed our reserves of professionalism to hang around the often ten minutes it took to download a site that ultimately proved lame.
The afternoon was much more fun. Based on our individual scorecard entries over the week, the winning Gold, Silver and Bronze print had been laid out on the tables to view. First impression: the selection was pretty thin. Once the jury got a good look at the spread, the knives came out and the trimming began. After an hour of robust debate, the tables had more white space that print on them and Tutssel was starting to wonder if this year’s Annual would be better printed as a pamphlet. To beef up the score, we started trawling through the “almost rans,” those entries that just missed the numerical line. Thankfully, we all found lots to admire in this bunch, and by the end of the day, the print and outdoor metal looked like a true spread of the best of the year, including some really strong student entries. (Apparently, winning students have already been contacted, tagged and hired by Crispin, before the final vote was even in.)
All in all, the jury didn’t have too many spats, though there were some pretty heated exchanges over what constitutes a campaign, and the usual grumblings about eligibility and effectiveness. As always, Marie Catherine had strong, passionate opinions on much of the work on the table. (If only it was the table we were judging at the time). Dinner was spectacular with my mate Tutssel and our local legend, Saatchi Argentina Chief Pablo Del Campo.
Only a day to go… I may just get out of this in one piece.
Ouch! This morning is the capstone morning to a great week. Yesterday, we spent a long day debating our GRANDY winner (and we also spent plenty of time debating what GRANDY actually stands for). After it all, we celebrated with one hell of a party hosted in a disguised rail yard. The place has been overrun by a Bohemian army of local artists, who’ve left their eclectic paw print on every inch of the place. What with sacrificial goats (well, a big BBQ), crazy installation art and a throbbing local music, the venue quickly took on the enchanted hues of a Pagan Festival, which given this week’s nocturnal events seemed entirely appropriate. Even Marie Catherine seemed at home, as she weaved through the drunken throng towards our team mascot and spiritual leader, Bobby Greenberg, as he busted out disco moves upon the stage.
All in all, it’s been a very special week that proved to be a tricky balancing act. Each day brought serious joi de vive, and equally serious debate, discussion (and, at times, combat) on the big question of the day – “where is this industry of ours heading? And are we doing enough to get it there?” It was a balancing act pulled off with great aplomb by our Chairman Mark Tutssel. He made steering a room of some of the industry’s biggest egos through daily white water look almost easy. That, combined with the backroom skills of a small army of ANDY organizers and sponsors, made for a fantastic week.
So, I sign off this diary with new friends, some new ideas and certainly some new challenges ahead. Just in time, I wager, for one more lump of red meat and a glass of Malbec.
All the best,