Ex Perth creative Brett Colliver’s Cannes Diary #1

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Ex Perth creative Brett Colliver’s Cannes Diary #1

Brett Colliver, chief creative officer at Dentsu Creative is representing New Zealand on the Cannes Direct jury. Colliver, along with most of the other New Zealand and Australian jurors, writes exclusively for CB.


Day One: The Purge

Upon entry to the jury room we were greeted by a smiling Pancho Cassis, but were quickly distracted by what was waiting for us on our desks.

Draped across the tables were official Real Madrid football jerseys, each personalized with our names. An incredible welcome gift on the surface, but that one became even more poignant with the story he proceeded to share.

Ex Perth creative Brett Colliver’s Cannes Diary #1

It was exactly 30 years ago that Pancho’s dad had been a Cannes juror for the first time and he’d been given a football jersey as a welcome gift, too. It was an incredible reception and an amazing way to start the day.


The warm and fuzzies couldn’t last long unfortunately, as the requisite Day One Purge had to begin. And I’m glad we didn’t wear our pristine white jerseys while doing it because it was a bloodbath.

Over the previous 8 weeks we’d gone through 2000 plus Direct entries and that pile had been whittled to a provisional longlist of about 280 pieces. As you can imagine, everything that survived was of a pretty high standard.

But still more blood had to be spilled.

Another 80 needed to be purged and so the scythes came out.

I’ll spare you the gory details in brief:

–              All of us were pained to discover a vital piece of information about one of our favourite entries and unfortunately said farewell to it. Honestly, it was an Old Yeller situation.

–              There was lots of chat around campaigns that get submitted to Cannes for a second time, as there were at least 3 pieces in that camp.

For anyone not aware, if a campaign launches within a certain window (roughly April to mid-May) it can be entered into Cannes that year, but also the following year into any categories it wasn’t in the first time round.

It’s an interesting loophole, but rules are rules.

A point of contention was whether, given some of these second time entries had an extra 12 months, whether they should have updated results, or whether there were signs of the idea still going, or evolving. It was enlightening and something that anyone considering using the loophole next year should pay close attention to.

–              Gaming entries: I’ll write more about this another day, but it’s amazing how quickly gaming ideas have become status quo. I loved a lot of them, but it’s actually really hard to stand out in that area, so quite a few were also taken out behind the shed.

Sorry to everyone who didn’t survive the purge, but a massive congratulations to everyone who did. I know it’s a cliché but just making the shortlist is a huge endorsement of your work.

Things are looking up today, because now we get to start giving out some Lions.