Marianne O’Brien’s Cannes Diary: Judging the Radio & Audio Lions

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Marianne O’Brien’s Cannes Diary: Judging the Radio & Audio Lions

Marianne O’Brien, managing partner – creative at CHEP Network is on the Cannes Radio & Audio Lions jury. Here she details her judging experience over the past few days.


DAY 1.

Radio and Audio is not what it was. Which is fantastic.

It has been a huge flip from my last time judging here in 2017. To be honest, back then, the truly innovative pieces were as rare as reliable wifi.

In 2022, there are plenty of innovations in sound to get excited about. But equally, the jury was still searching for the beautifully written and produced radio spots. We will always love those.

The debate in the room has been thorough. Kicked off with the passion from our teddy-bear Brazilian, met by the laser-sighted strategy from our Canadian and then sprinkled with an awesomely dark sense of humour from our German juror.

One discussion I found most interesting was where does the line blur between innovation and communication?

I love work that combines our industry’s creativity and storytelling, with the scientific minds that make our world better. When they work hand in hand, we have true innovation, wrapped up in a way that gets attention and connects so deeply with people. Beautiful.


The results are about to come out.

This is how we decided what made the cut.

The tough questions our jury asked about the work.

First and foremost, is it an audio led idea at its heart? If audio is just on the side, then save your entry fees.

Is it bullet proof? If we can find the holes, we don’t want to stand beside it at the press conference.

If it’s a tech innovation, can you show us it actually works? It takes the shine off the idea if the jury isn’t clear or has to dig too deep to figure it out. Explain it as you would to a four-year-old, then show us how it has an impact on people.

Is there a tension or twist? If it seems like too logical or obvious an answer, you’ve missed a trick.

Does it make us jealous, do we wish we had done it? When you are reviewing hundreds of entries, you search for an emotive response to the work. Jealousy pops up as such a strong spike, it’s a simple gauge for the jurors.

2% of the entries made it to metal. I’ll share what we loved about the winners tomorrow.


The Grand Prix went to Vice, Unfiltered History Tour.

They hacked the audio tour of the British Museum, told the story of stolen artifacts and delivered it in the passionate voice of the rightful owners. It was all very VICE. A great example of innovative audio, delivered through an AR filter, super relevant to the brand.

On the more traditional side, Gold went to Jab-Jab by Savanna Beer in South Africa.

Let me quote my South African juror, Tseliso Rangaka on this one:

“While Jab-Jab is a simple radio spot to the ear, the writing is anything but simplistic. In true Savanna style, the ad draws on local nuance and insight to deliver a playfully lyrical plea for South Africans to get their second vaccine jab. Well scripted. Well executed.”

And if you want to see some more fun stuff, check out Pringlesonic for an 8-bit signal that made jurors rip off their headphones. Or Los Santos +30C, an entire branded radio station within Grand Theft Auto cleverly educating on climate change for GreenPeace.

Well, that’s me done, time to get some sun. Au revoir.