By Tina Fascetti
The excitement of award season is upon us, and I am happy to say that I’ve had the opportunity to judge several award shows over the years across the healthcare and pharma spectrum, including Cannes Lions. In more recent years, there has been an evolution away from entering branded campaigns in favor of entering unbranded and one-off engagement experiences, such as ambient and moment marketing engagements and even case study videos that elevate the emotion and production quality to motion picture film status.
Some feel this trend is not fair to branded campaigns that require regulation, but I disagree. We need to evolve our mindset regarding what to enter and what NOT to enter, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If a branded campaign is award-worthy, by all means enter it, but let’s stop pressuring ourselves to enter branded campaigns if we feel the final creative output is compromised. Instead, take advantage when the opportunity arises to do brave work that elevates the creative game, even if it is a one-off engagement channel.
It is refreshing to hear that there is greater separation of the categories this year. The health and wellness category is opening up to wellness consumer brands, but they will need to prove authenticity rather than attaching themselves to a wellness trend. On the other end of the spectrum, the regulated category in pharma, which requires strict regulatory compliance, gives those campaigns a fair chance at winning within the creative limitations they often face. As a result, the presidents of these two juries have a bigger job than ever to guide jury members to award not only the best creative but the most authentic work within the properly defined categories.
I crave the jury experience of being exposed to ideas that inspire us to stretch our creative muscle—the kind of work that makes us envious that we didn’t do it and challenges us and our teams to push for a higher level of creativity in the branded arena while still solving our clients’ business problems. Call me crazy, but I truly believe both can be accomplished while also reaping the benefits of winning awards.
To all my peers who have the privilege of spending time in the jury room in Cannes, stay alert with espresso and a side of macaroons and award brave ideas we all wish we had done. I can't wait to see it!