Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
I recently received a proposal of the jury rulebook for the regional festival of creativity, BalCannes. I guess because I was one of the initiators of BalCannes, its fan and supporter (every year I spend three months lobbying across the region at agencies to enter their works), I received a draft rulebook to comment on.
Frankly, two novelties took me by surprise, and I think they will not be good for the development of BalCannes, which grows from year to year.
Jury of 25 members
In the first three years, works submitted for BalCannes were judged by a panel which consisted of five journalists, chief editors of media dedicated to the advertising industry. First year the jury voted online, and since this way of voting showed its shortcomings, the next two years we voted at a joint session in Rovinj.
Last year the works were judged by a jury of advertisers, while the press jury chose their winner through an online voting. Marketing directors of companies from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, that won the awards Advertiser of the Year at national festivals in their home country (SOF, Days of Communication and UEPS) entered the jury. From Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia – since these countries don’t have their national festivals – jury members were directors of major and most important advertisers. The jury met in Rovinj and did their part. This approach seemed very good because advertisers are certainly the first and most important jury for each advertising campaign. If an agency doesn’t convince the client that the campaign is good, and the client doesn’t accept it, it loses all chances to find itself before a jury later on. HURA always promoted BalCannes as an opportunity for advertisers to see the best of regional creativity in one place, through five-minute presentations of the 25 best campaigns on the open stage. They calculated (and it made sense) that BalCannes will be an additional motive for advertisers to come to the Weekend Media Festival. All this therefore justified the decision that the jury of BalCannes be composed by advertisers.
The new jury rulebook proposes a jury of 25 members: 10 agencies, 10 advertisers and five journalists. Even Cannes doesn’t have that many members of the jury per categories, in which they receive thousands of entries. The credibility of every festival (even BalCannes, which is no longer just a show but a regional festival since it awards seven awards) comes from its jury – and not from the number of its members, but from their personal authority, the results and successes that they achieved on the creative front. Jury of 25 members will judge about two hundred works that will enter the contest. One per ten! Whoever manages to assemble a credible jury of 25 top experts from the Adriatic region to assess entered campaign, my hat’s off to them. That guy would have to be a genius. And it will be even harder to prevent that such a jury gets entangled in the “buddy-buddy” combinations for exchange of votes. It could look like the Eurovision.
Online voting only
The second, even bigger, and more detrimental proposal for BalCannes, is that voting is to be done exclusively online. No session of the jury. No discussion. No consensus on the most important decisions. Everyone will vote as they liked a certain work – at just that moment when they might be moody, angry because of problems at work, or they simply got out of the bed on the wrong foot, and they don’t have time to look at the work in detail. “Just click, and see what happens.” At the end, all the ratings are added up and on the basis of these assessments the 25 most successful campaigns are selected to be presented at the Weekend Media Festival, and to award seven awards to some of them. This way of voting brings the risk that some very good, excellent works get dropped out simply because the lousier works got more votes. This is very dangerous. If you don’t win one of three prizes that are awarded at other festivals is not a disaster. Not everyone can squeeze in into that top three. But not to get among the top 25, who will present their campaigns in the main program at the Weekend – that’s a big risk and a big failure for any entrant.
Epica awards are decided by a jury of 45 editors of the most influential advertising media in the world. But that jury votes only on those works that were let through by the pre-selection jury which made their decisions through online voting. This pre-selection panel is appointed by the Epica. Every year, before we start judging the shortlisted works, we find that several campaigns, which could compete for the top prizes, got thrown into the trash because the pre-selection jury decided so. This is the major drawback of online voting.
I’m sorry about that, but I have decided that I no longer want to be a member of the press jury at BalCannes. Online voting reduces the costs for the organizer, but increases the risk for all those who send their works. I don’t want to be a part of it.
Selce, 12 June 2017.