Following two years of jury Zooms, it was fantastic to have everyone back together in the room and around the table, in a day that was supported by Irish jury partners, The Public House.
The task set to the jury was seemingly simple: to decide which - if any - of the 19 projects on the shortlist were to receive the status of Irish Finalists - qualifying them for the regional European round of judging.
To determine their status, the projects were judged across two sessions. The first consisted of a round of individual voting, as the jurors watched the reel of shortlisted work - a blend of ads and cases across all forms of media and category.
Having cast their votes as to whether the projects were good enough to qualify as finalists or not, the results were revealed and during the second session, the deliberations began.
Ultimately, three projects were deemed worthy to qualify for the next round and represent Ireland on the European stage:
- Allianz & Women's Aid - The World's Strongest Women (Entered by In The Company Of Huskies)
- Three Ireland - Jeff's World (Entered by Boys+Girls, Ponder & Framestore)
- Volkswagen Ireland - The Zero Carbon Billboard (Entered by BBDO Dublin)
Commentary from within the room observed that there was a generally high standard of work on this year’s shortlist. In particular, it was noted that the level of production has improved year on year, with Irish work becoming increasingly well-crafted.
When the results of the first session were revealed, there were six projects that scored highly, with another smaller group of projects that seemingly split the room tucked in just behind them. But in the end, there were two that clearly dominated the voting.
The first was ‘The World’s Strongest Women’, created by In the Company of Huskies for Allianz and Women’s Aid. The work was overwhelmingly supported by the jury, coming out on top of the morning session of voting with every single juror in the room putting it through to the next round – a very rare feat at the Immortals.
The second was BBDO’s ‘The Zero Carbon Billboard’ project for Volkswagen Ireland. It was deemed an incredible use of a traditional medium - achieving a near perfect score after round one and receiving plenty of plaudits during the discussions.
Whilst film work dominated the shortlist, there were multiple radio, print, and press projects that made it to the judging day. One piece of print in particular, ‘Me? Nah.’ for The National Ambulance Service (by Core) was the subject of discussion with its simple execution and messaging. Despite scoring well in the first round, it was ultimately decided the campaign wasn’t in the bracket required to qualify for the next stage.
Publicis Dublin’s WiFi Guarantee 'Places' ad for Virgin Media was also the cause of great debate. Praised around the table for its poetic copywriting and stellar voiceover, the discussions mainly centred around the legals tagged on to the last few seconds, and opened a conversation around the topic of terms and conditions being a stifler of creativity in certain product sectors. Again, it fell just short of qualifying for the next round.
However, there was one final project that made the cut. Submitted by a trio of companies, Boys + Girls, Ponder and Framestore, ‘Jeff’s World’ for Three Ireland was widely approved around the table to round out this year’s Irish Finalists. The TVC made it through not just due to the creative idea, but the highly crafted production and post production levels that many at the table suggested were meticulously polished.
With three projects standing clear at the top of the pile, the trio will now go on to represent Ireland in the European round of judging, starting on November 14th.