Loeries Judging with Markus Maczey
LBB has been on the ground in Durban for the past week, diving head first into Middle East and African creativity at the Loeries. Markus Maczey, CCO of Plan.Net Group, which is part of Serviceplan Group, headed up the Digital & Interactive jury this year. We caught up with him to find out he briefed his jury and how he’d be dealing with cultural nuances faraway from his native Germany.
LBB> What are you seeing from the entries this year?
MM> I didn’t really know what to expect. I had seen some work at Cannes from South Africa, which was great. I stupidly presumed some of the work may be a bit behind, but all the work was on a really, really high level. I believe the high level comes from the fact that many of these were big digital jobs where the client was heavily involved; you can kind of tell that. The work all looked so well briefed and was at a great level.
LBB> What are the trickiest elements of Digital & Interactive to judge?
MM> The trickiest thing in judging this category is that everything is kind of digital. It’s so broad and there are so many categories There is always a bit of an issue with categories; of course you need them, but there are many discussions based purely on whether something is even in the right category. We discuss things like, 'is WhatsApp social? Should it be in the social media category?' So you need to just step back and look at the work.
LBB> What words of advice did you give to your jury?
MM> I suggested to them that we have to really judge what is here and not think of anything else we have seen to date. Creativity is also relative to where you are and where you are judging; I wanted the judges to be as kind but realistic as possible.
LBB> How are you dealing with the range of cultural nuances in the work you’re judging?
MM> That is where you really need the jury to sometimes explain some work that others may not understand. The jury really help point out cultural relevance. Would I understand all the cultural nuances of a Nigerian ad? Possibly not, but a local judge can really help us discuss the facts and how the ad did locally. This worked really well with this jury and it helped us make our decisions. But still you look to the creative idea, so really once you are past these slight complications, judging here is really the same as judging elsewhere. It's just about the work and creative idea.
LBB> Did you find you were seeing an scam work in the category?
MM> No definitely not. I honestly think not at all. You could feel that the work was real and the case films we saw supported this.
LBB> Obviously you’re going to spend a lot of the Loeries locked inside for jury deliberations… but is there any event or talk that you’re hoping to catch while you’re here?
MM> It’s my first time here so I’m not really sure what to expect. But I’m looking forward to the seminars, I’ve met some great people already who have given me a list of things to do. I guess it’s all time dependent, I was hoping to go on a safari, but I had to work whilst here!
LBB> Any work you are seeing that is making you jealous?
MM> Yes there are a few really big digital jobs that I’d like to be working on, music obviously plays a very big part in the work which I like and the thing I see is that this type of work just comes very naturally to this area. There is lots of very clever work.