Ann Hayden, Film

Worldwide Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York

Hayden is coming into the film judging with no preconceived notions, no favorites or predictions. “Especially in the first couple of days, I’d like to stay open-minded,” she says. “I’d just like to see the work. You probably see 600 spots a day. How do you maintain focus?”

For the Cannes film juror, who is judging here for the first time, choosing the shortlist will be crucial. “As a judge, it’s easy to value work that we know, to value work from clients that we are familiar with, but what about the things we’re seeing for the first time, and perhaps the only time?,” asks the creative director worldwide on General Mills at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York. “There’s a danger in missing something special.”

Hayden, 51, joined Saatchi in March. Before that, she was managing partner, executive creative director at Young & Rubicam in New York, working on AT&T and Burger King. She spent 13 years at Saatchi & Saatchi Business Communications in Rochester, N.Y., beginning as a junior copywriter in 1982 and leaving as CEO, winning two Lions along the way for Kodak professional print work. Before entering advertising, she dabbled in odd jobs, including writing a screenplay.

She attended Boston College in the 1970s and earned degrees in English and philosophy. As far as what work from her agency network that she’s rooting for at Cannes, Hayden says she likes the U.K.’s NSPCC spot, “Ventriloquist,” as well as a humorous Pampers spot from Argentina chronicling how a parents can affect a baby’s development.

—Mae Anderson