Slow Going Behind Closed Doors

CANNES At the end of the fourth day of judging the film competition Thursday night, sources said the 22-member panel led by jury president Dan Wieden was only a third of the way through evaluating a shortlist of more than 500 spots in 29 categories at the International Ad Festival here.

The jury lost a couple hours yesterday due to technical difficulties with one of the voting machines, sources said.

Wieden, sources said, has kept politics to a minimum and has kept jurors sharply focused on the work. Sources said the chief creative officer and CEO of Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., was impressed with the depth in each category.

While there was still much work left for the final day of judging, one juror said he expected few surprises in the final winners list. The “usual suspects” are favorites among the jury, he said.

The automotive category, one of the strongest this year, is still expected to produce the top prize. The darling of the festival this year, Wieden + Kennedy London’s Honda spot “Cog,” is still a clear contender for Grand Prix, sources said. “It is the most inspirational work this year,” said one source.

Arnold’s “Squares” spot for the Volkswagen Beetle is expected to nab a Lion. But another U.S. favorite, San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ “Sheet Metal” spot for Saturn, a source said, needed to be explained to some judges seeing the ad for the first time. Sources said it may be knocked out of Lion contention by an Italian Peugeot spot from Euro RSCG Mezzano Costantini Mignani, Milan, featuring a young man sculpting his beat up car to make it look like a Peugeot.

Judging was expected to go until late in the day Friday.

Adweek staff reports