We, the valiant and (by now) cross-eyed members of the Press and Poster jury, began our work Sunday. It took us three days to go through more than 2,200 entries. Kind interns gave us hp iPaqs, where a custom-built program let us input in/out/abstain for every entry, and grade the finalists. The same kind interns also confiscated the iPaqs after every round, to make sure we didn’t do anything funny with them, like upgrade the Windows Mobile OS on the fly. (Geek joke.)
We finished yesterday afternoon. I slept until 10 today, and so missed the Gunn Report, but was just in time for lunch. I got a copy of the AdFest book, because it had my face in full color in it, and the LIAA 2007 book. (And here I was hoping my baggage allowance leeway would go to shoes – those books are at least 3 kilos each!) I walked through the Outdoor exhibit, which I didn’t get a chance to see yesterday. There’s a fine line between gimmickry and effectiveness, and that line was crossed many times in many ways, I think. From a save-the-whales drinking fountain to railway station pillars adorned with what seemed to be giant tongues to t-shirts printed with piggybacking children, there was more than enough to keep the AdFest delegates occupied.
I saw average work, good work, and wonderful work. Behind each layout, I saw suffering art directors, irrecoverably missed hours with families, obsession, bloodshot eyes, the panic of secretaries. Even average work takes a bit of your life from you. For the Press and Poster winners, Friday night will give some of it back.