What’s so important about the number 24? And why did the judges fall in love with a horse? LBB’s Laura Swinton reports from the first regional heat of the Immortal Award 2020
96 entries whittled down to a shortlist of 21 and just seven finalists. The first Immortal Awards regional heat kicked off this week and the meticulous and lively jury are hoping that their careful selection of seven
will prove lucky for the region as the work proceeds to the final, global Grand Jury at the end of November.
The session represented a series of firsts for LBB and the Immortal Awards. Our first remote judging session and the first in a new format of regional judging, designed to ensure that brilliant local ideas get the chance to shine on a global stage.
The assembled judges included Juan Carlos Ortiz, president and CEO of DDB Latina, Carlos Andrés Rodriguez, CCO of MullenLowe Colombia, Claudio Lima CCO of Cheil Brazil, Marcelo Noguiera ECD of Almap BBDO and Diana Triana, CCO of McCann Colombia.
To begin with, the judges sat and voted on 21 shortlisted pieces of work – but when the debate began, it soon became apparent that this team were committed to not only selecting the best work, but ensuring that the region would be represented by the tightest, strongest creative at the finals.
“I think it was very interesting for us to be selecting work that represents our region on a global stage to be the ‘Immortal’ pieces of the year, it’s a different feeling then simply picking bronzes, silvers and golds,” reflected Claudio. “We had to be much more careful and demanding of every piece, because we really wanted LATAM work to be well represented and have a chance to win globally.”
As the discussion unfolded, the benefit of having local judges scrutinise local work soon emerged. Understanding the various markets in the region allowed them to better understand and discuss the context of the work and its impact. One fascinating example arose with two shortlisted pieces that explored and challenged homophobic connotations surrounding the the number 24 in Brazil – an association so strong that football clubs don’t play with a ‘24’ jersey. The Brazil-based judges were able to explain the severity of this cultural quirk and also to explain the media furore around it which sprang up early in 2020, inspiring brands to take action.
“I love this idea of ‘24’ because it’s very cultural, it’s very deep,” said Juan Carlos.
The final seven pieces are all contenders, and it’s fair to say that the judges came across a few personal highlights. One film, Sparkling, about a rock star polo horse, impressed and charmed in equal measure with its high production values and absurdist humour. In a year short of laughs generally, the jury responded well to having their funny bones tickled.
Another piece that had instant and unanimous backing from the judges was a project for Aguila Beer, which used beer bottle caps as coupons for free burgers and bottles of water to encourage drinkers to pace their booze intake on a night out.
“I love a piece of work from Colombia for Aguila Beer where they completely reimagined couponing but with a social responsibility twist, by changing the caps in the beer to coupons that could be exchanged for meals and non-alcoholic beverages so people could always drink with something else in their stomach,” said Claudio. “Super clever and a super well told story.”
This year’s Immortal Awards intake includes work that ran between 1st September 2019 and 31st August 2020. Curiously in this heat, Covid-19 work did not feature highly in the shortlist and was absent in the finalists. It remains to be seen what will happen in coming weeks as more regional juries assemble, but whatever happens, Latin America looks set to be well represented by a stonkingly good selection of work when November 20th comes around.
Check out the finalists here