This year Epica received 4020 entries from 69 countries, a 20% increase on the previous year despite difficult market conditions. This was driven by the return of the Publicis Groupe networks, plus an enthusiastic response from Germany and Latin America. Indeed, the highest number of entries came from Germany, followed by the United States and France. New countries this year included Iran and Morocco. In terms of networks, BBDO and McCann Worldgroup were particularly well represented.
There are 738 entries preselected in total this year. Some are gathered under one campaign as specified in the list (a campaign of 3 parts amounts to 3 entries for example) - thankfully, some of my own favorites made it to the list (last year my predictions were spot on).
This year in the film categories I am torn between OTTO "La Paz", and John Lewis & Partners Waitrose & Partners "Bohemian Rhapsody".
For the print, there is that small, lovely, totally incredible, Aldi World Cup ad you see above. I really blew me away as much as "Brad is single" by Norwegian Airlines which won Gold in 2016.
UAE is there this year with 2 enties (the Umobuwa for Babyshop and "Roman" by Mashrou Leila - both by FP7/MENA), Egypt too with an entry by FP7/CAI for Orange "Now or Never" - all Arab entries are quite lovely to be honest. So I do wish them luck progressing to the finals.
So here we are, I pity the physical jury as they have to go through the gruelling job of judging the preselected entries even if Marc Tungate is an excellent facilitator - still the task ahead is not mean feat.
The official shortlist will be out on the Nov. 8th so this was your sneak peak.