Odendaal, alongside industry heavyweights such as Martin Spillmann – the chief creative officer of Leo Burnett, Zurich – will decide the best creations of 2013 in film, radio, press, print craft and outdoor & integrated media categories.

“It means a lot to me to judge at an international awards show, especially one with the stature of the MENA Cristal Awards. It’s even more of an honour being on the main jury as this is where all the action happens,” says Odendaal, who will be jetting off on Sunday, 2 February to Mzaar, a famous ski resort in Lebanon. The Creative Jury will pour over entries in a three-day adjudication process and winners will be announced on Saturday, 8 February.

As a judge, Odendaal will be looking for “originality, innovation and just Big Idea thinking”.

“Nine out of ten times we do not have the budgets they have up North and also our channels in which we communicate are often very limited, so we have to think on our toes in order to get that idea out there in the most ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’ way possible,” says Odendaal. “When one is involved in an awards show like this, one is always pleasantly surprised at how creative people can be.”

Odendaal has over 20 years’ industry experience as an adman, with several illustrious awards, including The One Show 2012 – One Show Entertainment Gold Pencil in Innovation in Branded Content, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) MIXX Awards 2012 – Gold in the Product Launch category. He has worked with global brands such as Louis Vuitton, UNICEF and Mercedes (USA). Locally he has contributed to the SABC and ABSA.

Odendaal has also lectured in Paris and New York. He was integral in bringing Portfolio Night to South Africa for the first time in May 2013. This is the world’s foremost creative networking session between young creatives and renowned advertising creative directors. Locally Portfolio Night is hosted by McCann Johannesburg and will again take place in May this year in Johannesburg, and has been extended to Cape Town.