What’s On

Cannes opens the kimono

  • Cannes Lions jury reveals the truth about winning a Lion: it’s almost impossible (unless you win)
  • In a new initiative, every day, the jury from the previous night’s ceremony talks about how they chose the winners

Many people come to Cannes for the superstar keynote speakers. Sarah Jessica Parker and Kanye West made appearances this year while, crushingly, Aaron Sorkin cancelled at the last minute. Quite a few come to drink pink wine and trade gossip. And then, there is a dedicated contingent that comes for the awards, which is the reason Cannes Lions exists in the first place.

This year, the organisers have provided a real treat specifically for people interested in trophies: a series of talks called ‘Jury Insights’. Each day, the jury from the previous night’s ceremony open up and talk about how they chose the work they did and (crucially) why some very, very good work that teams spent months working very, very hard to bring to life simply didn’t make the cut.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Promo and Activation Jury revealed probably more than they should have about the gruelling (at 3200 entries this year, you better believe it was gruelling) task of sorting the storytelling wheat from the in-store sampling chaff. Here’s their advice on the all-important case study video:

– You’ve got 30, maybe 40 seconds to capture interest or you’re out.
– Put the insight and idea in the first half, demonstrate craft and results in the second (or you’re out)
– Don’t let your VO say: ‘And it worked!’ (or you’re out)
– Don’t let your VO say: ‘Our brilliantly creative idea was…’ (or you’re out) That’s for the jury to decide, not you.
– Spend more time refining the clarity of the case study narrative before you worry about making it pretty.
– But then spend plenty of time making it pretty (or you’re out)

A Cannes Lion has always been a hard thing to win. With the scrutiny of the jury and the swelling number of entries every year, it’s not going to get any easier.

The author, Barrie Seppings, is the Regional Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather Singapore. This article is part of DMA's Cannes Lions coverage. More from Mr Seppings and the team at Ogilvy around the Festival can be found at ogilvydo.com