As the Jury President for Media Lions, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Nick Emery, CEO, Mindshare Worldwide had only three rules for his jurors this year – it should be about the work, not politics; should factor in media craft and it should adhere to the criteria where results are as important as the idea itself.
In a conversation with DMA, Mr Emery reflected, “We had to keep the politics out as a shadow has been casted on these awards in past. Media craft was important to factor in because, at present, around 80 per cent of the work in Media Lions category comes from creative agencies. We cannot stop that and we should not discriminate against that either. We should however ascertain that the idea has the media rigour in it. Finally, and especially from a media agency viewpoint, it is easy to be swayed by the creative idea but it is necessary to take a pause and check what the strategy or targeting or results was. We had a fantastic jury that stayed with all these points, and I am happy with the entries that we have awarded this year.”
One of the takeaways for Mr Emery in the course of judging the Media Lions entries was that lines where blurring as to what defined “media”. He also remarked that comparing an NGO ad to a large multinational corporation was unfair in a sense. “How do you compare a burger ad to a child adoption ad? It is not a fair comparison,” he said.
With similar moral questions and the use of new technology, Mr Emery described the jury debate as ‘stimulating’. Elaborating on a larger question, on how media agencies should view the category, Mr Emery observed, “Media agencies should be more confident in their work because it really is as good. Creative agencies enter the same work across various categories and that is a mistake. They lose out on points for some of the parameters. It is also a function of the industry. Media agencies are driven by cautious procurement of commodity.”
Mr Emery pointed out that there is a gap between the kind of work that is coming for charity organisations and for large superpower advertisers. “Large brands do some really good work but it is safe. In some cases, if you you swapped the corporate colours and logos, it is all the same. I did not also think that some of these brands are addressing Millennials as they should and they are in the process just creating some boring work.”
From a perspective of the region’s performance, Mr Emery reiterated that the jury did not filter the work with that lens while judging but some at an overall level, large Asia Pacific markets such as India, China and Australia were not outgunned by their Western counterparts. He summed up, “I would also like to see more work coming from the Southeast Asian markets.”