“16-hour days of intense judging have been exciting and exhilarating,” says Matt Eastwood, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, JWT and Promo & Activation Jury President at Cannes 2015. He shares his takeaways as Jury President, and says that he would love India to keep pushing; it is a great creative market and one of the best in the world. In a brief conversation with exchange4media, Eastwood talks about his experience as Jury President.
What are your key takeaways as Promo & Activation Jury President?
1. Be truthful and honest in the case study. Don’t over-exaggerate because it detracts from the jury’s opinion of the work if it clearly sounds like it’s made up.
2. Work that has a genuine human insight stands out above everything else because it comes from a foundation of connecting with people first and then overlays that with smart engaging ideas.
3. As brands have to take on a more responsible approach towards their role in society and be advocates for change and positive transformation, we definitely look out for work that achieves that.
India did not even have a shortlist in the category this year. Typically India has done well in Promo and Activation, what are the reasons for this year’s performance in your view?
I was surprised, I expected more work from India to get through. I was in India only a few months ago and saw a lot of great work there, I thought there would be more on the shortlist, but the reality is that there are more than 3200 entries in the shortlist and we got them down to 120 winners. It’s a great reminder that when you sit there for 6 days looking at work, it’s incredibly hard to rise to the top. It’s certainly no crime if you don’t win, because the best stuff that wins is truly incredible and beautifully done.
I would love India to keep pushing. It is a great creative market and one of the best in the world and just keep trying.
What was lacking in Indian entries this year?
I don’t think there was a lot of Indian work that we admired, when we saw it we said, “oh, that is a great promo.” But when the bar is so high, you have to be the very best in the world. I don’t think that there is something that Indian work wasn’t doing only some people were doing it better. That is a result of just continually pushing yourself and I don’t think anyone in India has to be taught that lesson. They already push themselves as hard as they can and should just keep doing that.