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Cannes 2015: Some tips from inside the Jury Room at Cannes

23-June-2015
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Cannes 2015: Some tips from inside the Jury Room at Cannes

So I am done with the jury duties on the mobile jury – five days of fairly exhaustive discussions and deliberations.

The last day especially was a long day, and it was about 10 pm, by the time we were done, with our final decisions on the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions, as well as the one Grand Prix winner in the category.

As the award ceremony is still to happen as I write this, I am unable to divulge much about the actual entries and the work.

However, there is a fair amount of learning at a generic level, which I am happy to share here.

  1. It is a big deal to be even in the final consideration set, at Cannes. Brands MUST participate, if they believe they have done some good work. It is really good recognition.
     
  2. In a reasonably innovation-intensive, tech categories like Mobile, not ALL entries were about technology brilliance. In fact, some of them were very simple and interesting executions of an existing technology. So do not think that if you do not have outstanding tech work, you cannot compete. If you have done something path-breaking, even if at the core, it is a simple idea, it can work.
     
  3. In any broad category, there are multiple sub-categories. Identify where your entry is best fitted. If you have great work, but it is in the wrong sub-category, it may suffer. Each time we evaluated work, we spent a lot of time considering if it was the right fit for the sub-category. And if it wasn’t, it did not move forward.
     
  4. The case film is very crucial. That said, it does not need to be exaggerated. The jury typically, is very smart. They have seen things, they know the numbers, they know what’s generally possible and what is not. So if there are results that appear to be highly overblown, and one can see through such cases, it may hurt your case.
     
  5. Otherwise, doing a good case film, which unambiguously talks about the problem, and then, the solution that the entry provided, how it worked, what impact it had in terms of results, etc., that is about enough. But often, the simple is not easy to execute. Entries make the mistake of complicating their case films and don’t get the details across. That again, hurts their case!
     
  6. But it is certainly not just the case film. Especially in a category like mobile. Here, often, we have tried out the app directly, or seen the website, or gone to the iTunes store to read reviews, etc. Being a very transparent category, in that sense, it is not easy to get away with fancy talk that is not supported by fact.
     
  7. Most importantly, for the mobile category, we were very keen to see if the idea was “mobile” related (“can this also happen, if we didn’t use mobile” filter), and then looked at the creative component, the idea itself, the brand connect, etc. We looked at the respective sub-category, and how close the fit was, to that category.
     
  8. There is good room for non-profit kind of work to come in. There are a few categories that seem quite ideal for them. And there is actually a fair amount of creativity that one can bring into work for NGOs. So that is something worth thinking about.

All in all, I can see that if you have a good piece of work, and then you can present it correctly, there is a good chance for it to get a Lion or at least close to it.

Hoping to see a lot more entries and a few winners in Mobile Lions, coming from India, in coming years.

The author is Joint-CEO, Social Wavelength.

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