The International Advertising Festival (IAF) is pleased with the Cannes Lions 2008 and is already geared for the year ahead. Festival officials divulged that in addition to some more award categories, Cannes Lions 2009 might also see some changes in Festival rules. While a final decision on everything would be taken after debriefing Cannes Lions 2008, the IAF is also geared for its latest property, Asia Tigers, which is scheduled for 2009.
Speaking on what could be expected next year from Cannes Lions, Terry Savage, Chairman, International Advertising Festival, said, “The first step in preparing for the next year is to debrief this year, speak to the people that we are in touch with and get more information from the audiences on the kind of changes that we should add to the Festival. PR would be introduced in Cannes Lions next year, and Craft is another potential category that we might add next year. We would continue to ensure that we put on a great seminar programme, focus more on the Young Lions programme, as we look at that category.”
He also informed that given the growth in the Films category with the introduction of the B category, that includes work done in other screens like mobile and online, the traditional Festival rule of appointing the same the Jury President for the Press Lions and Films Lions would also be deliberated further for the next year.
Very clearly the IAF is excited about its latest offering, Asia Tigers. “It is a three-day advertising festival, which would have the same premium values of Cannes Lions, but with the nuances of the Asia market that would reflect the cultural differences of Asia. We obviously don’t want to dump the Cannes Lions concept in Asia. We want to work with the community in the region to develop something that is unique to them and, in fact, create a platform for the great people that work in Asia but may not be well-known in the western markets, but should be as well known,” explained Savage.
Could this eat into the Asia delegation that comes to Cannes Lions? Savage replied, “Cannes Lions is a global event and it has a price point that is very expensive. It has a natural element of the top-end of the market. We think that there is a great opportunity to allow the people further down in the market to experience the phenomena that you can get from festivals. The regional festival is more about reaching another section of the market altogether. The indication that we go from Dubai Lynx is, in fact, very positive. When we had started Dubai Lynx, we had 30 delegates from the UAE, now there are 84, and from other markets as well.”
The IAF has clearly chalked out quite a lot that it is going to dive into as soon as the team returns to London after completing the final formalities for the 55th Cannes Lions.