Ideas that impacted lives: Here’s what Cannes Lions Shortlist Jury members are looking for

We speak to jury members to know their feelings on being given the responsibility and how they are preparing to view the work

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Published: Jun 8, 2022 7:48 AM  | 3 min read
cannes Lions

Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity recently announced the list of its shortlist jury members – a line-up of eminent advertising experts from across the globe who will be shortlisting world-class creative work and benchmark excellence from thousands of entries that the festival has received from across the globe. The line-up consists of nine excellent industry insiders from India, who will be participating in the remote process soon. e4m recently interacted with a few of them to know their feelings on being part of the shortlist jury and how they are preparing to judge and benchmark the work.


Vaishali Verma, CEO, Initiative

Verma, who is a part of the Media Lions Shortlist Jury, feels that judging the work at festivals like Cannes Lions is a self-learning experience. “I have been a part of the jury for Spikes Dubai and Cannes earlier as well and it is always a great experience to see the work from the best of the creatives globally. This time, I am a part of the media lions shortlist jury and the category is so vast in itself that you get to see a lot of inspiring work. It is a rewarding journey to see cultural insights from various parts of the world.”

This year, she is most excited to see work that highlights gender diversity, is supportive of the DE&I initiatives, and that has some element of going beyond creativity and actually impacting people’s lives. “I am biased towards campaigns that have the power to emotionally draw me – be it around gender issues, disparities, or any social unjust. There are a lot of brands that are doing great work in that space and also partnering with NGOs, extending financial support (to the causes).”

On her judging criteria, she highlights, “The work should be cutting-edge, disruptive, result-oriented, and must have a great insight to stand out for me. It is even better if the idea is able to achieve some objective and is scalable.”

How she looks at work from countries whose culture and languages she might not be adept at; Verma says that research and a good case study always help.


Gazal Jain, Executive Creative Director, Havas

Jain is really excited and thrilled about joining the Cannes shortlist jury for the first time ever. She is a part of the Brand Experience & Activation Lions Shortlist Jury. “It is a surreal feeling to be judging excellent work from across the work in a category in which I had won two years ago. It is overwhelming too, how to score the work and compare it with another piece, because frankly, all the entries that I have seen were great.”

To ease her process, Jain, therefore, is looking for a few key aspects while judging a campaign, “It should be relatable to the market. There are certain global campaigns and there are some very region-specific ones. They should be able to relate to the people they are trying to reach out to. I am looking for heartfelt work and ideas that matter. The campaigns should have created a larger impact for me to score them the highest.”




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