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Cannes 2015: The Media Lions are about ideas that work, not stunts: Nick Emery

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Cannes 2015: The Media Lions are about ideas that work, not stunts: Nick Emery

“I really enjoyed the jury process despite the reputation of the media jury being really competitive. The jury got on really well. We stuck to three criteria that the judging should be about the work not the politics, should be about ideas and results, and the results of the media jury should be whatever we are all collectively proud of as a jury, and we stuck to it,” says Nick Emery, Global CEO, Mindshare & 2015 President of Media Lions Jury.

Emery explains how through a rigorous voting process, the media jury brought the entries from 3100 to 350 and then 290.

Observations as President of Media Lions Jury

“Why can’t big multinationals, not advertisers hold themselves to the same standard that NGOs are held to when it comes to impacting creativity? The big multinational advertisers are all doing the same standard of work, and I don’t mean to criticise them they are all good but not breakthrough. It turns the jury and audiences off,” remarks Emery.

NGOs seem to follow an equation like let’s have a cause, let’s get people to participate, use digital and social both effectively, he adds.

Advice to agencies sending entries to Media Lions Jury

Emery says, “If you do an ad next year, please don’t say “we did this on zero media budget, Facebook exploded, millennials were pumped”. You hear this 1000 times. Let the work speak for itself don’t go over the top, believe in the strength of the idea and explain it as being a simple and effective idea, and stick to the criteria. You don’t have to be over the top and you don’t have to bombard people with 3 minutes of loud music.”

He also notes if you try to cover up the work with a ridiculous blizzard of hyperbolic facts and figures which make no sense, you won’t win.

"Nothing is outside of media’s compass. Everything begins and ends in media from retail beacons to Hollywood blockbusters. Whether you have A Beautiful Mind or whether you are the next Dali, you will find a home in media. All of which makes judging the Cannes Media Lions a demanding role. Historically these demands have not been without controversy. If everything is a medium how can you put judging guardrails around the category?  In terms of the ambition of media we should have no guardrails.  In terms of our duty as judges to everyone who works in media, we need a few,” says Emery.

“The Media Lions judging criteria contains everything you need to know and like all exams the clue is in the question. The Media Lions are about ideas that work, not stunts. Stunts are small scale, great ideas work at scale, not as one off copy tests or as awards designed novelties. The Media Lions are about ideas rooted in media, created, planned and executed by media people wanting to break conventions. They are about the rigour of media combined with off the wall invention and effective delivery,” Emery concludes.

It is our job to celebrate and champion media at its best and the connection of data, technology and content that makes media so compelling." Said Emery in his message to the media jury before the judging.

Nick Emery has been working in the global media field for the last 25 years. He has lived in New York, LA, Valencia, London and Yorkshire and now resides in some hybrid of New York, London and Shanghai.

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