Ronald Ng's Direct Lions report from Cannes

ronaldnew 3.jpgRonald Ng, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO/Proximity Malaysia is on this year's Cannes Lions Direct Jury. The judging is already underway and each day Ronald will be keeping us up to date with the progress. Here's his Day One report.

I'm in this big room overlooking the Cote d'Azur where 4 topless grannies are sunbathing. But I swear my attention is on the 1,300 entries in front of me.
 
There's a drop in entries. Not too bad if you consider how 'un-good' things are today. But I'm sure, and most importantly, all the best ones were submitted.
 
It will take three days to shortlist the entries and another two days to award the lions.
 
Terry Savage kicked off the briefing with a concise speech. His clearest point was on the issue of scams. Look out, kick out.
 
Then it was Jury President, David Sable's turn. The brief was better than most of the briefs you and I are used to. In short, the idea is king. If you can't explain it to someone in an elevator, you don't have one.
 
He illustrated his point with a few interesting quotes:
-      "An idea that is developed and put into action is more important that an idea that exists only as an idea." Buddha.
-      "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea." Oscar Wilde.
-      "I don't give a damn about a man who can only spell a word one way." Mark Twain.
 
We went on to discuss the importance the execution and how to deal with the creativity of inflated results figures. Anyways, we reminded ourselves about David's first point on the idea being the ruler of everything.
 
So, we split into 6 groups and got on with the arduous task of separating the great from the not-so-great.
 
Our group judged Dimensional Mail right up to lunchtime. The session was for the most part, uninspiring. We were hit with a barrage of bad, often cryptic, and very long-winded entry videos. And then, there was hope. I hear Sarah Silverman's nasal cry for the Jewish vote! Wait a minute, that was from the next room! 
 
Time for lunch, thank God! I've only been here a day and I think I've had too much cheese already. Please send rice and mutton curry!
 
Back to work. And yes, there is a god. Broadcast Direct Response was definitely much better than the morning session. It was interesting to see how the use of 'traditional' mediums can be so non-traditional. There were some gems, and I hope they go on to win a few lions. The search for the 'Blue Ocean' in film and radio could well be what's next for all of us.
 
So, that was Day 1. It was a day where ideas that inspired dialogue and response stood out. I did my best to not look at the entries as a judge, but as a consumer. How will my mates, and my mom react to them? Will the idea change my behavior? Will I remember it tomorrow morning?
 
Or on Sunday, when we decide on the golds and Grand Prix. Let's see.

2 Comments

Anonymous said:

Sarah Silverman is judging in the next room?

Anonymous said:

Tough gig Ronald. My mom is cooking mutton curry tonight!

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