Jimmy Lam's Cannes Diary: Day Four

jimmylam2014.jpgJimmy Lam, Vice Chairman & Chief Creative Officer at DDB Group China, is sitting on the Direct Lions jury. Lam, along with many other  jurors from the Asia Pacific region, is reporting from the jury room exclusively for Campaign Brief.

To my understanding, there were slightly over 3,000 entries in the Direct Lions. After remote judging when each juror was assigned in groups of five to vote about 300 entries for the shortlist, there were about 2,400 left. After first three days of different composition of groups of five judging, the first shortlist came to about 300.

On Day 4, all 25 jurors sat together for the first time, viewing and voting together, still with no discussion. It was a bloody long day, from 08:30 till 22:30. The same conference meal for lunch, take out pizza and sushi look-alike for quick dinner, before all of us dragged our brain dead bodies back to kinky hotel 3.14.
Around 20:00 last night, one of the jury was picked up by ambulance and taken to the nearest hospital. Nope, we haven't started debating on the winning entries yet. The bloke suddenly found his left foot swollen. To play safe, he was sent to hospital for blood test. We will have a clearer picture when we assemble this morning at 08:30. Maybe I will see him at breakfast, over the same food we have had for last five mornings.

As usual, before the first vote was casted, there was alway the debate on whether we should first look for the big ideas, or we should be critical to the direct response-ness and results of the entries in this round.  After all, this is Direct Lions and not Promo, Activation, Media, Cyber, Mobile.....etc.  There were also debates on some entries in TV, Print or Outdoor that are not really Direct TV, Print, Outdoor...etc.  

Cannes Direct Jury.jpgDirect jury judging.jpgDirect_Tablet.jpgJury_Direct.jpgAfter about an hour past, Jury President Judy called the discussion to its end, and Day 4 judging commenced. Everyone went back to play around with the tablet....to tap 1 to 3 for not for shortlist, 4- 5 for want it to be on shortlist, 6 - 9 for may be it is a winner. Our votes will subsequently give the entries their ranking in each category for judging in Day 5.

As usual, there were entries that kept popping up in almost every other category. Sometimes, it gets me falling in love with the work more and more, sometimes it starts to get into my nerves. And worse, I may start spotting some minor shortcomings of such entries. Though the agency entrants may be loaded with money, and hiding from their CFO at New York or Paris headquarter, submitting your favourite entry in whatever categories you can, may work both ways.

One more thing, if you are entering your work to Direct, Promo & Activation, Media, Integrated or whatever, rewrite your presentation board and video presentation according to the the specific judging criteria of each category.

It is a pain and an expensive exercise, but that is how best to play this game. I have seen quite many 'generic' video presentation got shot down in flames. Particularly in Direct, where juries are very critical towards specific targeting and response, not on so much earned media or worst "the campaign leaves good impression of the brand/product to the consumers".

Direct juries want to know both the quantity and quality of response from the targeted consumers.



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