Jimmy Lam's Cannes Diary: Day Six

jimmylam2014-thumb-300x275-188249.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.

The Final Judgement.

Day six started at 0830. After yesterday's scoring, entries of each category by had been ranked. Category by category, we were asked to vote via the tablet, for Gold, Silver, Bronze or Remain as Shortlist, after exchange of reasons for like or dislike between juries.
With 25 jurors from all part of the world and two third of them not being native English speakers, in a room bombarded by noise generated by preparation work for the festival outside, it took a bit of patience for jurors to listen to each other.  But we did.

Jurors whose entry was in for discussion, would need to leave the room. Jury President, Judy John,  was only require to vote when an entry was tied in votes or short of one vote to strike metal. Occasionally, our judging facilitator would remind us our votes were being monitored by their computer system for any irregularity, i.e if one vote was way too high or too low comparing to rest of juries. And, votes for your own entry was automatically eliminated by the system. 

Each juror also has an one time option to nominate an entry in the shortlist which was not awarded, to be voted on, after stating his/her rationale.  But, this can not be an entry from your own agency or from the agency of same network. I must say, the Cannes Lions judging system is close to bullet proof for manipulated voting.

Like any awards judging, juries tend to be very conservative in giving out Gold on first half of the day, and kind of regretted being mean bastards over lunch break. After voting for medals from the shortlist was competed. We were given time to do sanitary check, to go back to the entries not awarded gold, to see if we want to re vote anything. However juries can not vote down any awarded entry. 

At the end of the day, I feel we were slightly generous on the Golds which were once again won by strong entries that popped up in multiple categories. But we were very conscious about how such entry met the judging criteria of the specific category. Jury President reiterated that the entry should not be punished because of winning in multiple categories, as long as it survives its acid test in that category. It's a civilised and fair practice.

In the early afternoon, we were optimistically hoping to finish by 20:00. It was wishful thinking.   At 20:30, Lebanese take out arrived. 

On the same floor the Promo & Activation juries panel was also in the same drill, except their take out dinner was pizza. Whenever Gold was awarded, juries applauded. There seemed to be a race between the two juries panels for applauses and for "it is a wrap".

Cannes_night.jpgWhen all the Golds were cast in stone, we took a 30 minutes break so that the judging facilitating team could sort out their judging system. Then, we were asked to vote on each Gold, if it was a Grand Prix contender, via the tablet. Subsequently there were only two Grand Prix contenders. And that's when the agony began.

Both contenders were brilliant gold winners. One used hijacking tactic to give an up-yours to the big spending competitors, with close to nothing cost. One has such strong consumer insight, idea absolutely relevant to the product, plus result survived the acid test of a direct response work.

The juries were split. 

Though in fatigue mode, both camps presented their viewpoints with calm emotion.  At 01:10, after the third rounds of voting, a Grand Prix was born with two third majority, i.e 15 votes when one of the jury needed to abstain. Direct judging completed, only 15 minutes after Promo & Activation was a wrap.

Applauses were made, champagne was popped, juries hugging each others after six days of hard work, from being strangers to knowing how to tease each other.

At 01:30, I dragged myself back to kinky hotel 3.14, too bloody tired to join some of the jorors having drinks at the Gutter Bar.

In these past six days, old dog Lam has learned quit a lot from fellow juries, particularly those Direct Response specialists. I can't wait to share my learnings with the DDBers back in China.



Warts & All said:

Good night Jimmers, me old egg…I enjoyed your reviews. "Calm emotion"….I learned a new phrase from an old dog….hehe.

All good things said:

Thanks for a very enjoyable and insightful blog Jimmy.
Balanced and flavoured with the right about of dry wit.

Dear Diary said:

What a fiasco! Apparently this jury took three days to debate what 'DIRECT' means….realllly?!!!

The eventual grand prix winner from Volvo raises many questions for me…

Its basically a contest telling people to tweet someones name whenever they see a car in a commercial on Super Bowl…and that someone could win a new volvo…so it's a lucky draw if you were to name it plainly. I do not understand how this can be labelled as DIRECT marketing….can Jimmy explain? It feels more like a PROMO category to me. The video does not show how this contest mechanics were communicated to people…was it through DM (unlikely), print, social media or TV? Using such mass media doesn't sound very "direct" to me

Plus the agency claims that volvo experienced "a 70% sales lift" as a result…Im calling BS on this….you're giving away a free car in a contest and people went out and bought heaps of Volvos as a result??! Come on!

I thought the other campaign for the marc dorcel porn site was way more interesting and more DIRECT!!

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