Jimmy Lam's Cannes Diary: Day Three

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.

When accepting the invitation to be a Cannes Lions jury, one needs to sign a Jury's Code of Conduct which includes not disclosing of information from the judging sessions.  Hence, reader should not be expecting specific comments on entries from any contributing writer to Campaign Brief.
At the juries welcome cocktails three nights ago, Cannes Lions CEO Phil Thomas has also reiterated this non-disclusure point.  What I like best about Phil's address, was that he has witnessed in past years, juries who got to know each other during judging subsequently form started up new agencies.  But so far, he has yet to see any marriage between juries as a result of getting stuck in the same room for a week.


IMG_4277.jpgWith the addition of more Lions categories started judging today, the area I was judging has 18 rooms of juries judging simultaneously.  Because each judging room is formed by partitions only and not sound insulated, it can be rather distracting hearing audio of video presentation from the other rooms. And, only judging room sandwiched between two others is equipped with headphones for the five juries and judging operator. I questioned Cannes Lions Chairman Terry Savages why they having headphones for IMG_4290.jpgevery judging room. He said they cannot afford to buy that many headphones. Terry is a funny man.

As I cannot tell you about  the many entries that made me sleepy or the few entries that gave me a hard on, let me share more silver haired wisdom on the way video presentation should be prepared.

1) Avoid making the campaign sound like it has changed the fate of mankind or being the best thing since sliced bread as no jury will ever believe it.
IMG_4300.jpg2) When you say product sales has been increased by 38%, do mention how long did it take. Making ambiguous success claims only create suspicion from juries.
3) Make sure the sound level of your audio track is higher than the level you used to hear Yo-yo Ma playing Bach's Cello Suite. The judging operator can always turn down the volume if it is too loud but not the other way.
4) Clarity is critical. Much of the time, we are too familiar with our work, skipping description or information we assume the juries will know.  On the other FullSizeRender.jpghand, too much explanation will give juries the impression that you are teaching them how to suck eggs.
5) The first 15 seconds of your video presentation is most crucial for juries to get your points. So is the last 15 seconds. (Shit, do I sound like those research guys at Millward Brown now?)

Three days of shortlisting is done.  I am very much looking forward to going through the shortlisted entries tomorrow, and start open discussion with all 25 juries, and Jury President Judy John (above) who is having her birthday today.


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