Jonathan Kneebone's Cannes Diary: Day Eight

DSC04297-thumb-350x233-188243.jpgJonathan Kneebone, writer/director, The Glue Society is sitting on the Cannes Lions Cyber jury. Kneebone, along with many jurors, is reporting exclusively for Campaign Brief. Here he gives some insights to the judging.

While the Cannesdemonium has now hit the town, the Cyber Jury have finally finished. Just in time for the award show tonight.

As jury duties go, this one has been extraordinarily hard work. But a relief for us all then that the quality of the work across the board was so strong. By the time we got our 3738 entries to a shortlist of 330, the only challenge has been deciding how to reward things in a fair way.

The 25 of us however appeared to have similar standards. And across the board I can say that every piece of work deserves the recognition it received.

You will probably know the winners by now. But if you don't I won't spoil the surprise.

One notable point perhaps is that we elected to give just one Grand Prix (although we were entitled to award up to three because of the wide ranging nature of the category.)

The reason for just one was that all the remaining entries which had gold were all of a similarly high standard. (Plus some things weren't eligible because they were for charities.)

But there was one piece which managed to have everything going for it. An innovative use of technology, a relevant and newsworthy story, a social impact, a behaviour changing impact, and also worked its socks off.

So what are things I've learnt from spending a week in cyberspace?

1. The worlds of on and offline are closer and more connected than ever before. Cyber is one of the most significant categories because it is almost a given that an idea or campaign will include some digital component to inform, entertain, engage or sell. But here's the thing. There's a massive difference between using it and really using it.

2. There is a level of confidence emerging with technology now that means creative people can afford to and should be braver and bolder with the ambition of their ideas. The very best work we saw kept on growing in impact by very nature of these channels which connect us all. But each of those channels can be made more interesting if you put your mind to it.

3. We need to wake up to the fact that product innovation and design development is something that we could be doing more of for our clients. This is something that needs to become part of the service, rather than seen as their job or someone else's problem. There are only a few companies set up to handle this type of work. And they are now realising that with innovating new products comes the opportunity to simultaneously make them look and feel amazing plus originate some extraordinarily fresh communication. And by combining tech and creativity, the result is potentially mindblowing.

4. That said, you don't have to originate new technology to have an innovative use of technology. A lot of the very best ideas we saw used existing or even antequated technology in brilliantly original ways. But that has to come from an ambition to surprise. It won't happen if you don't make it happen.

5. The need for relevance is crucial. We are so used to helping brands to speak - or say something. But when we start to make them behave or do things, the personality of the brand has to be very well understood to make it meaningful. And if you want people to like it or respond, it has to feel like it is all coming from the right place. A performance can be meaningless or extremely meaningful. By having a sense of purpose which is relevant, and individual, it can affect us.

6. It is far more powerful to make someone laugh than show them a video of someone else being given an experience which supposedly made them laugh. We have almost got so used to making case studies for campaigns, that now we are actually making too many online commercials or social videos which are like case studies. If you want people to share a film, they are far more likely to share it if it actually affects them personally. I think this is a trend which needs to very quickly go out of fashion.

7. The opportunities to be creative in this space are almost endless. But one thing which is absolutely obvious from the winners is that the more human the experience and the more effort that goes into the aesthetics, the better. We did not award anything which wasn't well crafted.

There is much inspiration to be found in looking through this category. I wouldn't just recommend it, I would say it is essential to anyone working in the creative industry to prioritise this aspect of their understanding and thinking.

Because what it's making me realise is that we are all capable of being so much more creative. The bar just got higher. Speaking of which...

View the winners here.

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