My Cannes highlights: SheungYan Lo

Mayan_Cannes_1.jpgCampaign Brief Asia asked Cannes Lions delegates to nominate their highlights of the week, from both the work and personal experiences, at this year's Festival. Here's J Walter Thompson China's SheungYan Lo.

It's a very inspiring week. Surrounded by so many good seminars, forums, workshops, and most importantly great work, it's a rewarding week. This year, we see lots of soul searching from marketers, agencies, start-up, media, activists, entertainers and celebrities trying to become purposeful in this new era, and of course people have not stopped exploring the future scene of our industry will look like.  
 
No matter how rich the content of the week is, it's still about celebrating the best work from around the world.
In most cases, it's difficult to see the winning campaign first hand in the market. So when something that's launched globally and is highly visible wins big; that's worth even more applause. When I first saw the iPhone 6 Outdoor Campaign in China, it wowed me on two levels: it's simply beautiful and it's also a smart and simple solution to tackle a real perception problem of the product. What a great thought and what a simple and eye pleasing execution. It's a good wake up call for our market where people believe in over complicated strategy and analysis; and have little faith in the power of simple creative solution. People are smart and we need to have faith in that and confidence in ourselves too.

I am also very delighted to learn that the ALS's Ice Bucket Challenge has won. Once again, for a campaign that took the world by storm and win in Cannes, it can lift the Show to a new level and more connected to the world. When I go home and my kids ask me who won, at least I can share with them this; a campaign that they are also supporting.

I also salute the "Great Chinese names for Great Britain", a very simple idea but it's a very spot on solution to get the Chinese travelers engaged more with the foreign English attractions. So that they feel more interested to visit.
 
Mayan_Designer.jpgMayan_Swimmer2.jpgMayan_GoogleYoutube2.jpgInside the seminar and forum rooms, the two most inspiring speakers to me are two very charming ladies: Jessica Walsh: Art Director, Designer, Partner in Sagmeister & Walsh speaking in "A Creative Renaissance" and Diana Nyad; Journalist, Swimmer featured in "Truth and Dare Cannes 2015".

While Jessica shares how her playful mind generates very lovely design and also the very polarizing "40 Days of Dating Project", Diana tells us how she picked up her unfinished mission at the age of 60 to finally succeed in swimming across Florida and Cuba without a Shark Cage.

They both so genuinely love what they are pursuing and do it. They are happy, optimistic and unpretentious people. Both of their speeches ring in my ears and give me a good pause to reflect. Brian Gazer, Producer, Film Maker and Author also spoke at the session "Curiosity and a Curious Mind". He inspired us to make curiosity a habit, and he has interviewed one truly interesting person every two weeks for the past 35 years.
 
Another highlight in the Grand Audi is recognizing how Youtube decide (not censor) on what to show or not to show online. Say, when they deal with ISIS videos, what goes through their mind to balance in "promoting creative expression and fighting abuse to help rid the world of extremism and oppression". And when they ask us to participate in the decision process, you know this balancing act is not easy at all.
 
After taking in all these interesting and inspiring sessions, there's no better way to finish the day than to sit down with your fellow delegates and share with each other thoughts of the day. My colleagues from Beijing invited me and Norman Tan to go to their temporary home to taste their French seafood cooked with Chinese touches. The food tasted so good and the discussion with the young people was just as fulfilling.
 
SheungYan Lo (Mayan as he is commonly known - pictured very top, 2nd on left) is the Shanghai based Chairman, APAC of the J. Walter Thompson Creative Council.

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