Tay Guan Hin's Cannes Diary: Day One

TayGuanHin_CannesPic1.jpgTay Guan Hin, Southeast Asia ECD at J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific, is a Cannes 2015 Cyber Jury member. Guan Hin, along with other jurors from the Asia Pacific region, is reporting from the jury room for Campaign Brief Asia. Here is his introduction to the judging and in his next column will wrap up the whole judging.

While I'm writing this, I'm reminded by what Lions Festival CEO Philip Thomas said in his opening remarks to the juries: "Please don't tweet, text, Facebook, Instagram any confidential info about the work or the judges. Don't write about whom you hate, but whom you love." He added, "Please don't predict what will win the Grand Prix." False expectations will cause more harm than good. He cited an example of how he gave the same speech last year, but some judge posted a photo of the first creative he judged on social media right after.  So without letting any cyber cats out of the bag, here's some takeaways from the jury room.
This year, there were over 3,700 cyber entries, an increase from last year. A few weeks prior we had to pre judge about 500 entries. Tough work, but I was inspired by what I have seen so far. The long-list came down to about 2,200 pieces.

It's a huge group, 24 of us, and we spread out into groups of 5 to get through it all. My group consists of Jonathan Kneebone from Glue Society, whom I've known for a while, Kris Bengtson from Crispin Porter+ Bogusky, Sweden, Dennis May, MD creative from DDB Germany, and Jean Lin, Global CEO of Isobar

Three trends I see from the work so far are:

• Wearable computing. Use of VR goggles, like Oculus Rift, or other sensors are being integrated into the way stories are being told or experienced.
• Seamless human connection between the digital world and the real world in real time. Kinetic body movement to activate or trigger a response or action in the digital world, for example thru game play.

• How big data can turn to big insights, which are visualized beautifully which help or develop better understanding for creativity that's not only effective but very useful.
Jean Lin, this year's Cyber Jury President, noted at the start of our judging session that the "key thing we need to ask ourselves as juries is how do we want the world to see the shortlist that we created? If we don't have a strong shortlist to choose from we won't have grand prix, gold, silver and bronze. We need to set the standard for the future. Cyber is consistently changing, and digital has become the center of everything we do. When we give lions, hopefully it's work that wouldn't be able to win in other categories."

We are looking for industry changing work. New ways to tell stories that evoke emotions. Game changing creative that gives a unique or personal touch through technology. She encouraged us to park our companies outside and be ourselves. To use our personal experiences, as passionate creative individuals, to study and enjoy each piece thoughtfully.

To me the best part of being a part of the judging panel is learning from each other.  People from diverse cultures will have very different perspective on the same piece of work. Perhaps we don't always agree, but we can always respect their point of view.  I know my personal learning experience will continue to grow in this exciting category.

I wish I can say more about the work I've seen, but since I have signed the confidentiality letter all I can do is say 'watch this space'.  It's going to offer a road map for where we're all heading. 


Critical. Not cynical. said:

The only road map Cyber Cannes can show us is the most expensive and quickest credibility-destroying way for driving the industry off the cliff.
Has anyone ever seen VR goggles and kinetic activation exist in the real world,outside of 'case study' videos?
Have you seen how clients roll their eyes every time they are forced to watch these videos as a means to pre-sell the agency's attempt to rip-off the same idea with their brand?
Have you seen clients fall off their seat when presented with the cost estimate for these ideas?
Have you seen their look of anger and disgust when the final execution falls short of expectations because the technology you said would work, actually doesn't?

We should all take the wisdom of Jimmy Lam's diary.
Clearly he has a good BS filter.

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