Cannes Lions, Vol. 2 What it takes to win at Cannes: Five jurors’ views

Jul. 6, 2017
  • Viewpoints
  • Awards

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity took place in the French city of Cannes June 17-24, 2017, and the juries included five members from the Hakuhodo DY Group: Tatsuro Miura, Kazoo Sato, Tomoya Suzuki, Hideaki Ooki, and Sokichi Nakazawa. Here they talk about the Grand Prix winners in the categories they judged and what made each so special, and share their unique insights as jury members.


Tatsuro Miura
Creative Director
Integrated Planning & Creative Division

In the Mobile category, entries like “Hungerithm” and “Like My Addiction” that took the mobile platform to a new level received high marks, as did entries like “Google Home of the Whopper” and “Kiss the Kremlin” that boldly tried things that had never been attempted before on the platform.

“The Family Way” beat out this formidable field of competitors to net the Grand Prix thanks to the unique idea behind it: shooting video of sperm — something the platform was never designed for — and turning the technology for doing so into a whole new product. It was praised as extremely courageous in that it initiated a new conversation about the issue of infertility and gender roles.

My fellow jury members said they looked forward to seeing more such bold, surprising creations come out of Japan. Let’s hope we can live up to their expectations.

Mobile Grand Prix

Recruit Lifestyle, “The Family Way” (Dentsu Y&R, Japan)

Product Design

The jury included an architect, a product designer, a researcher, an engineer, and a university professor; I was the only one with an agency background. In our deliberations all of us were motivated solely by the desire to identify the best entries. When doubts arose about an entry, we would immediately investigate and discuss the question exhaustively. And if someone was skeptical about a product’s functions, we would analyze the design and even take it apart. Thus the judging process was totally professional and fair.

One of the main things that distinguished the entries that won from those that didn’t, I think, was each product’s raison d’être in society. Traditional items that simply had an attractive design fell by the wayside; the clincher was whether the product had enough impact to change society, along with its scalability.

Product Design Grand Prix

Tigo-Une, “Payphone Bank” (Grey Colombia)
NOTE: The video is available for viewing for a limited time on the official website.

Tomoya Suzuki
Stories, LLC. / Stories International, Inc.

The keyword in the newly established entertainment category is “audience first.” An essential consideration in judging each project is whether it redefines its target consumers, in the marketing sense, as an entertainment “audience” and puts that audience first. It’s important that it aim to make the audience glad to have spent time on it, eager to see or experience it again, and ultimately willing to fork out money to do so. For six days we carefully examined more than a thousand projects and videos entered from all parts of the world. The jury of twenty included a high-profile Hollywood producer as well as people from talent agencies, advertising agencies, and many other backgrounds. It was truly a privilege to be able to spend virtually every waking hour in intensive discussion with such wonderful people!

In the end Santander Bank’s “Beyond Money”* was deemed worthy of the Cannes Lions Entertainment Grand Prix, for three reasons.First, the brilliance of the idea: a bank talking about things more important than money.Second, the high quality of the work itself. Viewed as entertainment, was it something customers would feel was seventeen minutes well spent? Yes, it was.Third, was it distributed by a means appropriate to a form of entertainment? This short film wasn’t merely uploaded to a website, it was actually screened at more than twenty theaters.

Entertainment Grand Prix

Santander Bank, “Beyond Money” (MRM/McCann, Spain)
NOTE: The video is available for viewing for a limited time on the official website.
*A seventeen-minute short released by a Spanish bank, about a woman so addicted to shopping she sells her own memories.


Hideaki Ooki
Hakuhodo Kettle

In terms of general trends at Cannes this year, I have the impression that many of the prizes went to entries that tackled head on a challenge facing a product, a company, or society. That drove home to me the fact that creativity can lead directly to solutions, which is encouraging for someone in this industry.And what characterizes the Direct category specifically? I think the question it poses is this: How should companies engage with consumers now that advances in technology and media have made it possible to communicate with them so directly?Given that it’s now possible to convey your message directly, what the jury looks at is how far you’re willing to go, and how daring and sensitive (some of my fellow jury members used the term “romantic” or “sexy”) you are in doing so. Advertising agencies can’t provide the solution alone. Their relationship with advertisers, I noticed, is evolving, as a look at the global industry shows. Creative problem-solving ideas that emerge from a cooperative effort by advertising agencies and advertisers to gauge the right distance from the consumer naturally do well.
This will be a category worth watching over the next couple of years. It also offers many opportunities, because the field is still underdeveloped in Japan.

Direct Grand Prix

Burger King, “Google Home Of The Whopper” (David, USA)
NOTE: The video is available for viewing for a limited time on the official website.


Sokichi Nakazawa
Deputy General Manager, Data Driven Planning Center
Hakuhodo DY Media Partners

The Cannes Lions festival attracts entries from the world over. The number of entries in the Media Lions category is particularly large. For that reason a qualifying round, as it were, is held to draw up a shortlist before the final round of judging at the Cannes festival proper. This year I was on the shortlist jury.

The process of compiling the shortlist is extremely simple. You score each entry online in the categories you’ve been assigned. The judging criteria and their weight are as follows: 30% insight and idea, 20% strategy and targeting, 20% execution, and 30% impact and results. I was responsible for two categories, “Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale” and “Use of Branded Content Created for Digital or Social Media,” and there were more than 300 entries in those two categories alone. That made me realize the creativity and dedication to the job of the world’s agencies and their clients.

A total of 290 entries made it onto this year’s Media Lions shortlist, of which 95 won awards (bronze or better). Nine landed Gold Lions, while the Grand Prix went to “Innovating Saving” by American retailer This was highly acclaimed for being (in the words of the Media Lions jury president) “a media intensive campaign with fantastic social media and search insight” and “building the brand quickly.” wittily hijacked the Super Bowl — during which a fortune is spent each year on TV commercials that grab nationwide attention in the US — on the cheap; produced low-cost radio commercials by getting the Google Translate voice to do the narration; and suggested people peg their spending on gifts for friends to the number of likes they get from them on Facebook (so you don’t need to shell out anything for friends who fail to react to any of your posts, which means you don’t have to spend too much). This integrated media campaign thus embodied the brand promise of saving you money with a very American sense of humor combined with a brilliant media strategy. It also undoubtedly got high marks for precise media execution, including data-driven digital creatives and tag management.

Media Grand Prix, “Innovating Saving” (R/GA, USA)
NOTE: The video is available for viewing for a limited time on the official website.

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