OOO for Jury Service


Cannes Lions has just announced the juries for 2015 – and our very own Creative Director James Nester is on the Cyber panel. Here he talks about one of the biggest challenges in store for him and fellow judges.

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So I’m one of the Cyber jurors for Cannes 2015.

This means that while my peers are nursing hangovers on the glorious Google beach, I’ll be stuck in a dark room, between twelve and sixteen hours a day, agonising over thousands of entries. I’m delighted.

No really, I am.

This is an opportunity to see the best work the world has to offer; get an inside view on how the planet’s most important ad festival works; and a chance to stay in the Carlton rather than just buy extortionate drinks there. But it’ll be hard work for sure. And other than a severe vitamin D deficit, the biggest challenge my fellow jurors and I will be wrestling with is this.

What is ‘Cyber’ anyway?

Take one of last year’s most famous winners – Volvo’s “Epic Split” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme – it won the Film Grand Prix last year, and quite rightfully so. It happened to win the Cyber Grand Prix too. While Dumb Ways to Die won just about every Lion possible – including Cyber – the year before. Given that everything is online these days, ‘Cyber’ just describes…well, everything, doesn’t it?

There’s a strong argument that it shouldn’t.

As in every Lions category, the very best examples of Cyber campaigns will always have a big idea at their heart. But this year, I hope to see loads of work that feels like its doing something game-changing within the digital world. With technology moving so fast, I hope we’ll be spoilt for choice.

As for the social sub-categories which my colleagues at We Are Social and I helped to define back in 2014, I hope to see campaigns built on an understanding of how people behave. Ideas that tap into the power of people, rather than the power of media spend. A TV ad that happens to go viral – no matter how epic – probably won’t tick the box.

Finally, I hope to see the Google beach – if only briefly.

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James Nester and fellow Creative Director Graham Jenks have been recognised at Cannes several times, most notably winning Cyber and Direct Lions for ‘The Gnome Experiment’, the world’s most awarded direct campaign 2012 (Big Won Report) and the world’s most awarded PR campaign 2013 (Holmes Report).