PHD London > News > PHD Worldwide CEO and Media Lions jury chair Philippa Brown on this year’s crop of Cannes Lions entries
June 22 2021

PHD Worldwide CEO and Media Lions jury chair Philippa Brown on this year’s crop of Cannes Lions entries

Our Views

Cannes Lions is all about creativity, but media still has a place in the show.

On Tuesday, the Cannes Lions jury revealed the winners of the Media Lions, which honour the context of creativity by highlighting work that is enhanced and amplified by a game-changing channel strategy.

“Part of the challenge with the Media Lions is trying to decouple it from a great creative idea,” said Brown. “But when the targeting is wrong, or you choose the wrong media, or don’t have flawless executions or pick up on some of the new technology, it’s not successful.”

Purpose and gaming steal the show

It’s not surprising that purpose was a big theme in this year’s awards entries. From climate change to racial equality to female empowerment, big companies are spending a lot of time trying to contribute positively to society. 

“Consumers are expecting big brands and companies to talk about, in an authentic way, how they can help and what they can do for good,” explained Brown. Authenticity is key on these campaigns, as “we can spot quite quickly when a brand is just attaching itself to a cause without really knowing why.”

Channel fragmentation means cross-platform executions also stood out, especially campaigns that tapped into new platforms such as TikTok. But gaming executions really stole the show, and Brown said the jury is recommending that Cannes create a separate category for gaming next year because the entries were so strong.

Cannes is ‘incredibly important’

“Celebrating great work, whether it’s creative or media, is the heartbeat of our industry,” Brown said. Though some of the magic is lost when you can’t bump elbows with clients, prospects and partners on La Croisette.

“Even though people say it’s expensive, it’s actually a very good way of seeing lots of clients in one go. It’s so efficient,” she said. “I mean, it’s frantic, but, my gosh, you get a lot done.”

Brown also talks about media fragmentation, the pressures of virtual judging and why this isn’t a COVID Cannes. For the full Campaign article, click here.

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