The sound of the winners: Beep beep beep. The sound of barcode scanning was echoing in my head during two days screening and shortlisting entries, and it just made me feel like I was in a supermarket scanning groceries.
It was a fun job, but as part of the jury, it was very challenging. The beep sound indicated that the works were impressive in terms of art direction, photo shooting—well-crafted works—but we were looking for more than that. We scanned them through in a search of fresh and new ideas that could take the jurors and the world further than before. Works that were full of surprises, new executions and, most importantly, the insight that could move us.
There were quite a lot of print entries from Asia (based on the number I viewed, which was only a third of the approximately 3,000 entries). Many of them made it on the shortlist. At this point, we saw some works that were weak compared to all of those shortlisted. Some of the works used the same old patter; using what had already been done, with similar executions from past winning works, using the same ideas but with weaker art direction, for example.
From what I noticed, many works, including those from Asia, were executed with CGI and beautifully crafted illustration and graphics. But when I saw entries from Interflora and Freddo ice cream, they made me pause, and I suddenly smiled as I read the lines. They had strong dimensions of insight that were relatable for their audiences, including me.
The most entered category that had an extensive shortlist was Art Direction. There were 91 entries on the shortlists, which we finalised to 67. Imagine how many entries they were during the first round of screening.
The renamed Print & Publishing category was quite interesting, but there were not too many entries globally, let alone from Asia. The campaign that the jury liked most was Paradise Hill's “It’s Not OK”, hence it won gold. I felt the idea was brilliant as it was very emotionally captivating, stunning and utilized Home magazine well.
The jury also enjoyed Ikea's Special Offers campaign from Saudi Arabia that also won a Gold Lion. I thought it was such a simple and clever idea!
Thailand did accomplish outstanding work in winning a Gold Lion for Arabus's 3 in 1 Coffee campaign. The work made me and all the jury laugh as we enjoyed looking at each pictures in the works. The campaign was fresh, with a new twist on the idea.
Another campaign from Thailand that stood out among the Art Direction & Photography categories was McDonald’s 'Loving the Night'. It won a Silver Lion due to it's good craft of photography and well selected moments.
Japan, Philippines, Singapore and UAE also won Bronze Lions in variety of categories, followed by a number of shortlists for China, Indonesia, and India.
I think this year Asia has done a very impressive job in winning in multiple categories. Although this year may not have been the best year for inspiring Asian works, I strongly believe and remain positive that Asia has the potential to produce creative content like we used to.
Cannes was a really great experience for me. Being surrounded by amazing jurors from all over the world was very inspiring and gave me a lot of new, fresh perspectives. Thank you Cannes Lions!
Nisa Mujjalintrakool is the executive creative director for Dentsu Thailand.