David Guerrero, creative chairman of BBDO Guerrero in the Philippines, was a judge on the Glass Lions panel in 2018. The shortlist entries for these awards were debated live for the first time this year. India won three of the 11 awards given out overall, including a Gold Lion for FCB India’s ‘Sindoor Khela – No Conditions Apply’ campaign for Times of India, which was one of Campaign Asia's Cannes Contenders.
Here Guerrero talks us through his experiences judging the Glass Lions live.
It’s not every Cannes jury that starts with a five-minute meditation. But then this was not any Cannes jury. The Glass Lion: the Lion for Change award grew out of a conversation between Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Phil Thomas, CEO of the festival, in 2014 and was established in 2015. This year, for the first time, the shortlisted entries presented their cases live to the jury.
For two days we saw presentations from each of the 27 teams with each strictly – as in cut-off-mid-sentence-strictly – limited to 10 minutes each. The jury then had another 10 minutes to ask questions. Occasionally the first question was: “Can you please finish your sentence?” Sometimes we were moved by the passion of the team. Sometimes the opposite was true.
The interesting thing about this process was the quality of the conversations it engendered. Our fittingly diverse panel counted seven women and three men; representation from every major continent; across age and discipline. This was a group that genuinely brought unique insights into the discussions. We always sought to encourage but as one juror put it: “Don’t come in expecting a friendly chat about how nice the work is.”
Jury president Madonna Badger, who initiated the daily meditations, also told us to remember that as communicators, we are "depicting a reality for the world to internalize” and that what we celebrate should embrace both creativity and the ability to create change. We also felt that it was important to judge what you’ve done not what you say you are going to do.
Our winner, Blood Normal for Essity by AMV BBDO, achieved this through what I feel are the key success factors in this category. Firstly, a strong client partnership with agency; second, craft, scale and follow-through, and finally, the courage to take a real risk. The latter is vital in this, and perhaps all categories, because worthwhile change always meets resistance. But doing so will start igniting passionate support for your brand that brings multiple and lasting rewards – not to mention a Glass Lion Grand Prix.