Ted Lim
May 23, 2017

What I hope to see at Cannes Lions: Ted Lim

The CCO of Dentsu Asia-Pacific, who is serving as president of this year's Direct Lions jury, wants to see intuition, courage and untraditional ideas.

Ted Lim
Ted Lim

With the 2017 Cannes Lions festival just under six weeks away, we asked five jury members from different countries and areas of expertise to share their hopes and expectations. See our Cannes 2017 page for the full set.

The digitally driven marketing landscape is more fragmented than ever. Marketing needs untraditional solutions to cut through the clutter of consumers, channels, content and commoditisation. It needs innovative business solutions that are more relevant and personalised to make the human connection required for business transactions.

Such solutions require intuition and courage. In 1998, before Apple launched its first iPhone, Steve Jobs told BusinessWeek, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

We all remember the first time we held the iPhone in our hands. We didn’t want to let go. It’s the same with advertising. People enjoy good work, they want to engage with it again and again, and they will share it with their friends.

Yes, there is money in pursuing numbers and spotting trends. But there is more in innovation and making the next big thing. Look at Google, Facebook, AirBnB, Uber and, most recently, SnapChat, which has yet to make a dollar to warrant its US$28.3-billion market valuation. Venture capitalism gone mad? Perhaps, but it is no wonder the traditional business model is losing talent and investments to startups, and it is very clear we can no longer carry on with business as usual, especially if we are in the business of engagement-to-transaction—formerly known as advertising.

And Cannes? The Cannes Lions is a spring of fresh ideas and inspiring innovation that has the potential to change the way we engage with people, transact business and even transform lives.

Ted Lim, chief creative officer of Dentsu Asia-Pacific, is serving as president of this year's Direct Lions jury.

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