Robert Sawatzky
Jun 14, 2022

What TBWA Hakuhodo's Kazoo Sato is looking for on the music jury at Cannes

CANNES LIONS JURY PERSPECTIVES: The new chief creative sustainability officer at TBWA Hakuhodo and TBWA Asia also shares what he wants to hear at Cannes and who his personal 'Obi-wan Kenobe' is.

What TBWA Hakuhodo's Kazoo Sato is looking for on the music jury at Cannes

With Cannes Lions 2022 approaching, Campaign Asia speaks with select jury members from this region about what they're looking for and what they personally hope to get out of the experience.

In this article, Campaign speaks with Kazoo Sato, a member of the music jury within the Entertainment Lions.  Sato has just recently been named chief creative sustainability officer at  TBWA Hakuhodo and TBWA Asia. During the pandemic, Sato was also recognised for his work designing 'Hi Toilet', a completely hands-free public toilet facility in Tokyo's Shibuya district, which is also incidentally entered at Cannes Lions this year.  

What are you hoping to get out of Cannes Lions this year?  What do you hope the industry will talk about?

I think this year at Cannes there is going to be a lot of talk about NFTs and the metaverse. But personally, and also because of my new role, I’m really into sustainability and I want to look at the many ways in which brands are approaching this global issue and what are some different ideas to tackle it. And beyond talking about it, I want to hear how we are going to be sustainable as an industry. With new players coming into our industry, what we need to do for our businesses to become more sustainable is something I want to takeaway from Cannes.  

How do you think the music category this year will have changed?

After seeing about 300 pieces of work for the shortlist judging so far, I must say I don’t see a lot of big changes to the category. There is a lot of great work but I haven’t seen anything that blows me away where I'd say 'Wow, this is so f**king new!’.  

But there are two interesting trends in music that I see. One is how the artist, rather than the brand is central to solving global issues. This isn’t entered at Cannes, but an example is how Coldplay’s global tour is 100% sustainable, where all the electricity and food and beer cups and everything related to the experience is 100% sustainable where music and resources are circularly linked. So musicians for social good is an idea that’s happening globally and I’d love to see those kinds of ideas. 

The second trend that I have come across is the judging is a lot of nostalgia and retrospective music ideas. There are remakes of old songs to now address new social issues or else taking a 70s or 80s retro approach to music. Those are two that I’m seeing. 

What might winning entries look like to you?

It depends on the color of trophies but when I see a winning entry I tend to have two kinds of feelings. The first is that I feel envious or jealous of it. Then, afterwards, I feel that I definitely want to use it as an inspirational foundation, but then to go above and beyond this to use it to try to create something even better rather than purely imitate it.  

A similar example in the academic world might be to do research at a university and look all around the world at the type of research being done and then finding something that nobody else is doing, uncovering a new facet that people haven't looked at before, rather than just repeating something that other people have done and in that way elevate the level of your academic community. 

I think the same can be said for creative. It’s very important for us to look at past works that are  winning entries and say: ‘How can we go above and beyond these?’, rather than, ‘How can we make something similar?’ 

If there was one person you wish you could run into at Cannes, who would it be?

It's for me, it's Lee Clow—the masterpiece creator of TBWA. I haven't seen him for almost a decade. But he hates flying so he stays in LA. But I’d love to cross paths with Lee and have a chat and a drink. He’s a genius and a kind of Obi-wan Kenobe for me.  

Lee Clow


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