Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Jun 29, 2015

Cannes 2015: Anna Chitty on judging for Media Lions

CANNES - Anna Chitty, managing director of PHD China, was on the Media Lions jury that looked over 3179 entries from 73 countries together. She shares her post-judging impressions with Campaign Asia-Pacific in this exclusive video chat.

wide player in 16:9 format. Used on article page for Campaign.

Key takeaways from Chitty:

  • The China market has traditionally relied on numbers to "take us over the line" in its storytelling, and that has been neutralised in many ways as people become more exposed to the "telephone-book numbers" from China entries, she said. These numbers, whether in billions or millions, are no longer the wow-factor. It is more important now to put results in context and innovate with purpose. The more compelling case studies were those that told a simple story, that put the business outcome at the centre, that illustrated how the media solution—not just media output—delivered to that result.
  • Media craft, as technology starts to be part of it, is now seeing judges digging out the "media idea" as opposed to the "technology idea" in entries. Technology can enable the media idea, add to it, elevate it or accelerate it, but should not be the overall idea, she said. A lot of creative agencies were entering the Media category, and they were not winning because their work was "just a singular great piece of film", but a creative idea needed to be executed closely with a media strategy. Also, stop using great creative ideas on smaller campaigns for public service organisations or NGOs, but use the power of scalability for bigger clients.
  • Case videos that present a dire situation waiting to be solved can sometimes seem completely absurd, she said. It became tiresome to hear these overclaims of how a small piece of communications can solve the problem. Don't be afraid to be real and authentic, she said, because that will garner a greater response from the judges who "have been around long enough to realise it's hard to shift the needle". Buzz phrases like "zero media budget" or "we created a movement" or "we broke the internet" do not amount to a media strategy. (For the record, Chitty asked Tim Berners-Lee whether the internet can be broken, and he answered, categorically, no.)


Hear words of wisdom from the other judges:

  • Jimmy Lam (video), vice chairman & chief creative officer at DDB China, on the Direct Lions
  • Kitty Lun (video), chairman and chief executive officer of Lowe China, on the Press Lions
  • Delia Liu (video), chief creative strategy officer at WizAd China, on the Mobile Lions
  • Graham Fink (video), chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather China, on the Titanium and Integrated Lions


Catch up on Campaign Asia-Pacific's Cannes coverage at and coverage by the entire Campaign global team at


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