Campaign China caught up with Norman Tan (陈耀福), J Walter Thompson North Asia chief creative officer and China chairman, for his analysis on China's performance in the Print & Publishing Lions.
From the Chinese-language interview with Tan, we summarise his key points here:
- Asia/China was known to be strong in print work, but that strength has diminished as the younger generation are not consuming print media as much as previous ones.
- Appealing to a diverse, international jury means that the conceptualisation process must be a simple one that cuts to the point. Too much "Chinese characteristics" may be hard to understand and puts the entry in a disadvantageous position. That said, it doesn't mean that you sacrifice what is inherently Chinese just to please the Cannes jury.
- The impact of print work should not be restricted to traditional published media. The question posed is: can your print execution also 'go viral online' or trigger conversations on social media? The quality of print is judged not only in terms of art direction or copywriting, but in the strategic direction of that piece of work.
- The Print & Publishing Lions received 3,777 entries and awarded 80 winners, with the Grand Prix to “McWhopper” for Burger King, by Y&R NZ. However in Tan's mind, it should have gone to VML Cape Town's work for Passop, which was disqualified from Grand Prix consideration as it was a "Public Sector & Awareness" message.