Swagger like us: Canucks need to represent in Cannes

With more emphasis on judging results and a possible decrease in entries, media companies shouldn't be shy about entering, says SMG CEO.

With the door for submissions to the 56th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival open, it’s time for media agencies to step out of humble mode and boast their achievements.

If the festival seemed a little too artsy for the media types, the judging process has been revamped this year, with more emphasis placed on the outcome of each media case. Insight, strategy and idea count for 35% of the case, creative execution counts for 30% and results and effectiveness weigh in at 35%.

‘Having a greater connectivity to some measure of results to show effectiveness for the work makes the awards more accountable,’ says Lauren Richards, CEO Starcom MediaVest Group, whose content integration initiative partnering Nintendo Wii’s Big Brain Academy with Canwest’s Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader? was shortlisted at Cannes last year.

Intimidation over competing against bigger budgets might be a reason for the usual lack of Canadian entries, says Richards, but necessity breeds innovation, so it’s time to let go of the inferiority complex. ‘If they’re really insightful and creative it’s not about clout and bigger budgets – it’s about where the real brilliance is in delivering an innovative solution to a problem,’ Richards tells MiC.

The deadline for Media Lions entries is March 13. The three categories are best use of media (with 12 sub-sects), best use of mixed media (at least three platforms used), and the products and services category, where entries are judged on appropriateness to the products or service, regardless of media.

Richards thinks the current economic climate may contribute to fewer entries. ‘I always find it much more exciting when there’s more opportunity to win and your chances are increased. This is the year I think that we can capitalize on that,’ she says.