The top media take-aways from Cannes

ZO's Sunni Boot, OMD's Cathy Collier and Media Experts' Young Lions competitor Chris Walton dish on the best of the fest, and their thoughts on the awards process.

Canada walked away from Cannes with 20 Lions, besting its 2011 performance of 17. But aside from the awards, what were the highlights of the festival for delegates?

MiC gave everyone a couple days to get caught up on jet lag and then asked what they took away from the 2012 festival.

Check out responses from Sunni Boot, Media jury member and ZenithOptimedia Canada president; Cathy Collier, CEO of OMD Canada; and Chris Walton, Young Lions Media competitor (and strategy Next Media Star with partner Valerie Whiffen) and senior broadcast negotiator, Media Experts.

What was the best thing you saw at Cannes this year?

Boot: “There were a few things that to me were terrific. One was “Mobile Medic” from Defense Force Recruitment. This thing, in my mind, was the best use of digital, it knocked it out of the ballpark. They were recruiting for medical scholarships. You go up to a series of OOH posters and there is a QR code and you have to diagnose the condition or illness and [give] a recommendation of what you’re going to do. The top ten won scholarships to the school.”

Collier: I was inspired by the “The Junior Worldmakers” presented by Jeff Benjamin of JWT. These three kids (Jordan Casey, programmer and app developer at Casey Games and the youngest app developer in Ireland; Caine Monroy creator of Caine’s Arcade; and Adora Svitak, author, teacher, activist and the youngest speaker ever at TED) have already been more creative and successful than most adults will ever be.”

Walton: “In Cannes the best thing I saw was not the work itself but the shared passion for our industry by all the Young Lions. The enthusiasm exhibited by the Young Lions for their work was contagious and showed the future is bright for Canada’s advertising industry.”

What surprised you the most?

Boot: “The big issue we had with judging is that 35% of the marks are supposed to be based on results, and I would tell you there were very few really great results. The reason is that a lot of the creative entries were social media and mentions are surrogate to what I, as a media person, would call real results. So the cases would say the project was picked up by the local news, got lots of PR and lots of impressions, but we were light on what the campaigns actually did. I would like to see hard metrics brought back.”

Collier: ” The fact that of the 12 Gold Media Lions (including the Grand Prix), only one (the Grand Prix by Manning Gottlieb OMD) was submitted by a media company. This combined the fact that only four of the Golds were for major brands with major budgets. It makes me question what happened, do media companies not know how to enter well? Do we not enter the right campaigns? Has the criteria shifted more to creative than media? We need to figure it out so media companies can start winning Media Lions.”

Walton: “The biggest surprise was the blurred lines between what separates a media execution from creative. The perfect media solution allows for all creative executions whether they be mobile, outdoor or cyber, to have relevance to their target market. Organic media as result of an execution becoming a viral hit seemed to weighed heavily in the awards, even though these placements weren’t planned that way.”

Check out the Canadian delegates celebrating the week on the beach in Cannes at the Globe and Mail‘s annual Canadian party: