3 Secrets to Being the Next Great Creative at Cannes

Future Lions judge Rei Inamoto reveals the winning combination

CANNES, France—Faced with a deluge of diverse ideas from aspiring creatives, Rei Inamoto had an enjoyable but incredibly daunting task: select the world's best student work to be honored at Cannes.

As leader of the Future Lions selection process and AKQA's creative chief, Inamoto said his team slowly began to find a recurring set of themes that defined those ideas that truly deserved to be honored on a global stage.

"We literally get hundreds, almost a couple thousand entries from these students from around the world," Inamato told Adweek this week at Cannes, "and you have to filter down to the final five best ideas." 

The five winners were announced today, so we asked Inamoto to share his thoughts on which factors defined the best work in such a large pool of submissions.

Inamoto said he identified three key aspects that winning campaigns needed to achieve:

1. Keep it simple. Inamoto said an idea that's too complex to understand quickly will rarely gain traction in a social media world with little patience.

2. Potential for scale. Inamoto believes too many high-profile creative ideas are practically fictional when you look at what it would take to implement them on any sort of large scale.

"We questioned some of these ideas: 'Is this really possible?' We're not trying to make a sci-fi story here. We want something that can be executed in a reasonable amount of time in the near future."

3. Create a contribution to the business and the world. Today's best marketing ideas have clear benefit for the client but also clear benefits for the world or society. 

One of Inamoto's favorite picks in this year's Future Lions was "Do Zero for Climate Change for Ben & Jerry's," which he said is a perfect example of a client-oriented project that could have a lasting impact on the environment. 

"I just love the fact that even students can tackle, on behalf of a brand, a problem so large it affects literally every human being on the planet."

Be sure to check out each of the five winners in this year's Future Lions.


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