Festival Puts New Focus on Results for Lions

NEW YORK Effectiveness is going to play a greater role in determining winners at this year’s Cannes, according to a look at the judging criteria. The change will take place in three categories: Media, Direct and Promo Lions.

“It’s a serious year,” said Nick Brien, president and CEO of Mediabrands, and jury president of the Media Lions. “It’s a year for demonstrating that we can drive the necessary blend of creativity and proven effectiveness.

It’s the reason why we changed the judging criteria and massively up-weighted the amount of importance we allocate towards the effectiveness and the ROI.”

The Media Lions, first introduced in 1999 to honor media strategy, planning and execution, this year will be determined using three criteria: strategy, 35 percent; creative execution, 30 percent; and results and effectiveness, 35 percent. The value placed on both creative execution and results has been raised from 20 percent in 2008.

The festival also increased the value of results in the Direct Lions, launched in 2002 to recognize creative and innovative direct-marketing solutions, by 10 percentage points to 30 percent, while decreasing the value of creativity the same amount to 30 percent. Direct also considers strategy and execution, at 20 percent each, the same as last year.

The Promo Lions, introduced in 2006 to honor the best of sales promotion, will also be determined with a greater emphasis on results. While strategy and execution will account for 20 percent of the vote, the same as last year, the weight given to results will increase by 10 points to 30 percent, while the value of creativity will decrease from 40 percent to 30 percent.

According to festival CEO Philip Thomas, after consulting with the jury presidents and members of the community, organizers decided that results needed to play a greater part, especially in competitions such as Media.

“Although a piece of film advertising can be judged on its own merits, with modern media, you have to have an element of what is the outcome,” said Thomas.

Brien concurred, explaining that the 29-person jury he’s leading in the Media competition will work to recognize surprising ideas within the framework of proven returns.

“I don’t understand how you can separate brilliant creativity from proven effectiveness,” he said. “If we’re going to judge the progress of our professional standards, we need to be absolutely categoric in terms of what has worked and why.”