What Won't Win at Cannes

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Perhaps there are unspoken rules as to what work gets awarded at Cannes. For example, cultural barriers can hinder judges from recognizing the brilliance of a campaign that resonated powerfully on its native turf. Or the creative zeitgeist may lean toward certain innovations while failing to recognize the power of something more quietly, or traditionally profound. Here, agency honchos from around their world reflect on the great ideas the spotlight may miss next week. 

Each year some brilliant pieces of work don't get the recognition they deserve because they are nuanced in cultural truths that the juries often miss out. Not everything can be translated brilliantly. So much mainstream work from countries like India, which have a sensibility different from the West, suffers on that account. Unfortunately there is no remedy for this.—Abhijit Avasthi, ECD, Ogilvy India


I'm quite enamored with how some brands are using Instagram to lure me in to their world though it's still quite a grey area for award categories. Johnnie Walker has seduced me in to their world of craft and refinement and the ongoing postings for Oreo are charming and engaging and have led me to having a relationship with a cookie that I never thought I could. --Scott McClelland, ECD, BBH, Singapore



Rumour has it Red Bull doesn't enter award shows. Shame if true. Overall, advertising is still catching up to what people actually enjoy watching online. Love it or hate it, Gangam Style, the first Asian/Korean hit among Westerners has 1,638,489,655 million views to date. This video content lets the advertising industry know that we can probably have more fun with what we do. –Elspeth Lynn,ECD, M&C Saatchi


It will be interesting to see if the new work from last year's big winning clients can perform well again. There’s a trend in shows to not reward follow ups to previous winners, but it can be a shame because often the work is as good or better than the previous. DirecTV’s excellent new stuff, Old Spice, Snickers and our British Heart Foundation stuff may all fall foul here.—Nils Leonard, CCO, Grey London


There's a lot of great local language TVCs and virals in North Asia that often don't do well because things get "lost in translation." The spot's beauty can't be appreciated if you don't get the local cultural context.—Mayan, aka Lo Sheung Yan, Chairman of Asia Pacific Creative Council, JWT Shanghai


We trust juries to do the right thing. But one thing that probably won't win this year is that crazy stop-motion film only made with moving atoms, by IBM. I think it was released too late to enter Cannes 2013, but it's fascinating to explore a new frontier. Hopefully, it will win next year.-- François Grouiller, group strategy director at Fred & Farid Group


Most of the work that comes from smaller countries, due to their smaller scale, usually does not get the attention and recognition it deserves even though it could be a great idea. Luckily, lastyear the festival was very democratic in that respect. Let’s hope that does not change this year. --Jaime Rosado, VP Regional Creative Director / JWT Puerto Rico


Cow&Gate, ‘Supergroup," out of BETC London. Beautifully orchestrated and a huge public success.  The creative rejuvenation of another cliché-heavy category.  But it might be too simple for Cannes. although I would argue that simplicity is the most difficult of all to achieve. –Remi Babinet, Chairman/Founder, BETC Paris

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