Cannes Lions has lined up a remote judging system and named its jury presidents for summer 2021. Two UK creative chiefs are among the presidents: adam&eveDDB CCO Rick Brim will oversee the Film Lions, and Havas UK CCO Vicki Maguire will be top dog at the Brand Experience & Activation Lions.
But with this summer’s Glastonbury cancelled, the new James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” delayed until October, and the Japan Olympics looking set to be abandoned, there is surely no way that the festival or the judging can go ahead in person.
Remote judging looks inevitable. Simon Cook, the festival’s managing director said: “From our conversations with the jury presidents, we know that there is a shared hope that the judging will take place physically at the festival in June. In the event that this becomes impossible, we have created a remote judging experience – successfully used at our regional awards – that’s as close to the physical judging as we can make it. It’s a crucial part of all of our Lions awards; a human experience but also a rigorous and robust process.”
In some ways, the Lions awards might be more important than ever this year. Creativity is hard to pull off when you’re stuck at home on Zoom calls all day, so anyone who has made standout work in a pandemic deserves to be recognised.
Plus the industry needs all the morale-boosting it can get, and a Cannes Lion will help to keep people going and stay motivated through a very difficult time — as long as businesses can afford or justify the entry fees when so many people are losing their jobs.
The Media Lions will be in the capable hands of another Brit, Philippa Brown, worldwide CEO of PHD. Bozoma Saint John, the global CMO at Netflix, is another star jury president and will be heading up the Glass Lions for Change.
Judging of the Lions will take place during the week scheduled for the festival, 21st to 25th June. Philip Thomas, chairman of the Lions, said: “After the postponement of last year’s awards, our Jury Presidents are eager to get going. They will be leading juries in a unique year, awarding Lions for both 2020 and 2021 – no small job but one that will provide a crucial reflection and insight into the industry’s recent unprecedented journey.”