Lions and Tigers and Bears

Lions and Tigers and Bears…OH MY!!!! With all due respect to the Wizard of Oz (for those who recognized my cultural reference and nod to my favorite movie), I am only going to deal with the LIONS.

And what Lions! These kings of the jungle are not the man-eaters of leonine mane, immutable force and fetid breath, or the Disney version that teaches us life lessons and inspires us to personal greatness. Rather, these are the Cannes Lions, a particular species of the great cat, found only once a year, anywhere in the world…and then only on the Cote d’Azur in Cannes. And while you might argue that they represent a culture with killer instincts, these Lions are inanimate, exist in gold and silver, and are about inspiration and learning and maybe, just maybe – this year – also about what’s next.

I spent close to a week with 30 top creative directors from 27 countries, looking at and judging some 1,300-plus pieces of work in the Direct category – an amazing experience that I will write about later. I spent another week watching the results of other creative juries in Cyber and Promo and PR and Outdoor and, of course, Film and Integrated.

I was inspired by all. Yes, I saw some insipid work; yes, I saw some really good hardworking back-to-basics work, but I also saw some fabulously brilliant work that I wish I could have called my own.

See for yourselves. I don’t want to prejudice your opinions or thought processes. Look at every piece and see what moves you and, more importantly, what you think will or did move the target the work was intended for.

No one agrees on it all – for sure – but see where you net out. Would you have awarded the Lions?  Did you see things on the short list that got shut out? What inspired you and what did you find insipid? What moved you and what made you shake your head wondering what the hell the jury had in mind?

And, who do you think (if any) made work just to win a Lion?

Look, I’m not trying to prejudice you – on the contrary, here is one of my key judging criteria that I found to be accurate and continue to use whenever I look at anybody’s work:

“When a thought is too weak to be expressed simply, it should be rejected.”

Marquis de Vauvenargues

See if it works – I find it almost foolproof. And in my tally every vote that I gave or would have given was based on this simplest of all principles.

So ROARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR out your thoughts – now.

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