This year’s Entertainment Jury President PJ Pereira gets some good advice from his 2016 predecessor Jae Goodman of CAA
Fans of the West Wing will remember the bit at the end of the series where the members of the outgoing Bartlett administration leave notes of advice for their successors. Like lots of things in the West Wing, we thought that was a good idea, so we've reproduced the same concept here for our Jury Presidents.
"I love you and your work PJ, but the framing of your question worries me a bit..."
(Image: The 2016 Entertainment Jury. Jae Goodman is bottom row, four from left)
When you're the President in the first year of a new Lion, it's a big responsibility. Not least because the eyes of the industry are waiting to see what the jury choose for that all-important Grand Prix, but also because your choices lay the groundwork for the following years. In this President to President interview, 2016 Entertainment President Jae Goodman answers the questions put to him by his 2017 counterpart PJ Pereira.
PJ PEREIRA: Looking at all the work that won last year, what would you say the industry is doing well and where do we have to improve the most?
JAE GOODMAN: "First, I'd say the industry is doing well! Entertainment Lions received far more entries than anticipated, and much of the work was fantastic - I saw a lot of work that I wished I had done!!
There was one major gap, and that was true long-form entertainment, whether feature-length films (scripted or documentary), or episodic content for TV or digital.
I think we as marketers have to develop more integrated campaigns with true, long-form entertainment content at the center. We have all the data in the world to show that long-form entertainment formats draw an audience, and the data also supports the supposition that the more connected the content is to the overall campaign, the more effective all campaign elements will be.
So, now all we need are more content-centric campaigns to keep proving that the data is right!"
PJ: Did the jury's comprehension of what Branded Entertainment is change during the judging process?
JG: "It did not change during the process because we very consciously defined our judging criteria before we began viewing and deliberating. Our four criteria were:
1. All awarded entries must be Cannes Lions quality. Period. New categories are not an excuse to let quality slip, they are an opportunity to define "quality."
2. The work must have a powerful relationship to the brand, and not be entertainment for entertainment's sake.
3. The work had to attract an audience (as entertainment does) not distract an audience (as advertising does). Along the same lines, the work had to take the form of entertainment, not just be entertaining. There are lots of entertaining ads, but there are other Lions in which to enter those ads.
4. Intent matters. This one is the most subjective, as none of us were in the room when a given entry's idea was born. But as experienced marketing professionals, we used our instincts in an attempt to answer this question: did the brand and agency set out to tell a story via an entertainment medium in order to move their business and brand forward?
This weeded out a lot of 75 and 90-second edits of TV ads. Please, industry, enter the long-cuts of your ads into an advertising category like the Film Lion. If your intent was to create an ad, it's not entertainment!
We revisited these four criteria regularly, and they factored heavily in every entry's consideration, especially the eventual Grand Prix."
"Please, industry, enter the long-cuts of your ads into another Lion like Film. If your intent was to create an ad, it's not entertainment!"
(Image:Left - right: Senta Slingerland talks Entertainment Lions judging to Jae and 2016 Music President, Josh Rabinowitz, Grey)
PJ: The Grand Prix, New York Times ‘The Displaced’, was such a bold choice. How did the jury come to choose an editorial piece instead of a classic brand-driven idea?
JG: "I love you and your work, PJ, but the framing of your question worries me a bit, and hope that you and your jury will keep an open mind as to what form the eventual second-ever Entertainment Lions Grand Prix might take.
That said, here’s how the 2016 Cannes Lions Entertainment Jury came to our Grand Prix decision: first and foremost, we did not award an "editorial" piece of content. We awarded a marketing campaign that had a piece of editorial content at its center, and that editorial content is the product the New York Times Magazine makes and markets.
The New York Times Magazine took a bold step with their print and digital editorial product and produced an immersive, compelling, emotional, and beautiful VR experience called "The Displaced" which placed the viewer directly into the lives of children at the center of the global refugee crisis.
Then, The New York Times developed, distributed and promoted (or marketed) the NYT VR app for the sole purpose of distributing this new form of content experience. The app quickly became the most-downloaded app in NYT history, and itself won a Grand Prix in another category.
Then, The New York Times distributed a million NYT-branded google cardboard VR viewers by bundling the cardboards with the Sunday New York Times. This was a promotional (meaning marketing) expense.
And, of course, The New York Times promoted "The Displaced" and NYT VR across all of its channels. Meaning, again, they marketed it.
So the first-ever Cannes Lions Entertainment jury awarded the first-ever Cannes Lions Entertainment Grand Prix to this multi-faceted and wildly successful exercise in marketing, which had a powerfully compelling and beautifully produced piece of ‘editorial’ VR content at the centre. In so doing, the New York Times, the famous century-old "Grey Lady" catapulted its brand and business forward.
If we hold this example up against the four judging criteria we established, the NYT VR ‘Displaced’ project is of the highest quality, in every aspect of the campaign. It has a direct relationship to the brand and business. It attracted an audience, and was entertaining (in this case, heartbreakingly so), and the New York Times Magazine’s intent was to create content at the center of an integrated campaign to drive the brand and business.
You can probably tell that the jury stayed up all night debating these criteria, and then stayed up even later to properly articulate our decision! In that same all-night debate, we decided that every Gold Lion would get serious consideration, and so it did."
"My friend, the second-ever Entertainment Lions are in great hands with you, PJ."
JG: "As Jury President, and especially because this was the first-ever Entertainment Lion, I really wanted the Grand Prix to be unanimous. It was not. One juror held out because they felt that the Grand Prix should come from an ad agency, not a media platform. Other jurors pointed out how few of us in the room work for traditional ad agencies anymore, including the Jury President.
But this one juror held out on principle, choosing to protect the domain and livelihood of an industry they loved and believed delivers a unique service to brands. This person gave a hell of a speech. We even applauded!
In the end we awarded our almost-unanimous first-ever Cannes Lions Entertainment Grand Prix to the New York Times Magazine's integrated campaign for the NYT VR experience: 'The Displaced'.
My friend, the second-ever Entertainment Lions are in great hands with you, PJ. I was on the Jury in 2013 that awarded your agency's work for Intel 'The Beauty Inside' and to this day I think it is an industry high-water mark. I wish you and the entire jury the absolute best. I look forward to sitting in the Palais in June, applauding both your hard work and the hard work behind every deserving Entertainment Lion!"
Jae Goodman is Chief Creative Officer and Co-Head of CAA Marketing, a division of Creative Artists Agency. PJ Pereira is the Chief Creative Officer at Pereira & O'Dell. PJ has been a regular feature on the Cannes Lions stages. To see more creative legends like PJ and Jae on stage, choose from a variety of Festival passes.
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