The CEO of the Cannes Lions, Phil Thomas, has invited me to the morning briefing of the Titanium and Integrated Lions Jury, the body that judges the most prestigious award category at the Cannes Lions.

This year the jury is made up of members from the US, UK, Belgium, France, Japan and Brazil and is chaired by the first-ever Asian member for that jury: Prasoon Joshi, the chairman of McCann India and creative director for the Asia Pacific region.

“So tell me what the Titanium Lion actually is,” I ask Phil as we head towards the Jury room. “I’ve heard it is not only the most prestigious prize, but that it is also awarded by the most prestigious jury that is hand-picked by the Cannes team.”

Titanium Jury for Around The World in 80 Brands
Titanium Jury for Around The World in 80 Brands

“That’s right,” says Phil. “The Titanium Lions are widely regarded as the most coveted award at Cannes. They are given to ground-breaking, game-changing ideas which have the potential to change the industry landscape.”

“And so what’s the difference between Titanium and Integrated?” I ask.

“Titanium Lions are awarded to breakthrough work that innovates and points to a new direction in the industry. Integrated Lions are awarded to highly creative and engaging multi-channel campaigns that deliver seamlessly executed 360◦ consumer experiences.”

“I see, and how come the judging of these awards is so much more difficult than for other Lions?”

“The Titanium Jury faces a formidable task. Over the next five days, while the rest of us network and party in the Cannes sun, they will be shut in a room where they will be assessing the entries and then extensively discussing the merits of each in order to decide who deserves the Titanium Lion 2014.”

“Wow, it sounds intense,” I say.

“It is,” says Phil. “They first review, deliberate and vote on each piece of work in order to establish a shortlist. Each campaign is represented by a Case Film that summarizes and explains the idea, back-story and outcome of the campaign. The Jury will then review this prestigious body of work and assess the merits of each submission.”

“That must lead to some interesting discussions,” I say. “And you must get to know your co-jurors pretty well when you’re locked away like that for five days.”

“It’s actually a fascinating process, there’s a lot of impassioned discussion and often they discover deeply rooted cultural differences. But in the end, they have to agree on certain global standards, which they may also set themselves, more or less consciously.”

Prasoon enters the Jury room and comes over to meet us. “Are you ready for it?” Phil asks as they shake hands.

“Ready as can be!” says Prasoon laughingly.

I ask him what he expects from the days ahead. “Hard work and no sunshine,” says Prasoon jokingly. “No seriously: I think it’s going to be a fun week: hard work but with a lot of very interesting creative work to be looked at, talked about and evaluated. I am sure we will all go home fully inspired for the coming year.” 


The Titanium winners of 2014 were for Honda, UN Women, Project Daniel and States United to Prevent Gun Violence


© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands

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