Cannes 2015: Mobile Jury President Joanna Monteiro on a Multifaceted Category
It’s funny, because it seems as if the Mobile category at Cannes has been around for, well, forever. But in reality it only hit the festival three years ago. And boy, has it evolved in that time. This year’s jury president is FCB Brasil VP Creative Director Joanna Monteiro. LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with her to find out more.
LBB> How are you preparing yourself for your stint in the jury room at Cannes?
JM> Before we even get there, I’ve already shared with the jury some thoughts that should guide our votes and help us determine goals for the group. The mobile category involves a lot of technology and innovation, but it is crucial to keep in mind that Cannes is a creative festival and always looking for the best ideas. I’ve been studying the category, seeing both fresh and old work, and listening to what former jury members and presidents had to say about mobile. The idea is to have well-grounded and clear criteria before beginning our work in Cannes.
LBB> What words of advice will you be giving to your jury?
JM> We will discuss the trends of this multifaceted category, so let’s keep the creative perspective top-of-mind. Let’s look for great ideas, from great insights to great execution – ideas that really make sense for the brands and grab consumer attention. Mobile is young, fresh and interactive, making it one of the most exciting and engaging categories at Cannes Lions. I’m sure we will work hard and have fun as well.
LBB> The transcendent ‘big’ ideas are relatively easy enough to spot, but some work is smart in a more nuanced way, for example work that plays on the subtleties of a particular culture (the challenges of writing copy in Chinese might be different to writing in English or French, for example). When you’re leading a jury, how do you give space to these ideas in the jury room?
JM> All jurors are industry leaders who have created some of the best work in the world and are adept at identifying ideas and executions that are excellent in any language. All opinions count in the jury room and I’m confident we will enjoy great debate on our jury, identifying and rewarding efforts based on our collective judgement.
LBB> It seems like mobile has been around forever, but in reality the category only hit Cannes three years ago. Innovation in tech has really ramped up over that time too. How has it evolved and changed in those three years?
JM> Technology has become imbedded in campaigns and led to game-changing ideas. Planners and creatives are thinking differently because of technology. FCB, for instance, has used technology in simple but impactful ways, like using video-chat technology to connect Americans and Brazilians in a speaking-exchange program for CNA language school. More sophisticated technological tools contributed to our mobile Grand Prix last year for Nivea and were instrumental in efforts this year across the globe for clients including Valspar, Sony, UTEC and more. Technology is certainly proving to be a catalyst for creativity across all platforms.
LBB> Obviously you’re going to spend a lot of Cannes 2015 locked inside for jury deliberations… but is there any event or talk that you’re hoping to catch while you’re there?
JM> I would love to see Marilyn Manson and Betsy Beers but both seminars are on Monday, June 22, and it will be impossible for me. Sir Kenneth Branagh and Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Wednesday, June 24 are also sessions I would love to see. So are those by John Boiler from 72andsunny and David Guetta and Bobby Hershfield from SS+K on Thursday, June 25.
LBB> What do you think the big talking point (aside from the awards!) is likely to be at Cannes this year?
JM> I think the work for GOOD is still going to be a major topic. There is some really creative and pertinent work in this category but also more and more work that only uses it as a shortcut, a formula. And, formula is the opposite of what we should look for in creative advertising, isn’t it?
LBB> You are the Creative Director at FCB Brazil. Brazil and Argentina have generally been the big players in South American advertising, but recently smaller countries from the region have experienced a bit of a resurgence at global award shows. Why do you think that is? How do you see the Brazilian advertising market at the moment in comparison with its South American counterparts?
JM> I think that changed not only for other Latin countries, but also for agencies within Brazil. Today, the chances of doing good work are higher for everyone, no matter where they are, because of the Internet, social media and globalization. Information is more accessible to everyone. Once you have a good idea, technology, innovation and great executions can catapult great ideas from any country in the world.