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Cannes 2014: James McGrath on Direct



Creative Chairman of Clemenger BBDO on what he is looking for at this year's Cannes

Cannes 2014: James McGrath on Direct

Boasting a combination of creativity and effectiveness, Creative Chairman of Clemenger BBDO Group James McGrath is this year's Direct jury president. McGrath told LBB what he was looking for in the judging room, as well as his favourite pieces of work this year.

LBB> What words of advice did you give to your jury this year?

JM> I asked the jury to keep three criteria in mind when evaluating the work : 1. Ask “Do you know (or want to know) me?” 2. Have you made me feel something? 3. Have you made me do something?

LBB> What were you hoping to see from the entries this year?

JM> On top of original or extraordinary creativity, I wanted to know if the results of the campaign can be measured.

LBB> What were the biggest changes to the Direct category?

JM> Overall, there is a loss of a clear distinction as to what DM actually is these days. A ‘conversation’ is not enough – you need a fundamental call to action. Something needs to occur as a result of the work.

On the positive side, that means convergence is working. With digital, everything can be called one-to-one: Everything can be called Direct. However, on the negative side, the discipline around creating and crafting truly great DM has slipped. Ironically, Direct has never been more powerful than it is in this digital age. 

LBB> Outside your own category, are there any pieces of work you’ve got your eye on to do well this year?

JM> The Volvo Epic Split campaign & The Clemenger BBDO Wellington ‘Blazed’ campaign for the NZ Transport Agency

LBB> What were you most looking forward to about Cannes?

JM> Being reminded about why we are in this business. Being inspired to do better. It’s the only true advertising festival and really, the only time the industry globally gets together.

LBB> Favourite spot in Cannes?

JM> The Colombe D’Or

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Genres: People

LBB Editorial, Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:28:32 GMT