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Peter Souter on Cannes Jurying


Chairman & CCO of TBWA\London sat on Film Lions Jury

Peter Souter on Cannes Jurying

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

PS> More of what it is that makes this industry so special to work in. Our output, at its best, has the power to make people feel things. To make them laugh, to make them cry, to make them smile. We get a reaction. And that's the sign of amazing work - especially in an age when attention spans have dwindled and content is available down every avenue. I want to see work that stands out and work that leaves you feeling something.

LBB> What have been the biggest changes to the direct category over the past few years?

PS> There's been an explosion of communications platforms meaning that direct as a category encapsulates so much more. A tweet, an email and (call me a dinosaur), even the age-old letter, are all ways in which a brand can directly communicate with its consumer. The key to standing out in this category is to allow these different platforms to shape the nature and content of a communication - the mantra of the 'medium equalling message' has never been truer.

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

PS> There's no such thing as free media space…

Shred-it. Beautifully art-directed and wonderfully written. 

LBB> From what you’ve seen so far, what do you think of the overall standard of work coming out of the industry in the last 12 months?

PS> I'd say 'good but with room for improvement'. That's not because we're any worse than last year, but rather because we're an eclectic mix of bright young things - and we should always be trying to do better. There are a few entries this year that will be remembered for a long time.

LBB> What are you most looking forward to about Cannes 2013?

PS> Being inspired by great work and bringing that back to TBWA\London. We're an agency on the way up and we need as many lessons from the outside world as possible: Cannes is full of them.

LBB> Favourite spot in Cannes and why?

PS> I'm sure this will be a popular answer but: Dumb Ways to Die. It's catchy, funny and, much to my wife's annoyance, the jingle still hasn't left my head. It's a piece of work that punches above its weight and does a quite remarkable job of tricking you into learning about safety on the railways. There's a reason why every single person in the world seems to have seen it.

Elsewhere, I'm a personal advocate of 'Follow the Frog' from the rainforest alliance. Not only is it based on a great insight but it was done for very little money: beautiful work needn't cost the world.

LBB> It’s the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Advertising Festival – where do you think the industry will be in another 60 years?

PS> We're an industry who seemingly keep feeling the need to reinvent ourselves. We don't have to. Great work can always be traced back to great content, that is beautifully written and wonderfully art-directed. It's been the backbone of advertising for decades and I'm sure it'll be the same in a few more decades time. Sure we'll have new platforms to play with, but the fundamentals should stay the same. 

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TBWA\London, Tue, 25 Jun 2013 13:10:36 GMT