Inside the Cannes Jury Room: Landor’s Lulu Raghavan shares her phenomenal experience

July 4, 2018
A photo of Lulu Raghavan captured in the Cannes Judging Room for the Design Lions 2018

Landor Mumbai’s Managing Director, Lulu Raghavan was on this year’s prestigious Design Jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. As a juror, she was deeply immersed in the world of brands, design and creativity. She came back brimming with ideas and inspiration, and shared her thoughts with us from this amazing experience.

 Q1. What was your biggest learning from the Cannes jury experience?

Diversity is an engine of creativity and innovation. Different perspectives are critical in developing groundbreaking work, in selecting work to build on and in evaluating winning ideas to sell to our clients. When bright minds with opposing viewpoints come together, magic can happen.

Q2. As a juror, when did you feel most challenged?

I felt most challenged in evaluating the actual impact and results of the work. Sometimes the insight is strong and the idea is beautifully executed but did it actually make a difference for the brand? Some case studies undervalued the importance of metrics, others grossly exaggerated the impact (some were not even believable!). This inconsistency was hard to evaluate.

Q3. What were the key themes underlying the work you reviewed this year?

It was wonderful to see design being called upon to create social impact and spark important conversations. As jurors, we saw a range of work addressing many pressing global issues, from gender inequality to environmental concerns, such as the vast quantities of plastic damaging our earth. There were also plenty of brilliantly simple ideas: Nike’s changing a logo to signify a lioness or the Lacoste work, to name a few. Each piece forced reconsideration of the issues they addressed.

I was thrilled to see technology used in the service of brand and design, rather than just for its own sake. Consider the Intel Drones, which lit up the Winter Olympics and created magic for viewers on-screen while representing the Olympics in a highly innovative way. Brands also uniquely engaged with their superfans to strengthen their brand communities. For example, Xbox Design Labs’ Fanchise Model allowed fans to exercise their creativity while earning money. We also saw how political parties have begun to effectively use the power of design to create emotional connections with their audiences. The Dark Diaries by the Free Democratic Party in Germany is an excellent example of this trend.

Q4. For the world of brands, there is always a big debate between creativity and effectiveness. What’s your take on this basis the work you reviewed this year?

Creativity has to be in the service of effectiveness for brands and businesses, otherwise it’s just art. The impact of the idea is as important if not more than the idea itself.

Q5. If there is one piece of work that we must see from this year’s Cannes festival, which one is it?

It has to be AbInBev’s Grand Prix in Audio and Radio – “Soccer Song for Change.” I love this piece of work because of the strategic thinking – the sheer bravery of the idea and its execution on the scale it was done left me in total awe. The issue is deeply relevant and the case study created a deep emotional response.

Here’s Lulu rounding up her entire experience and sharing highlights:

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