Cannes Lions 2017: Meet the Jurors: Marc Blanchard

The 64th Cannes Lions festival kicked off June 17, and more than 400 jurors are working to determine which creative works will be honored with a prestigious Lion.

They hail from more than 50 countries and are the industry’s most select. And this year, the jury is approaching more of a true gender balance. Forty-three percent of the jurors are women—that’s more than double the female jurors in previous years. And eight of the 23 jury presidents are women.

The festival’s outcome is in the hands of the judges. Twelve are from BETC, Havas, and Les Gaulois. In fact, Stéphane Xiberras, President & Chief Creative Officer of BETC Paris, will serve as Jury President for the Promo & Activation Lions.

We spoke with several jurors from the Havas network to share what it takes to win a Lion, give their definitions of successful creative, and reveal how they manage to beat fatigue at the festival.

Marc Blanchard
Global Head of Experience Design, Havas
Jury: Design

What do you see as the next big trend in this category?

I’m seeing a general move toward design in service of behavior—designing an experience to be so natural and effortless that you just instinctively know how to interact with it. It’s what Naoto Fukasawa called “design dissolving in behavior,” or Charles Eames called the guest-host relationship: the idea that a design solution—whether it’s for a piece of furniture, a digital experience or anything else—should make the user feel as welcome as a host inviting guests into her home.

What do you value most from the Cannes Lions experience?

The incredible diversity of talent and cultural perspectives concentrated in the same place and at the same time.

While living, eating and breathing advertising for nearly a week, at what point does ad-fatigue kick in, and is there a remedy?

It’s definitely a discipline. You have to clear your mind to give every idea your full attention, without being influenced by everything else that’s going on.

What do you think is most important: results or creativity?

You can’t sustainably have one without the other. Results fuel the entire industry and make money available for us to put creativity in service of business results. And without raw creativity to disrupt the status quo, the industry would eventually atrophy to the point where it no longer produces business results. So it’s a virtuous cycle, not a dichotomy.

What, to you, defines a successful creative idea?

To me, it’s two things. First, “brilliant simplicity”—something that is so self-evident in retrospect that it makes you jealous you didn’t come up with it yourself. Second, it has to offer obvious and transparent value exchange between the brand and the consumer or customer.

Is there anything, in particular, you look at when going through submissions?

Bogus results with lots of superlatives and no quantified data.

What’s the best campaign you’ve seen this year?

I love the Woman Interrupted app and campaign from BETC Havas São Paulo, and I have high hopes for it at Cannes Lions this year. It’s a brilliant way to draw attention to a form of sexual discrimination that is so entrenched that most of us don’t even realize it’s happening.

If this is your first time judging this year, what are you doing to prepare?

Lots and lots of research.