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#CannesLions2019: "Purpose-driven work led by conscious consumerism" - Neo Mashigo

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for 2019 kicks off next week, with winners announced at nightly awards from 17 to 21 June. We caught up with this year's SA contingent of judges for a preview of what to expect. Next up, Neo Mashigo.
Neo Mashigo, chief creative officer (CCO) for M&C Saatchi Group SA as well as founder of I See A Different You, is serving on this year’s Cannes Lions Print & Publication jury.

Neo Mashigo, chief creative officer (CCO) for M&C Saatchi Group SA as well as the founder of I See A Different You, is serving on this year’s Cannes Lions Print & Publications jury.

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Despite his former stint as chairperson of the Loeries and current role as Loeries board member, while also on the executive committee of the Creative Circle, judge at this year’s D&AD Awards and his work having won a Cannes Lions Grand Prix before, this will be Mashigo’s first time judging at Cannes Lions.

His passion for African creativity and doing advertising work that’s more representative of Africa is clear in all he does, particularly in identifying and developing black creative talent to become leading creatives in the industry.

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Here, Mashigo shares what he’s most looking forward to from this year’s Festival of Creativity, as well as a few of his Cannes Lions-related highlights over the years and what SA judges bring to the global creative mix…

BizcommunityHave you judged at an international award show like Cannes before? What does that add to your judging ability?

This is my first time judging Cannes. It will be interesting to see how the dynamics in the judging room play out versus other international awards. Judging Cannes gives me the opportunity to see ideas from around the world with different cultural contexts to mine.

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I’ll get to see how other creatives package their ideas to give them global appeal and understanding.
I’m particularly looking to see how other judges perceive work that is not Hollywood-esque.
Because as South Africans, we always have to choose carefully when it comes to what we enter. We base our decision on whether the work is Cannes Lions-friendly or not.

BizcommunityShare a few of your favourite Cannes Lions-related moments over the years – either from attending personally or agency winning work-related.

It was when South Africa won its first Cannes Lions Grand Prix in 2006, in the Print & Publication category with FCB for Lego.

SA's first Cannes Lions Grand Prix-winning work, by FCB for Lego in 2006.

At the time, we knew as South Africans that we were right up there with the best when it comes to advertising, but we needed to win the Grand Prix. That year we did, and it was amazing to witness.

That Grand Prix opened the doors for us to win our own Grand Prix, and it has now become a normal thing for South Africa to do so.

BizcommunityIt has! Which category of work are you judging this year?

Fittingly, I’m judging Print and Publication, the oldest category in advertising where almost everything has been done, but every year agencies around the world prove that we’ll never run out of great ideas.

BizcommunityLove that. What do this year’s 7 SA creatives bring to the global Cannes Lions judging mix?

We bring the South African flavour and style, an angle that has that David and Goliath energy. We make Cannes global!

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BizcommunityGive us a glimpse of the specific criteria you’ll be looking for in judging this year's entries.

I’m passionate around story and in my category, it’s brought to life in a picture. I love to see work from other cultures in the world shine. It’s always so refreshing.

BizcommunityWith other international award shows D&AD and the One Show having wrapped up for the year, any predictions of creative trends that are likely to stand out at Cannes Lions 2019?

I think purpose-driven work will still come up strong, led by conscious consumerism.

#BizTrends2018: Conscious consumption

I'm not that big on food trends, to be honest. I find gimmicks and 'flavour of the month' offerings a very slippery slope. That said, I do think established chefs, producers and industry thought-leaders who have the ability to change with the times are critical for the industry.

By Andy Fenner 9 Jan 2018

Everyone wants a better world with nicer people.

BizcommunityWhat are you most looking forward to from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2019?

I’m looking forward to seeing the work and hearing from the people that create the work. At Cannes, you can engage with the clients and creatives that make work that you wish you had made!

While main judging only takes place in Cannes next week, watch for the SA judges’ specific predictions of the work that will win, later this week!

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity runs from 17 to 21 June 2019, with Cinemark – now known as Ster-Kinekor Sales – the local representatives of Cannes Lions for SA. Roving reporter Ann Nurock will be sharing the latest news as it happens, live on the ground in Cannes, so visit our Cannes Lions special section for the latest updates!

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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

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