Seven SA judges for Cannes Lions


The seven South African judges for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which runs in Cannes, France from 16 to 22 June, are Alistair King, Joanne Thomas, John Davenport, Justin Gomes, Mike Schalit, Paul Warner and Dawn Rowlands.

Chief creative officer of the King James Group, Alistair King is part of the Film Jury this year where he will judge TV and cinema product and service, internet film and other film content. It is the second time King has sat on this panel. In 2008, he was named Adfocus Agency Leader of the Year and has been ranked the No 1 Creative Director by the Creative Circle on numerous occasions. In a poll conducted by in Jan 2013, he was named the most admired Creative Director in South Africa. 

“Film remains the most powerful of all brand building tools and so I’m looking forward to having my mind thoroughly blown this year,” says King. 

With a Gold Lion under her belt, Joanne Thomas, creative director at The Jupiter Drawing Room, will be on the Design Jury this year. She has been in the industry for over a decade as well as with The Jupiter Drawing Room in Cape Town since it opened its doors in 1994. Having judged at the Loerie Awards before and with a number of prestigious international awards to her name, Thomas brings a wealth of industry experience and local talent to Design Lions this year. This category sees five sub categories, including graphic design and design crafts, digital design, environmental design, packaging design and 360 degree brand and identity experience.

For the Promo & Activation Jury, executive creative director for Ireland Davenport, John Davenport joins the team this year. With awards including 35 Loerie Awards, several One Show Pencils and approximately 12 Cannes Lions as well as jury experience on Cannes Lions Radio, he is no stranger to creativity. Davenport will be judging the best use of promo and activation as well as product and service within the Promo & Activation category, with the purpose being for entrants to design an activity which creates immediate activation and/or offer for the sales of a product or service.

Justin Gomes, creative director and founding partner of FoxP2, will be on the Direct Jury at this year’s event. With 17 Lions to his name and experience on the Print Jury in 2010, Gomes will this year be judging best use of direct marketing, best use of digital direct marketing, strategy, product and service as well as best integrated campaign led by direct marketing, within the Direct Jury category.

This year’s Radio Jury will include Mike Schalit, founding partner of Net#Work BBDO. He has a long history in the industry with numerous awards from Cannes – this after beginning his career as a failed rock musician. One of his awards includes the Most Influential Person in Advertising and it is this influence that he takes with him to Cannes this year where he will be judging the product and services categories as well as the Craft category within the Radio category.

Paul Warner, founder and chief creative strategist for Metropolitan Republic, joins the Press Jury, where he will be judging the Product and Services category as well as the Craft category. With 12 Lions under his belt, previous experience judging at Cannes and a wealth of experience as the head of a company he launched after winning the largest Mobile Network in Africa, Warner represents South Africa proudly at Cannes Lions 2013.

For the Outdoor Jury team, executive creative director of Ogilvy Johannesburg Fran Luckin has been chosen to share her experience and passion for the creative industry at Cannes this year. Here she will judge billboards and street furniture, posters, ambient and outdoor craft. She has 14 Lions to her name, has experience judging numerous local and international advertising awards and was named one of the top 10 most influential people in advertising in 2009.

For the Media Jury, chief executive officer of Aegis Media, Dawn Rowlands, joins the team. Highly influential, Rowlands has been a part of a growth which saw Aegis Media and its five network brands expanding by over 200% in the region in the past three years. Rowlands was awarded Advertising Achiever of the year 2012, Ad Review, Business Woman of the Year 2012 and Maverick of the Year – Stevie Awards 2012 NY. She takes these skills to Cannes this year where she will be judging the use of media, best integrated campaign and product and service.

Cinemark is the official South African representative for Cannes Lions.


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