Cannes 2016: In the jury room with Tom Eymundson

The radio jury prez and Pirate CEO on why so few golden Lions were dished out, and why Canada needs to be more brave if they want to win Gold.
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The Cannes radio category was missing Midas’ touch earlier this week. Not everything the jury heard turned into Gold. In fact, only three (out of 91) audio pieces snagged a first place prize.

“There was a lot of stuff that was good. Really good,” said Tom Eymundson, Pirate CEO and Radio jury president. “But there were very few pieces that pushed past really good and became exceptional.”

Canada had a strong showing in the category, winning five Bronze Lions.

Strategy sat down with Eymundson to identify what makes a golden radio spot after judging came to a close.

KFC “Everyman” Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg

The first Gold (and Grand Prix) winner was a South African spot for KFC by Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg and one that Eymundson says had “pure entertainment engagement, you couldn’t stop listening because it was a universal truth.”

It runs through admissions from various types of men, from those who Pinterest to those who use cherry-scented lip balm and don’t investigate sounds in the night, all while a god-like, hoarse-voiced person tells them that they’re “still a man” and that the KFC Fully Loaded Man Meal is made for every kind of man.

“What’s wonderful is it touches on a universal truth that’s not culture specific. It really struck a chord with everyone in the room.”


Dove “Tongue,” “Breathing” and “Blinking” Ogilvy & Mather London

The second Gold was a campaign Lion for Dove’s “Tongue,” “Breathing” and “Blinking” spots, also created by Ogilvy & Mather, but out of the agency’s London offices. This, Eymundson says, had a level of “personal engagement, it forced you to do something.”

The three spots include the same soft-spoken narrator who brings up the subject of a person’s tongue, their breathing and their blinking habits. By talking about these things, the listener immediately becomes fixated on them. The ad then demonstrated how this is similar to how girls can’t escape the hundreds of messages they’re exposed to everyday about their bodies.


Libero magazine “Football Memories FM” Lola MullenLowe Spain

The final Gold, this one for Libero magazine by Lola MullenLowe in Spain, was an “innovative use of the medium” and one that Eymundson says he “would love to adopt [since we] play hockey games in Canada the same way.”

The Football Memories FM program was created after research showed that talking about football helped people with Alzheimer’s and dementia improve their memory, attention and mood. In addition to creating a memory-triggering magazine with football history and brain exercises, Libero magazine also created an FM radio station that streamed historic matches to help bring patients’ memories back.

“The debate is whether it’s a good use of the medium. Is this something that would only have worked on radio, or is it actually a multimedia campaign? I think the stuff we gave Gold to was a good use of radio and understood what good radio is about,” he added.

Eymundson also shared some words of jury wisdom in the video below, detailing what Canadian agencies and brands need to do in the radio space to land one of their own Gold Lions next year.