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The 2014 juries have been confirmed for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which will kick off from 15 June to 21 June, and the representation from the South African industry is overwhelming.

Tribute to the high standard of local talent, South African judges have been announced in the film, press, outdoor, media, direct, promo & activation and design categories. Local representative of the festival, Cinemark, is thrilled by the 2014 jury announcement.

“It is a massive juggling act and we may look at it from a country or regional point of view, however the Festival looks at the bigger picture from a global perspective.  The nominations we put forward in the various categories South Africa is allocated are manoeuvred to ensure a balanced and fair jury so no network or holding company is over or under represented.   We hope that we have made a lot of people very happy,” explains Cinemark’s Marketing Manager Yvonne Diogo.

“In the case of those who were not selected, this is purely down to network or holding company clashes. All nominees are the cream of the crop within the advertising industry, and this is evident in the respect and admiration that they have earned across the industry,” she adds.

While the T&I, Creative Effectiveness, Branded Content, Mobile and Innovation juries have not yet been announced, the following South Africans will represent various other categories in this dynamic and internationally acclaimed creative festival.

For the Film category, Kirk Gainsford from Lowe & Partners in Cape Town will be a judge. Kirk studied visual arts and photography before joining a small design studio as a junior designer. When he was given the chance to be an Art Director, he jumped at it. Kirk has now been a Creative Director at Lowe Cape Town for six years. The work that his team have done for founding client Cape Times has seen them clean up at Cannes, One Show, Clio’s, London, Young Guns, Loeries and D&AD.

Mariana O’Kelly from Ogilvy & Mather will be a judge for the Press category.  She began her career at Lindsey Smithers FCB and over the last 18 years, has worked at some of South Africa’s most prestigious agencies including Hunt Lascaris, Jupiter Drawing Room and Ne#work BBDO. She joined Ogilvy & Mather is a Creative Director in 2011 and was promoted two years later to joint Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy. She has been recognised at Cannes, D&AD, One Show, Clio’s, Eagles and Loeries.

In the Outdoor category, Brett Morris from Draftfcb South Africa will be representing the nation at Cannes this year. He explains that he stumbled into a career as a copywriter while fleeing a career in law. After eight years in the business, he was appointed Executive Creative Director of Draftfcb and under his leadership the agency won more awards than ever before in its 90-year history, including South Africa’s first Cannes Grand Prix. He is also a published fiction and feature film scriptwriter.

Erica Gunning from MEC Group is a judge for the Media category. She specialised in Media during her studies at the AAA, started at Media Compete in 1997 and rapidly rose through the ranks into a management position. With over 16 years in the industry, Erica has introduced new disciplines into media service at MEC including Digital Access (Content) and A&I (Insights). In 2013 the media agency won both the Cannes and Festival of Media award for content work done on the KFC Add Hope campaign.

For the Direct category, Bridget Johnson from Ireland-Davenport will be judging at Cannes Lions 2014. Bridget has an 18-year career in the industry where she has won Gold Lions, One Show Pencils, Clio’s, D&AD nominations, Loeries and others and is currently an Executive Creative Director at Ireland Davenport. After initially studying law, Bridget says she hasn’t entirely lost the will to fight for justice and harbours a desire to do more ‘cause’ advertising and work for good. She has also been lucky enough to work on iconic brands like Vodacom, Coca-Cola, Cadbury, KFC, Nissan, Audi, Nissan and Harley Davidson.

Adam Livesey from TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris will be judging the Promo & Activation category. Adam began his advertising career as an art director, creating some of his best work at Lowe Bull Johannesburg. After being named in the top 10 Art Directors in the world, in 2008 he joined BBDO New York as a Creative Director, gaining global experience. In 2012 he returned to South Africa and was appointed the Executive Creative Director of TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris. Adam has won 22 Cannes Lions awards in his career, along with numerous other international awards.

For the Design category, Sulet Jansen from Switch Design, will be judging this year. Her portfolio includes well-known brands such as Investec, MTN, National Brands, Coca-Cola and SABC as well as smaller, niche brands. Currently the Creative Director at Switch Branding and Design, Sulet has been a finalist in the Loeries a few times and has won a couple of Bronze Loeries.

Executive Director of Creative and Founding Partner of House of Brave, Vanessa Pearson, will judge the Radio category at this year’s Cannes Lions. An Advertising Person of the Year nominee, Cannes judge, D&AD judge, Loerie judge, Ad of the Year judge and South African Creative Circle Executive Committee member for 10 years, Vanessa has worked at top agencies such as The Jupiter Drawing Room, Network BBDO, King James and Ogilvy. She has also won multiple Cannes Gold Lions, Clio statues, One Show Pencils, New York Festival Grand Prix’s and Loerie Gold awards and has worked with brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Nike, Coca-Cola Twist, Levis, Nestle and Procter & Gamble.

With just a few months to go before the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, excitement levels are at all in time high as South Africa and the rest of the world brace for one of the biggest events in the industry.

Adam Livesey

Adam Livesey

Morris Vivian Ralebitso Pix for DRAFTFCB by Jeremy Glyn January 2014

Brett Morris

Bridget Johnson 2

Bridget Johnson

Mariana O'Kelly 2

Mariana O’Kelley

sulet_jansen 2

Sulet Jansen

Vanessa Pearson


Vanessa Pearson


SA Creatives

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