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Cannes judge Ajay Vikram: Asia needs more consistency to convert finalists into winners

Ajay VikramA weakness in Asian advertising is a lack of consistency, which explains why so few shortlisted entries were converted into awards at the Direct Lions in Cannes, a juror told Mumbrella today.

Ajay Vikram, the regional chief creative officer of Publicis Southeast Asia, who judged the Direct Lions, said: “Asia hasn’t converted as much as I would have liked us to have done. This is not necessarily because the work is not up to scratch. But in terms of sheer volume of work, there weren’t many entries that went on to win metal.”

Vikram suggested that Asia needed to rethink its definition of direct marketing and broaden its understanding of the discipline beyond traditional mail packs. The Grand Prix winner in the Direct Lions this year went to an interactive billboard for British Airways.

“I’m just guessing here, but maybe in Asia we should see direct marketing differently. We tend to regard it in a traditional guise. But the definition of direct marketing is so much broader now. It’s gone beyond flat mailing, it’s social now.”

In the Direct Lions this year, Japan won Asia’s only gold from 20 shortlisted entries from the region with a campaign by Dentsu for Honda that recreated the sound of late F1 driver Ayrton Senna’s car.

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