Direct Lions

The Direct Lions celebrate targeted and response-driven creativity.

Entries will need to demonstrate how insights and/or data were used as part of the strategy to engage specific target audience groups and develop customer relationships, inspiring action and producing measurable results. A number of criteria will be considered during judging and weighted as follows: 30% idea, 20% strategy, 20% execution, 30% impact and results.

Direct Lions Sections

  • A. Direct: Sectors

    In these categories, the jury will reward the best direct campaigns for the sector selected. The same work can be submitted only once in this section.

    • A01 Food & Drink

      All food and drinks.

    • A02 Other FMCG

      Beauty, cleaning products, other household goods, other FMCG.

    • A03 Healthcare

      Pharma, OTC drugs, wellness.

    • A04 Consumer Durables

      Technology, homewares, furniture and lighting, toys, fashion, home appliances, other durables.

    • A05 Automotive

      Vehicles, other automotive.

    • A06 Retail

      Retail, eCommerce, restaurants, fast food.

    • A07 Travel

      Travel, tourism, transport.

    • A08 Leisure

      Live events, museums & galleries, gambling, sports, gaming, other recreation.

    • A09 Media / Entertainment

      Music, film, television, publications & media, books, news, digital platforms, other media.

    • A10 Consumer Services / Business to Business

      Legal, financial, B2B technology, consultancies & professional services, other business services, internal & corporate comms.

    • A11 Not-for-profit / Charity / Government

      Government, public information, other not-for-profit, military, charities, non-profit.

    • A12 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Corporate Image

      Non-product based social responsibility campaigns aimed to address social, ethical and environmental issues. Corporate Image campaigns including event sponsorship to build the image/ raise the profile/ shape the perceptions of a brand.

  • B. Channels

    Work in these categories will be judged specifically on how the channel was used as a piece of direct communication for a brand.

    • B01 Mailing

      One dimensional and multi-dimensional mailings. This may include greeting cards, invitations, samples, pop ups and all other types of mailed collateral.

    • B02 Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale

      Non-mail and print collateral, including small physical objects and all other hand-held (or equivalent in size) items.

    • B03 Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale

      Non-traditional media, including direct response stunts, street teams, direct response events, outdoor/ambient media and other mediums which encourage direct interaction and seek a measurable response.

    • B04 Use of Broadcast

      Direct campaigns using Cinema, TV or Radio. Entries should demonstrate how the chosen medium led the other direct elements in the campaign.

    • B05 Use of Print / Outdoor

      Direct campaigns using Print or Outdoor. Entries should demonstrate how the chosen medium led the other direct elements in the campaign. Including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines, inserts, trade journals, traditional billboard or poster sites, bus shelters and transit advertising using standard advertising space.

  • C. Data & Technology

    Work in these categories should demonstrate how a direct campaign was enhanced or driven by the creative use of data or technology which enhanced the customer experience and led to measurable business results.

    • C01 Data Strategy

      Entries in this category should show how the application of data and insights significantly formed the basis of the direct campaign strategy. Entrants should also provide evidence of how their data-driven strategy helped to profile customers’ behaviours and segmentation, which ultimately led to successful direct marketing activities.

    • C02 Data-driven Targeting

      Entries in this category should clearly demonstrate how the interpretation and analysis of data was used to build a targeted communication for a specific audience. Entrants should also show how data helped define the target and creative messaging, allowing for specific personalisation within a direct campaign.

    • C03 Use of Real-time Data

      Entries in this category should illustrate how real-time data enhanced creative with a target audience or was utilised in promoting an ongoing relationship with the consumer. Entries should clearly demonstrate how the use of real-time data led to measurable and meaningful results.

    • C04 New Realities & Voice-activation

      Creative application of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and Voice technology. Including but not limited to AI, immersive systems, gaming, video mapping and voice enabled assistants.

    • C05 Digital Installations & Interactive Screens

      Immersive digital experiences which are set up to engage and strengthen relationships with consumers. This can include, POS, temporary installations, motion chairs, multi-screen and multi-dimensional experiences, using GPS, NFC, radio and facial recognition technology.

    • C06 Use of Other Technology

      Other technology methods, including ad production, dynamic ads, and creative optimization techniques.

  • D. Digital & Social

    Work in these categories will be judged on how well the digital and social mediums and techniques were used as a piece of direct communication for a brand.

    • D01 Use of Digital Platforms

      Online platforms or associated technologies harnessing a digital environment in a promotional campaign. This can include, but is not limited to, websites, microsites, games, search engines, banner ads and instant messaging.

    • D02 Use of Mobile

      Entries in this category must feature targeted communication with a clearly identifiable call to action or response mechanism delivered through mobile/portable devices such as mobile phones and mobile technology.

    • D03 Use of Social Platforms

      Direct marketing campaigns that use social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video-sharing sites, hosted services etc. to create and/or enhance relationships with a community/consumers.

    • D04 Real-time Response

      Targeted social activity that utilises social platforms in order to respond to world events, public affairs and other real-world, real-time activity in an immediate and meaningful way, which prompts social sharing and elicits a measurable response.

    • D05 Co-creation & User Generated Content

      Social activity designed to encourage a community/fanbase to contribute or collaborate with a brand initiative through a clear call to action. Engagement may be intended to drive long term value through collaborative interaction.

  • E. Excellence in Direct

    • E01 Copywriting

      A campaign or individual communication showcasing outstanding copywriting skill that has led to a successful and measured response.

    • E02 Art Direction / Design

      A campaign or individual communication that showcases the outstanding design of a customer experience that has led to a successful and measured response.

    • E03 Experience Design

      A campaign or individual communication showcasing outstanding experience in the customer experience that has led to a successful and measured response.

    • E04 Launch / Re-launch

      Direct marketing campaigns created to launch or re-launch a product or service on the market. This can also include work aiming to acquire new customers, and reinvigorate lapsed customers.

    • E05 Personalised Campaigns New!

      Dynamic campaigns based on consumer data and insight. Including content from websites, videos, emails, social and blogs. You must demonstrate how the campaign enriched the user’s experience by driving engagement and achieving results. 

  • F. Culture & Context

    • F01 Local Brand New!

      Campaigns for brands distributed in a single locality or market which resonated with a specific target audience.

    • F02 Challenger Brand New!

      Celebrating the success of disruptive, game-changing work for an aspiring brand that uses progressive thinking and innovative creativity to challenge the status quo.

    • F03 Single-market Campaign New!

      Campaigns that aired or ran in a single country / region / market. Entries should describe how the campaign was designed for the specific target market.

    • F04 Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight New!

      Campaigns inspired by a specific audience / community, hinging on identifiable social behaviour or cultural insights.

    • F05 Breakthrough on a Budget New!

      Strategic and creative use of modest budgets and/or resources to create maximum impact.

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Direct Lions Jury
Full jury announced in 2019

Nicky Bullard President

Chairwoman & Chief Creative Officer, MRM McCann

"It’s an amazing career highlight being asked to be the President of a Cannes Lions jury. (Yep, I may have screamed a few times.) For me, being chosen to be the President of Direct is just incredible. (Yep, I may have screamed a few more times.)

I love Direct. The discipline. The personal-ness (is that a word?). The accountability. With Direct there are no grey areas. Your work has either worked, or it hasn’t. I have some clear direction for the jury. And I will be a scrupulous leader. I will however also instruct the jury to be generous. But not TOO generous!

I feel like Direct has, in the past, been a category of confusion. I think because there has been a genuine lack of clarity about what Direct is. This year there will be no confusion. I’ve heard people say ‘everything is Direct now’. It’s not. It really is not.

This year will be a tough year. It will be the year when those people who have never totally understood Direct totally will. The year when we will confidently have Lions that show what best-in-the-world Direct looks like. It will be the year that sets up next year. That’s our responsibility.

That’s what we are going to do."

The Direct Lions Jury

Nicky Bullard Jury President

Chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer
MRM McCann

Nicky was the first creative woman to become chair of a UK marketing agency, that being multi award-winning MRM//McCann in London. Creatively recognized across nearly all the major shows, Nicky thinks she's probably worked across every media and sector - but direct and digital are where her heart lies. She is a fierce champion of the customer and believes insight is all. She is also hugely passionate about effectiveness - it's only great work if it works. Ask her what makes Direct work direct and she'll say it needs answer these four questions: Do you know me or want to know me? (targeting and insight) Have you made me feels something? (the idea and execution) Did you ask me to do something? (a clear call to action) Can you prove I did it? (measurable results) Nicky says that the campaign of her career is the one we're all living right now, the campaign for equality.
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Abi Aquino

Executive Creative Director
MullenLowe Philippines


Alejandro Canciobello

Senior Vice President, Creative Director
Moon Rabbit


Robin Fitzgerald

Chief Creative Officer
BBDO Atlanta


Alessandro Sciarpelletti

Creative Director
We Are Social


Anders Muurman Holm



Aranzazu Muraca

Digital Creative Strategist
The Juju


Claudi Potter

Creative Director
Joe Public United
South Africa


Dhruv Warrior

Associate Creative Director
United Arab Emirates


Francisco Xavier Barona Guillén

Executive Creative Director
La Facultad


Gosia Drozdowska

Executive Creative Director


Ignacio Quiñones

Chief Creative Officer
Grey Chile


Ioana Zamfir

Creative Director
Centrade Cheil


Jesus Lada Awarding Jury

Chief Creative Officer


Johanne Bruun Rasmussen

Founding Partner & Creative Director
Hello Monday


Karolina Galácz

Creative Director
DDB Budapest


Kelly Pon

Executive Creative Director


Klaartje Galle

Creative Director
Darwin BBDO


Kristal Knight Awarding Jury

Creative Director
Saatchi & Saatchi
New Zealand


Manolo Techera

Chief Creative Officer
M&C Saatchi


Marina Danjo



Mauricio Sarmiento

Chief Creative Officer
Leo Burnett


Mischa Schreuder

Creative Director
Publicis One
The Netherlands


Mohammad Kamal

Managing Director & Creative Director
Memac Ogilvy Advize


Myles Lord Awarding Jury

Managing Creative Director/Partner
Serviceplan Berlin


Nathalie Brown Awarding Jury

Vice President, Executive Creative Director


Nellie Kim Awarding Jury

Partner, Vice President
Executive Creative Director
LG2, Canada


Oleg Tumanov

Executive Creative Director
Geometry Moscow


Pallavi Chakravarti

Executive Creative Director
Taproot Dentsu


Rafael Donato Awarding Jury

Creative Vice-President
David São Paulo


Ricardo Chadwick Matteucci

Chief Creative Director
Fahrenheit DDB


Sami Basut

Executive Creative Director
Manajans J. Walter Thompson


Seulki Lee

Creative Director
Cheil Worldwide
South Korea


Stefan Dätwyler

Creative Director / Partner
Wirz Activation


Stephanie Moradi Awarding Jury

Senior Copywriter and Partner
Åkestam Holst


Stephen De Wolf Awarding Jury

Executive Creative Director
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne


Steve Babaeko

Chief Creative Officer and CEO
X3M Ideas


Thanasorn Janekankit

Executive Creative Director
CJ Worx


Tristan Daltroff Awarding Jury

Creative Director


Past winners of the Direct Lions

Palau Pledge

2018 · Host/Havas for Palau Legacy Project


Palau, a Pacific island-nation, has seen a massive growth in tourist numbers in the past three years.The Palau Legacy Project, a tourism marketing body that works alongside the government, recognised that without action, it would be too late to protect some of the most unique parts of the country, such as the UNESCO World Heritage listed Rock Islands. The challenge was to find a balance between encouraging tourism without compromising the environment.However, the costs of environmentally wasteful, destructive behaviour are difficult to feel on an individual level. Those costs aren't the result of any one person’s careless actions but of aggregate actions, not felt until months/ years afterwards.This makes it difficult for people to understand the value of making an effort towards conservation.The objective: partner with government, the Palau population and the tourist industry to model and promote sustainable attitudes and behaviour among tourists and locals.

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