Thank you for asking me to be President of the Digital Asia jury. I’m very much looking forward to coming to Asia and experiencing the festival, and as a European, seeing the exciting work that’s coming out of the region.
Thanks to the internet, the globe is now smaller than ever but this means good work travels faster than ever before. Small, local campaigns receive recognition on a global scale. But local storytelling is still local storytelling. And this is what we’re looking to find and reward. It’s our job as jurors to help each other understand the stories behind the work that make it, well… work.
We talk a lot about innovation. But often, innovation is business changing. Clients who are making the most interesting work aren’t just making advertising, they’re innovating through new services and utilities. They’re behaving like start-up brands, and it’s the brands who behave innovatively that will have the most success.
I’ve never learned as much as I have as a judge. The judging sessions are a wonderful time to learn and share, and I’m very much looking forward to that experience. Many juries spend time trying to define what “great work” is. I don’t want to do that. If it surprises us enough it will stand out. Whatever language we speak or culture we come from, we all know how it feels to look at something so simple it’s obvious, and think “I wish I’d done that”.
I have sat on over fifty juries where English has been the first language. I hope this won’t always be the case. As international markets grow, we can start to look away from just Europe to find the voices and opinions that are shaping our industry – in China, the Philippines and Korea. For most of us on the jury, English is not our mother tongue, but we’re not going to let that hinder us in sharing our thoughts, opinions or ideas. As for me, I’ll be brushing up on my Chinese on the plane.
Matias Palm-Jensen, creative heavyweight and founder of Swedish digital agency Farfar, joined McCann Erickson in May 2011 as European Chief Innovation Officer. He is responsible for strengthening McCann Worldgroup’s digital presence and capabilities across Europe and ensuring that digital is strongly integrated into every part of the client’s business.
Matias has been involved in the creative and digital world of advertising since the beginning of the digital era. Working for MTG and the Swedish media mogul, Jan Stenbeck, Matias developed and produced one of the first and biggest European web portals in 1992.
In 1996, Matias started his first digital agency, Spiff Industries, a well-recognised and award-winning Swedish shop, with a focus on the Scandinavian market.
Matias then moved on and founded Farfar (Swedish for “grandfather”) in 2000 to expand to global brands, giving clients a platform and channel in the new digital space. Global clients included Diesel, ABSOLUT and Nokia.
In 2001, within just a year of its founding, Farfar began winning at Cannes Lions, continuing to win various Cannes Lions for nine consecutive years. The Diesel 'Heidie's 15 MB of Fame' campaign won a Grand Prix Lion in 2007 and the agency also won a Grand Prix at Cannes Lions for Milko with the 'Music Machine' campaign.
The last Farfar campaign Matias was part of was “The world’s biggest signpost” for Nokia. In 2010 this campaign won eight Lions in five different categories at Cannes Lions. The campaign was also recognised by The Gunn Report as the most award-winning piece last year.
At Cannes Lions, Matias has served as a juror three times in the last decade, including on the Titanium and Integrated Lions Jury.
Matias has a PhD in Law and Economics, and studied Film at the University of Stockholm. He lives in London. Matias is also a member of McCann Worldgroup’s Creative Leadership Collective, a group of the network's top creatives.