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Awards and Events

Maurice Riley: Creative Data, Diversity & Inclusion and Peer Recognition Ahead of Cannes Lions 2021

The Jury President of this year’s Cannes Lions Creative Data category on the value of great creativity and how data will be celebrated this year

Maurice Riley: Creative Data, Diversity & Inclusion and Peer Recognition Ahead of Cannes Lions 2021

Digitas ANZ’s chief data officer, Maurice Riley has a pretty clear vision on how he hopes this year’s Cannes Lions will look: “Hope springs eternal but my actions this year will help make that a reality.” By ‘that’ he means the real results of how the industry has tackled diversity and inclusion will be something that will be fascinating to see. And, as jury president of the Creative Data category, which has seen an influx of entries, Maurice is also looking forward to seeing how the wider industry has been toying with the idea of ‘creative data’ and blending the two together.

With not long to go until the festival, LBB’s Natasha Patel caught up with Maurice to hear how he’s preparing for the event and how human connections will be at the forefront of the jury’s mind.



LBB> After a year and a half of Covid-19, why does the business and creative world need award shows?



Maurice> Great creative ideas build businesses. Great creative storytelling connects people. Great creative expression inspires people to stand for a brand. So when someone wins a Lion, or any other award, it’s cool to receive peer recognition. Hooray for them. But it’s amazing to uncover and make known around the world the new standards in connecting insight, storytelling and creative expression in unexpected ways for unparalleled results. 



LBB> You’ll be awarding 2020 and 2021 Lions – I know the years are being judged separately but it must be super illuminating to see the comparison between pre-Covid and Covid work. I know it’s still in the pre-judging phase, but have you noticed any trends or has it given you any new perspective on how the industry has changed?



Maurice> It is refreshing to see more work that shifts from ads to acts in 2021. Especially how data is useful and needed to change behaviour.



LBB> Cannes is also a time of celebration. What will you be celebrating this year?



Maurice> We are still able to have the fun, the comradery and the magic of being on the Promenade de la Crossiette virtually. It may look different but after each session with the jury and the Cannes Lions team, I am left on a high from all the compelling discussions about the work and connections being made with fantastic humans from around the world.



LBB> What do you hope to see at Cannes 2022?  



Maurice> I want to see two things: The tangible results of the Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and the conversations that Cannes Lions, as well as the industry at large, have been having on Creative Data, being one of the premiere categories with the most entries! Hope springs eternal but my actions this year will help make that a reality.

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