This year’s Cannes Lions Print & Publishing Jury President, Joji Jacob, discusses why print is the true medium of the brave.


Issue 55: Print Matters

Joji Jacob has spent over 20 years with some of the biggest and best agencies in India and Singapore.  Seven years ago, he was named Group Executive Creative Director of DDB Group Singapore and has led the agency to become one of the most awarded agencies in the world. Joji himself has been named Singapore’s Most Influential Creative Director by the Institute of Advertising Singapore and South East Asia’s Creative Person of the Year by Campaign two years in a row. He also heads up DDB’s Creative Council in Asia.

If print were a person, it would be a Spartan

Three time Cannes Lions juror, Joji Jacob of DDB Singapore, has been tapped to lead the refreshed Print & Publishing category at the Festival this year, aimed to celebrate what modern print can be.  Joji certainly understands how to steer reinvention – his integrated creative department is made up of 140 creative directors, copywriters, art directors, digital designers and technologists. And he also still values the classic skills associated with the medium. We asked Joji to reflect on his role as Jury President and the role of print advertising in the future.

This is the first year of the newly renamed Print & Publishing Lions. What effect, if any, do you think it will have on the category?

Obviously, there will be more variety of work to look at and judge. We will need to switch hats every now and then when we look at print and then at the publishing work. I’m hoping there will be tons of books and other long-form content.

Print is branded as “old media”. What about it excites you? What makes it still fresh today?

At only slight risk of hyperbole, I’d claim that if print were a person, it would be a Spartan. It is communication in its purest form. An idea, a carefully composed picture, a bunch of carefully chosen words. And it’s the medium of the brave. You can’t hide behind gimmicks, you can’t ship it and then fix it. You can’t tweak it as you go along. It leaves your hands, and then it either thrives or dies.

Is it more difficult to be original or innovative in print?

Obviously print as a medium has its limitations. Unlike your smartphone, you don’t look at a newspaper or magazine an average of 150 times a day. But print also has its place. In a world of dubious information, the printed word carries more authority than ever. The web is rumours; print is news.

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