Cannes Jury Spotlight: Judite Mota

Judite Mota's Headshot

At Cannes Lions, the world’s premier festival recognizing creative excellence, thousands of entries pour in from countries worldwide. Behind the scenes, a carefully selected panel of judges reviews the work that will ultimately take home a coveted Cannes Lion.

Joining the ranks of the industry’s most recognized and respected creative professionals, Judite Mota, CCO at VMLY&R Lisbon, is serving as a juror for Direct Shortlist.

Judite has been a copywriter and creative director for most of her professional life. She has a degree in journalism and studied classical ballet, but creative departments have been her home for more than 20 years. Currently the chief creative officer and MD of VMLY&R Lisbon, Judite has collected awards in all major shows, including Cannes, the Clio Awards, London festival, and New York Festivals, as well as the main award shows in Portugal. She has also served in many international jury panels like the Cannes Lions, D&AD, the Clio Awards and The One Show. She has also presided over Portugal’s Creative Club for four years.

Nowadays, she is responsible for a multidisciplinary team aiming to connect creativity, technology and culture for the benefit of brands.

Judite believes that creative thinking must lead every step in a client-agency relationship and that ideas are the force that moves the world forward.

What do you think will be the big talking points at this year’s festival? 

One of the biggest talking points I think will be whether the pandemic influenced the quality of awarded work for the better, for the worse or not at all. I’m very curious about this. Is the best work from before or after COVID-19? Also, I would like to see some debate about how the craft and production values of the video cases influence the appreciation of ideas.

Describe creativity during the pandemic in one sentence.

Creativity during the pandemic felt lonely sometimes. 

Is there anything in particular you are looking for in the entrants of the category you are judging?

I was judging Direct, so I was looking for good work that fit the category perfectly. Some work was good, but it felt like it was in the wrong category just to maximize the chances of winning. Perfectly targeted work with truthful insights about the audience is what I was looking for.

How do you spot Cannes-winning work?

Spotting the Golds is easy. The tricky part for me is “Is this shortlist worthy? Or a bronze?” The fine tuning of the non-Gold list is where the debates (internal or public) happen. 

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