Cannes Lions Announces Kazakh Creator To Be Shortlisting Jury Member

ASTANA — Kazakh creator Nikita Yermolayev has been included in the line-up of global experts across the creative industries who will shortlist world-class creative work during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity from June 17-21, reported Cannes Lions press.

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Nikita Yermolaev is the Creative Director of RA Kombinat Creative Agency in Almaty. He will evaluate the works in the Brand Experience and Activation category.  

According to Yermolayev, this announcement marks a significant breakthrough for him and Kazakhstan. It offers opportunities to showcase works from the region, exchange contacts, and raise awareness about Kazakhstan’s growing market strength. 

Nearly 350 projects are to be evaluated online by May 27 and finalized in Cannes. Yermolayev and other international jury members in the Brand Experience & Activation category have been briefed on judging and time allocation strategies.

The evaluation criteria of the Category Guide have been identified as 20% allocated to the idea, 20% to strategy, 30% to execution, and 30% to the result. 

“We were guided to always remember that the idea is not primary. It is only one-fifth of the entire case,” said Yermolayev. 

The shortlisting process is one of the most important and difficult steps because jury members will determine which works will be discussed in Cannes and which will have the chance to win top honors. 

“We may simply not notice the cool work and it will not even be discussed. Therefore, it is important to watch and study everything carefully,” said Yermolayev.

“Our Shortlisting Jurors play a fundamental role in the Cannes Lions judging process. This talented line-up of industry experts will bring us one step closer to defining the creative benchmark on the global stage this June. I’d like to extend my gratitude for their hard work in curating the work that will go on to be awarded and recognized at the Festival this year,” said Simon Cook, CEO of Lions. 

Drawing on his extensive jury experience, Yermolayev notes the exceptional quality of works at Cannes, urging aspiring Lion winners to consider entering less high-profile categories for a more realistic shot of success. 

“I started watching the work in the morning and can give useful advice. For those who dream of a cherished lion, I would highly recommend going into less high-profile categories. The most interesting categories such as Film or Brand Experience are real meat grinders, it will be difficult,” he said. 

He also expressed a high level of comfort within his category, noting it would be difficult to imagine a more suitable fit. 

“It’s funny that a month ago we did a screening of the best festival advertising in this category for the agency’s clients (…) I still think this is the most interesting category in advertising overall. But the fact that I have to work with Anselmo Ramos, the Creative Chairman of GUT —an independent global creative agency with offices in Miami and São Paulo—is generally the best thing that could happen to me,” said Yermolayev.

With RA Kombinat Creative Agency celebrating its 10th anniversary and boasting Yermolayev’s 15 years of advertising experience, he noted his still youthful enthusiasm for the industry and a never-ending room for growth. 

This year, Yermolayev plans to approach the upcoming trip to Cannes with a greater focus on work, visiting agencies and gaining experience in forging connections. He also recommended industry professionals attend this event at least once, as it offers networking opportunities and exposure to new brands and advertising campaigns. 

“It has long been not a privilege, but a professional obligation to stay abreast of industry trends”, he said.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a global event for professionals in creative communications, advertising, and related fields. It is considered the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry. The five-day festival, incorporating the awarding of the Lions awards, is held yearly at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France.

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