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Cannes Jury Spotlights: Scholz & Friends’ Matthias Spaetgens


Matthias Spaetgens, chief creative officer of the Scholz & Friends Family, will be serving as a Mobile Lions juror

Cannes Jury Spotlights: Scholz & Friends’ Matthias Spaetgens

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

Little Black Book is spotlighting creatives across the VMLY&R network who are joining the ranks of the industry’s most recognised and respected creative professionals to judge top-tier work at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival. 

Matthias Spaetgens, chief creative officer of the Scholz & Friends Family, part of the VMLY&R network, with offices in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This year, he will be serving as a Mobile Lions juror. 

Matthias has been working for Scholz & Friends since 1998 and is one of the most-awarded creatives in Germany. He was ranked the second-most-awarded chief creative officer in the world in 2021 by The Drum World Creative Rankings. In 2009, he was the best creative director worldwide according to The Drum ranking. 

His work for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mercedes-Benz, Montblanc, Berliner Philharmoniker, Der Tagesspiegel, The Female Company (the Tampon Book) and more was awarded with more than 50 Lions at the festival.  

Since 2010, Matthias has been a university professor and heads the department of communication design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. 

Q> How do you spot Cannes-winning work?

Matthias> I am constantly searching for the ideas evoking envy. When I come across an idea that makes me think, "I wish I had come up with that," it serves as a reliable indicator of great work. Additionally, ideas that challenge our own work or make me think: “Oh, wow, I must share this with my team!” and “How did they do that?” are super captivating. 


Q> What makes you passionate about the category you are judging?

Matthias> The mobile phone is the magic device through all forms of communication today. It’s TV, radio, billboard, social media, yearbook, libraries all in one — offering limitless opportunities. And you can still make phone calls with it! I am intrigued to see how brands will find new ways to harness the full potential of these possibilities and uncover new ways to become relevant on the small screen.

Q> What do you hope to take away from judging at Cannes 2023?

Matthias> Serving as a jury member is an invaluable education. It enables me to adjust my own benchmark and elevates my own work to a new level. Beyond this, it is a lot of fun, and you meet amazing people.


Q> What do you think will be the biggest themes at this year’s festival?  

Matthias> I am eager to witness great examples of how brands are elevating to a new level with brave, surprising ideas.


Q> What does creativity mean to you? OR what does the future of creativity look like?

Matthias> Creativity is the funniest sport you can do. It presents constant challenges; you never get bored by it and it’s a pleasure to work in a business where we are paid to indulge in our passion.

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Scholz & Friends, Fri, 26 May 2023 12:29:00 GMT