Three drunk Colombians and the Sundance Kid
Yesterday began with three drunk Colombians. At Cannes it is not unusual to encounter incredibly drunk people at all times of the day. They were in the queue at a coffee stand at 9am. I bought a coffee. They bought three ice cold Carlsbergs. Then they went tearing off after an athletic looking jogger, running theatrically behind him shouting hysterically in Spanish. Poor guy.
Yesterday, of course, was Robert Redford day. He came to talk to us about storytelling, something he knows a bit about. Unfortunately the interviewer was a blow-waved slightly younger looking extremely-pleased-with-himself version of Alec Baldwin. Thanks goodness this did not stop Robert Redford from being funny and inspiring and wise. It also served up the unintentional bonus of Robert Redford (who is incredibly suave and dry) occasionally making fun of blow-wave Alec Baldwin guy.
Alec Baldwin blow-wave guy : What keeps you going ? What drives you?
Robert Redford (deadpan): Sex.
He said some other really great stuff too. He talked about being the Sundance kid opposite Paul Newman. He talked about the Sundance Festival and how it almost single-handedly saved independent film in the States (ok him and the Weinstein’s).
Other things Robert Redford said which were cool :
"the only thing that ever leads to success is change"
"nobody ever votes for a new idea, you have to grind it out and force it through yourself"
"always look in the other corner" (which Freud said, but then there is something totally cool about watching Redford quote Freud on a stage at Cannes in front of mostly bemused ad folk (and blow-wave guy who by now had realized that Robert Redford was taking the piss a bit).
Another thing Robert Redford said was "beware of success, it has a very dark side ".
This is not something I have to worry about too much this week as success is proving a bit elusive. Ogilvy Cape Town are 10 shortlisted pieces down without a win now. If I wasn’t such a good guy I would be outside the Gutter bar at 2am coming up with conspiracy theories ( ok, I was). Other people are winning, which is lovely ( cue forced and distinctly ungenerous smile).
At last night’s ceremony South Africa won big. Network BBDO did not so much fly the flag high as wrap themselves up in it while doing backward flick- flacks singing shosholoza. They got a Grand Prix for radio (for Mercedes accident avoidance systems) plus another gold and 2 silvers. Boom. There was a smattering of other stuff too. Huge audience favourite was the LoweBull CT piece for the Cape Times Employment section.
Other stuff to look out for.
The outdoor piece for The Missing Children’s Initiative from Kempertrautmann Hamburg.
The totally brilliant media gold for Irn Bru by PHD London.
The June 16 campaign for Tunisia by Tunisia Memac.
In outdoor the Samsonite Suitcases ad by JWT is brilliant, and it will be a multiple winner this week.
There was a Guerrilla demobilization campaign by Lowe Bogota which deserves to be looked at just because they used 2 Blackhawk Choppers in an outdoor piece.
My favorite outdoor piece last night was the Lego campaign by Leo Burnett Moscow, maybe just because I have small boys at home (sons not concubines).
Finally the Decode JayZ stuff by Droga 5 New York is totally and utterly brilliant. Look at it, if you haven’t already seen it.
I saw a few Ted Talks yesterday. Yes, they are here as well. In true Ted style the standout talk of the week so far ( sorry Robert Redford) was not about being connected but about being disconnected. An unassuming, shy, man ( don’t remember name) talked about how the over-connectedness of our world is killing our attention spans and completely ruining our ability to think clearly and intensely and for extended periods about the problems we face every day.
He suggested (and this is especially relevant for us ) long periods of "disconnected" time that will allow us to sit, totally without distraction, in groups or alone, and talk, think and solve – just like we did in the old days. He called it "pure time".
It sounds simple. Yet we never do it.
We should probably start. Right after I check my phone for messages.
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