Jotz of Gotz: Cannes Part 1

ChrisCannes Beachfront

Our Man in Cannes: Musings from Ogilvy Cape Town’s ECD Chris Gotz

Hello. I am in Cannes.

I know this because the men are mostly burnt orange with large gold watches and wearing boat shoes. The women wear flowy-silky expensive-looking kaftans, as if they may be called upon to board a luxury cruise liner at a moment’s notice.There are other people too. They are all much younger with lots of facial hair and seem to be competing in a vast and interconnected game of "my t-shirt is cooler than yours". These are the ad people, who have come from far and wide to this, the first, annual, "Festival of global creativity". This appears to be a feeble and badly disguised attempt by the organizers of the Cannes Advertising Festival to reinvent themselves as a more relevant and globally-impactful event. It seems to have worked. Just a glance at this year’s seminar program will tell you that. Malcom Gladwell is here. Edward de Bono too. Robert Redford is going to talk about storytelling. Jesse Eisenberg is here to talk about social media, not sure why, maybe they think he’s Zuckerberg. Patti Smith and are going to talk about music. Aaron Sorkin is going to talk about writing for TV. Eric Schmidt is going to talk about himself, a lot. And why shouldn’t he.

Cannes is packed to the rafters with celebs. Maybe they just rounded up everyone who was still here after the bloody film festival and gave them a topic and told them to wing it, who knows. Anyhow, all will be revealed soon.

As I write this juries of wise, discriminating and occasionally bitter creatives are sitting in judgement of the world’s best work. Already the Direct and Promo and Activation Shortlists are out. Ogilvy Joburg features twice for the brilliant POWA film. Ogilvy Cape Town once for VW Polo "Sell your car". So we are on the scoreboard folks. Tomorrow we see another flood of Shortlists released, so here’s hoping for more success. I will keep you posted. Although I am sure all the studio folks will be online and tallying up Shortlists long before I give you the lowdown. Anyhow, some very drunk Swedish people are singing loudly below my window, which is making it hard to concentrate. At least, it sounds like Swedish. Unless they are just really, really, really drunk English people. Will let you know tomorrow.

Sent from my iPad