Dinosaurs vs cyborgs. With chocolate mousse.
Well at least it is in Cannes. Twenty five and sunny with a cool breeze. I am told South Africa is being lashed by a series of cold fronts. I will hold a silent vigil for you all this morning on the beach, with the gentle waters of the Med lapping at my ankles as I sip delicious coffee from the coffee stand, watching the boats (ships?) of Russian oligarchs bobbing quietly in the bay.
Yesterday Mofilm (whoever they are) hosted a crowd sourcing seminar with Jesse Eisenberg as one of the guests on the panel. Jesse Eisenberg is apparently "very interested" in crowd sourcing, which gave a semblance of respectability to the otherwise completely gratuitous insertion of a celebrity into the presentation. Also on stage were 2 executives from General Motors, who were clearly the sponsors of this talk. The GM guys were also "very interested" in crowd sourcing. They had recently done some user-generated commercials which caused them to be tremendously pleased with themselves, as if this was the marketing equivalent of landing a man on Saturn. They then showed these commercials, all of them. Throughout this Jesse Eisenberg sat to one side, moping and gazing off into the middle distance, uncannily like his portrayal of Zuckerberg in the Social Network. It was weird, so I left. This ended up being a good thing because I managed to catch an Ogilvy Masterclass on what it takes to be a good account-management person. Graham Fink and Johnny Hornby were brilliant. They described a great suit as "a creative man who cannot draw or write copy, who pushes both the client and the agency to do new things". I have called accounts people many things in my time, but this is not one of them. They called a good suit a "ruthless editor", a "brilliant collaborator" and regarded truthfulness as being a prized quality. Jolly good stuff all round. Then I went to lunch.
This was no ordinary lunch. This was lunch hosted by Ogilvy for Coca Cola in a large chateau by the sea. First we listened to a talk by the Marketing Vice-President for Coke Latin America, Javier Sanchez Lamelas. Great, great client who truly understands what we do and why great partnerships deliver in spades. This stuck with me : "The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion (which he pointed out contains the word motion, to move) pushes us into making a decision, while reason allows us only to draw sterile conclusions". The Latin American Coke work has no long drinking shots, no "moments of extreme refreshment", just pure expressions of the optimism that Coke is really all about. Then we had lunch. As a copywriter I know that I am prone to moments of extreme exaggeration, but lunch definitely cracked my top-ten-all-time-best-lunches-ever-in-castles list. Anchovy and olive tart, roast chicory, rare roast beef, salad Nicois with quail’s eggs. Bloody perfect, and what a setting. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Zoro had come charging in on his black horse and slashed a big Z in the chocolate mousse. It was just that kind of day really.
So, last nights ceremony. Dinosaurs vs androids. The past vs the present. Or print and cyber, for those of you getting increasingly confused by my obtuse metaphors. Oh, and design too, which was first up and presented some of the best work on show so far. Check out the Tamiya calendar, which is just genius and so "on brand" it’s ridiculous ( that is the first time I have ever used the words " on brand"). The Lightwall Reflections for BMW by Serviceplan Munich is simple and beautiful, almost enough to completely absolve them from calling their agency Serviceplan. And then the opening titles for The Off International Festival, created by The Mill in London, blew me off my feet. Although I was sitting down, so that makes no sense really. Anyhow, check them out, singularly the most beautiful piece of anything at this year’s festival.
The Press Lions came next. I loved, loved, loved DDB Argentina’s Responsible Driving campaign. Grand Prix went to Samsonite suitcases "Heaven and Hell", which I must point out I predicted earlier in the week. I must admit press looked a bit inert in amongst all the wonderful design and cyber pieces. Probably because it is.
Cyber was just, well, cool. Also probably because it just is. Please go and look at all the Golds, there’s not a bad choice in there. The astounding Arcade Fire work was in there by Google Creative Labs. It’s been copied so much already, even at this years festival. The Google Chrome Browser work by BBH New York was Gold. And it will win again in TV. Finally, and totally and utterly predictably, Wieden and Kennedy’s response campaign for Old Spice won big. Check out the video, even if just to see the slam dunk social media results stuff at the end of the piece. It became the most watched viral piece of communication in history, ever, ever, ever.
I had to leave the cyber ceremony a bit early. I began to feel a bit Ill. I strongly suspect that the ultra-rich lunch, followed by half a kilo of chocolate mousse and rounded off with handfuls of Maltesers in the afternoon was my downfall. Although I would rather blame too much sun.
At Ogilvy we have run out of finalists now. So we wait for film : tic follows toc follows tic follows toc. My money’s on Ogilvy Joburg and their POWA film, but I don’t want to jinx it.
I am no longer disappointed. Just inspired. They say the work will set you free
And it has.
Just wish some of it was mine.
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