A Mannes in Cannes, just about.


Words by Monsieur Chris Gotz

I am not yet A Mannes in Cannes. At the moment I am a man in an airplane somewhere over France. Until a few days ago the French Air traffic controllers were all stamping their feet and throwing stale baguettes about the place in a fit of pique over new EU regulations to reduce the amount of air traffic control hubs over Europe. This would significantly improve the efficiency and safety of air traffic over the continent, however it would also significantly reduce the amount of French air traffic controllers, hence the flinging of stale baguettes and a wildcat strike. My BA flight seems to be flying in a dead straight line towards Cannes, so clearly tempers have cooled for the moment.

There have been so many Cannes Predictions in the past week it was hard to keep it up. They were flying around like stale baguettes in a French air traffic controllers strike. Nevertheless, I do feel I should weigh in with some thoughts on what will win. That way, presuming my predictions are spot on, you can all save yourselves the trouble of actually following the Festival online.

Let’s juggle the narrative a bit and start at the end then. The week will end with a Grand Prix for Film going to the fabulous “Dumb ways to die” public safety film by McCann’s Sydney. By then everyone will be singing along with this catchy number and it will be lovely and remind everyone of the whistling along to Honda Grrrr all those years ago. The Film jury will feel awfully pleased with themselves because “Dumb ways to die” is more of a music video, “content” thingy than an actual commercial. This will give the jury and the jury chairperson, John Hegarty, the chance to use the word “content” frequently in their interviews, which, as everyone knows, is absolutely essential if you are going to have any credibility at all these days. I think by the end of the week “Dumb ways to die” will have won so many times it may cause jealous creatives to actually seek out a few dumb ways to die themselves. Expect a drunk Pole to march into the Med with a hair dryer – which wouldn’t actually kill him because it wouldn’t be plugged in, but he is, after all, a drunk Polish man.

Coming close to a Film Grand Prix, and my personal fave (not that my opinion matters anywhere beyond my cramped economy class seat ) will be the brilliant Southern Comfort film from Wieden’s – “Whatever’s Comfortable” – an exercise in strangeness and quirk that makes me happy every time I watch it.

I think Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull’s Space Jump thingy will win frequently this week. Apparently 8 million people watched it live online, which is slightly less than your average to good cat video can pick up in a few days. Admittedly cat videos are not live, but they could be, although to get the cats to cooperate would be difficult. I am not a big fan of the Red Bull thing. I watched it and I was utterly bored throughout. But, once again, it allows people to talk sagely about “content” and “branded entertainment” and for these reasons alone it will dominate the week. Grand Prix tomorrow or Tuesday for something I would guess.

Probably my favourite piece of work going into this week is Dove “Sketches”. It is an activation, a film, a direct marketing piece and probably also qualifies in a hundred other categories. It is a beautiful piece of truth, brilliantly executed and bang on strategy for Dove. It is also the most watched piece of commercial “content” in ad history online. I expect it to win big. It may just put Ogilvy Brazil in pole position for Agency of the Year. Hope it does.

In Outdoor I really love the IBM “Smarter city” work by Ogilvy Paris, it will feature prominently I think. Another piece of genius IBM work is the “World’s Smallest Film” by Ogilvy New York. Anyone who takes the trouble and time to isolate and animate single atoms, then magnify them a hundred million times and make a little film about a boy and his ball, well, I suspect even the French air traffic controllers would stop throwing stale baguettes and break into a smattering if applause.

On the other hand I may just be terribly wrong about all of this. In which case I will report faithfully all week about the real results and let you know what everyone thinks. I’ll also try and remember the good bits from the Seminars and give you the sparkly bits from those. Expect many mentions of the word “content” and “data” and “baguette”. Expect also a progressive and all encompassing gloom as our own work slips in and out of contention. Last year I was able to whoop and fist bump and feign modesty and then dance badly at the parties like a 40 year old nerdy white guys. This year, well, we shall have to see, but I’ll make sure I have a few stale baguettes to fling about should the likely eventuality of losing come to pass. It’s the hope, after all, that kills you.

Sent from my iPad

One Reply to “A Mannes in Cannes, just about.”

  1. You weren’t wrong though, were you! Apart from the bit about you guys not winning. Many congrats on the Lion for Facebook SA. Rightly recognised and about time too! (That was my prediction, by the way, so feeling rather chuffed with myself.)

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