We are in full swing here on the Riviera now. Last night I bought a round of drinks that cost the same as a decent set of garden furniture, and I really need new garden furniture. Still, the post awards show analysis and bitching (and moaning about the South Americans) is such a vital part of Cannes. The first Grand Prix (I have no idea what the plural of Grand Prix is, I suspect it may be Grand Prix, if not, my apologies) of the week were collected last night.
After that the real show began with the Dutch Young Creatives party, or Jongehonden as it’s better known.
This is a terrifying blitzkrieg of techno, beer and spittle policed by a horde of young, tall, raucous, uninhibited and extremely drunk Dutch creative people. Some of my young creatives nursed themselves delicately through the door at 5am. They had video footage of this event. It looked for all the world like a Marine platoon pinned down in a fairly heavy and explosive firefight in Basra.
Way before all that there were a few seminars worth attending, at least that’s what it looked like.
Thing is, the not-so-famous Sapient Nitro guy was pretty keen for us to all know that he was hanging here in Cannes with his bro Spike, just shooting the breeze, chatting about John Malkovitch and stuff. He talked a lot. The really, really famous Spike Jones seemed somewhat bemused and really didn’t say that much at all.
Spike did mention a few commercials he “kind of liked” like “the one with all the balls that bounce down the steps” which was obviously Spike’s way of letting us know he was totally down with this advertising thing.
The discussion had all the flow of half dry cement.
We left while not-famous-at-all Sapient Nitro guy was expounding on his theory of “disruption” (which used to be TBWA’s theory but he must have got a good deal on it from Jean Marie Dru).
The organisers of the Festival need to watch that the seminars don’t become an endless array of celebrities who look vaguely uncomfortable with being there as their interviewer desperately tries to cling to a pompous sounding “theme”.
Themes are crap. Themes are for 21st birthday parties and shitty launches for fruit flavoured alcoholic drinks.
Today Google rolled out their Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora, to tell us all how Google will be reorganizing and improving the planet for us. “It’s difficult to realize you’re in a revolution when you’re in the midst of it.” he told us. Google is, of course, manning the barricades of this revolution. It was spellbinding stuff.
“Aspire to serve the world.” he urged us, before promptly telling us just how quickly things are going to change. He left us in no doubt that mobile tech is going to be the only game in town. The film he showed of an Indian man finding his long-lost family through Google Earth and Streetview is breathtaking (see below)
He finished by talking about sending balloons up into the stratosphere to cast a wifi shadow over the entire earth, a project appropriately named “Loon”. Google is definitely going to win the internets.
Last night was the first of big ceremony of the week (the Health Lions were earlier in the week, but no-one really counts those, except the people who won Health Lions).
First up was Promo and Activation or “Brazilian ambient” as it is otherwise known. There was some cracking work. My pick for a Grand Prix or two, Sound of Honda, grabbed a Gold or 3. The biggest cheer of the night went to the Social Swipe – the world’s first poster that accepted credit cards. The Grand Prix went to the fabulous Harvey Nichols campaign “Sorry, I spent it on myself.” I suspect we may see a bit more of that one as the week goes by, it seems a real favourite.
There were a few good pieces in PR. “Sweetie” – the campaign to trap online sex offenders, picked up a PR Gold, plus 4 more. Watch it for an incredible example of how tech and creativity can get together and produce show-stopping work.
Some of the Direct work was outstanding too.
If you’re in the mood for some footie themed creativity (and who isn’t right now) then check out the brilliant work for Fifa14 out of Wunderman in Bogota. I was also a huge, huge fan of “Inglorious food.” for supermarket brand Intermarche by Marcel Paris.
And finally have a look at “Vroom, ring, boom.” a simply brilliant direct idea for Cellular brand Claro from Ogilvy Guatemala. Could easily have been the Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix, when it was hauled out, went to the one-of-a-kind brilliant BA billboard from Ogilvy London, also a multiple Gold winner on the night.
The themes are starting to take shape here, but themes are crap, so other people can try and box them for you somewhere else on the internet.
Lots of people are talking sagely about “storytelling” as if it’s the new Theory of Relativity. This masterful repackaging of the bleeding obvious as a mind-blowing new beachhead in creativity isn’t surprising.
This is advertising after all.