#MannesInCannes – Final Installment

In a blaze of pyrotechnic glory that lit up the Croisette, another Cannes Festival of Creativity has come to an end.

There were two Film Grands Prix, one for the very funny Geico ‘Unskippable’ prerolls and one for the beautiful Leica ‘100’ piece, celebrating their centenary.

I think the best TV work either has humor as an engine, or it makes a strong statement about the brand, which usually comes from a powerful insight that’s expressed in a profound, impactful way. The two top prizewinners on the final night are perfect expressions of this type of work.

Another great TV spot was Nike’s ‘Ripple’. One could probably make a full-length feature out of the idea in this spot, but it makes a great TV ad too.

In another highlight of the evening, the amazing people behind the ALS Foundation’s ‘The Ice Bucket Challenge’ received their third standing ovation, as they accepted the Grand Prix for Good. There were numerous Golds for this campaign too. If anyone in advertising is still cynical about our ability to affect change in the world, they need only remember the 220 million dollars this campaign raised – incredible stuff from people who aren’t even in the ad world.

As the week comes to an end, I thought I’d reflect a little on some of the seminars. There’s no way you can see them all and there are many that I missed, but want to experience as downloads in the next few days.

There were many talks from big names in the entertainment business. Marilyn Manson reminded us all to stay true to ourselves and that authenticity was critical for him to build his brand. Brian Grazer spoke about curiosity and how it has helped fuel his career as one of Hollywood’s most successful producers. Kenneth Brannagh spoke very eloquently about creative process.

But for me, the most salient messages came from the agencies that are thinking ahead – the ones that are embracing change and innovating and planning for the future.

Bob Greenberg, winner of this year’s Lion of St. Mark, urged agencies to be involved in the start-up ecosystem. RGA has a unique model, which now sees them acting as an accelerator for start-ups. They’re giving 10 start-up companies $120 000 worth of investment capital each. In return for 5% of their profit. Their work with start-ups for ‘Bioranger’ and ‘Hammerhead’ won them several Golds and a Grand Prix over the course of the Festival.

A talk by Dentsu’s Head of Planning, Koichi Yamamoto was also a highlight. He spoke about the importance of big data and how it could be far more than a driver of efficacy, but has the potential to become a new source of creativity. It’s worth a watch. Last years ‘Connecting Lifelines’ for Internavi and ‘Sound of Honda’ are great examples.

All in all it’s been an amazing week and as it winds down I can’t help feeling that there’s so much work to be done.

By our own standards, it’s been a quiet year for SA agencies and we’ll need to work smarter and harder to be more competitive in categories other than just Radio next year.

In a more universal sense, it’s hard not to come away from Cannes, and back to South Africa, with a bigger goal in mind. As advertisers and marketers, we’re all in an industry that has the power to bring about change. While it’s easy to think that sounds glib, lofty or naive, experiencing the work here, it’s clear that with the right idea and the right attitude, it really is possible.

#MannesInCannes wrap up Part 3

It took until the third ceremony of the festival, but last night SA broke its Bronze hoodoo and added metal of a different hue to the goodie bag.

There were three very worthy Golds, one for Ogilvy Johannesburg and two for TBWA Hunt Lascaris. Each of them had the Palais chuckling, which was wonderful after the generally serious tone of the case studies in the other categories thus far. All that saving the world seems to have sucked some of the humor out of what we do. I suspect Film will help that tonight.

Ogilvy Johannesburg took home the Gold Radio Lion for the ‘Night Before the Project‘ campaign.

Along with Design and Product Design, Cyber was also judged last night. In stark contrast with our success in Radio, SA has yet to crack the code to a win here.

For years, I think everyone has thought of these two categories as diametric opposites. One traditional and analogue, the other innovative and digital. However last night one piece of work went a long way to shattering that perception. ‘The Berlin Wall of Sound’ won the Grand Prix in Radio and then went on to take Gold in Cyber. It’s worth a listen.

The Radio Jury President commented that with podcasts enjoying a second coming of age, there was huge potential for the future of Radio.

The Cyber Grand Prix further extended the Gender Equality trope that’s emerged at Cannes with Giselle Bundchen proving there’s far more to her than meets the eye in ‘I will what I want’ for UnderArmour. ‘Unskippable’ for Geico, which has won lots already, also received Gold. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look. I’m sure it will win in Film too. As will ‘The other side‘ by Honda, another Gold winner in Cyber.

After the ceremony, I joined Ogilvy Johannesburg in celebrating their Gold. It’s how I ended up on a boat in the Cannes Yacht Basin eating canape’s and swigging Rose’.


There were rumors that Pharrell may be on board, but I think he’d already been whisked off to the Cannes equivalent of Waterkloof Airforce Base after completing his seminar on Tuesday.

And now, it’s back to today’s seminars, which I’ll try to capture more of in my next post.






On Friday, 19 June, we spent the day under the sun & on the soccer field with the boys from Percy Bartley House in celebration of Youth Month. This was followed by the devouring of a massive KFC lunch.

We’d like to thank a few people for making this possible:

  • Pierre van der Westhuizen + Kurt Paulse our sport and soccer champions + co-orindators
  • Kyle, Saul, Travis, Pierre, Dalu, Khaya, Qamani, Ben who took the time out to come and play with the boys
  • Haley and Lisa for coming along to help and support the team
  • Dalu for being the driver and transporting the boy to the venue and back
  • Theo Klompje who took the time out to take such great pics

Here are some photos from the day…

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The Percy Bartley House (PBH) forms part of the Ogilvy Cape Town DoGood portfolio. PBH is a non profit organisation with the capacity to accommodate 25 young men between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years. Many of whom come from the streets, dysfunctional families, and often neglected.

The NSRI hits the runway

SA Menswear Week and the NSRI presents FASHION TO LIVE FOR on Saturday 4 July 2015.

Top South African designers are creating unique couture life jackets which will be modeled at this one-of-a-kind runway show.

Tickets are R100 each and all proceeds are donated to the NSRI.

Fashion To Live For FB Post#nsri #fashion2live4

#MannesInCannes wrap up Part 2

After two nights of ceremonies, nine categories at Cannes have been judged and suddenly we’re halfway through the festival.

As the categories continue to fragment, so the lines between them continue to blur. This was well expressed by the Outdoor Jury President last night when he said the vast range of work was what made judging exciting. Everything from a poster to an event or a filmed activation qualifies.

Juries at Cannes have always awarded cause related work. That trend is only getting stronger and every second winner was either work for a social cause or for a brand that’s effecting social change.

With the Glass Lion introduced by Cindy Gallup at last night’s ceremony, it’s clear that work that targets issues of gender inequality will be big going forward.

True to many a prediction #Likeagirl is turning into a huge winner, awarded Golds in Promo, Direct, Media and PR, where it also won the Grand Prix.

Vodafone’s Redlight Application, a Grand Prix winner in Media turns technology into a force for good to help women that are victims of domestic violence. Optus’ ‘Clever Buoy’ uses tech to create an early shark warning system for bathers. Innovation is also at the heart of the Grand Prix winning idea for Promo and Activation, which went to Volvo’s LifePaint.

Volvo scooped another Grand Prix for ‘Interception’. Ambushing the car brands that juke it out for share of voice on TV during Superbowl Sunday, they used competitive car brands strength in this traditional medium against them. As simple and effective as a well timed judo throw.

A very popular winner was Nazi’s against Nazi’s for Exit Deutschland. Flipping the idea of a march on its head, a bunch of very sheepish looking Neo-nazi’s found themselves in ‘the world’s first involuntary march’.

Check out Samsung ‘Samsung Safety Truck’, ‘The Marathon Walker’ and ‘Security Moms’ for other great ideas that come from simple and powerful insights.

So far SA has a clutch of bronzes, two of them from Ogilvy Cape Town. One for Terminal Velocity in Outdoor and one for Gloo@Ogilvy’s FNB ATM campaign in Media. Well done to all concerned.

Let’s hope Radio, a traditional stronghold for SA, comes through for us tonight.