#MannesInCannes wrap up

Walking along the Croisette during the last two days, there has been plenty of evidence that the technology companies take Cannes seriously.

YouTube, Google and Microsoft have taken over prime real estate on the private beaches. They’ve built mini-villages, real world manifestations of their digital selves, where delegates can hang out, connect and party offline.

The new kids are also here. A giant Snapchat ghost hangs over the entrance to the Palais.

Sean Rad, Tinder CEO and founder, was an early speaker on Sunday. With 8 billion matches so far, users spend an average time of 11 minutes a day with the app. Brands are taking note and we’re certain to see more of them using Tinder to woo and ultimately hook up with Generation Y. Goodness knows what this means for brand loyalty.

In another seminar, Billie Whitehouse spoke about her willingness to push her own boundaries to progress from fashion to wearable tech design. For Durex she created ‘Fundawear’, a way for couples to connect even when apart by transferring touch over the internet. More recently for FoxTel, she gave football fans a richer viewing experience, enabling them to feel what the players feel live. Check out ‘Alert Shirt’, it’s from last year but worth a watch if you haven’t yet seen it.

Peter Esperson, Head of Co-Creation at Lego, explained how open culture and crowd wisdom is generating new ideas for Lego sets. Here’s an example, where a bird enthusiast and AFOL (adult fan of Lego) used the online platform, Lego Ideas, to get support for and buy-in for his series of birds… it’s lovely and I wish I’d been given one for Father’s Day.

Then, the guys at Paper explained how they broke the internet with Kim Kardashian’s derriere. And surprise, surprise, though they suspected they might just have created a viral hit, even they weren’t certain.

Intersections between humanity and technology, using creativity to transform our discomfort and uncertainty, the fact that we can never do it alone; these are some of the take-outs so far.

The shortlists for Direct, Promo, Mobile and Press are out, and today they’ll be on display. It’ll be fascinating to see the work and which pieces go on to win.

Ogilvy Cape Town is on the board with shortlists for the Volkswagen ‘Do It Right The First Time’ and Terminal Velocity campaign.


As Cannes continues to fill up with delegates, the anticipation builds.

There’s a new Mannes in Cannes

Gotz: The heavy hitters are packing their bags and loading up their credit cards this week, because it’s time for the Cannes Festival of Creativity. A few years ago it was just the Cannes Advertising Festival, now it’s expanded to include all of creativity itself. You can’t knock their ambition.

I, unfortunately, will not be packing my bags with them.

My tenure as The Mannes in Cannes has come to an end.

Still, the Olympics of advertising will carry on without me. Thousands will flock there to see the outlier work, the campaigns that will perhaps change the way we do things.

It’s the only place you can watch Mark Zuckerberg talk to Kanye West in a seminar and then step out into the bright sun of the Riviera to lunch on Coquille St Jacques with shouty Australian commercial directors.

The marketers of the world’s biggest companies will be in Cannes too, more of them than ever before. They go there to look at the best work in the world, and hopefully come away wanting to make some of their own. Every year the categories multiply: Titanium, Integrated, Innovation, Effectiveness, Product Design. Robotics can’t be far off.

The proliferation of categories, to be honest, has tracked the evolving sophistication and fragmentation of the marketplace. Some of the “newer” categories are starting to seem a bit … broad. Cyber is supposed to recognise the best digital work, but digital work is everywhere now, in virtually every category of the festival. It’s not unusual for pure digital pieces to win in Outdoor, Film, Direct, Promo, Design and Branded Content. Digital media and content dominate the discussions and the seminars too.

But film, and variations of it, is still hugely influential in many respects. Whatever happens from here, it seems people will always want to watch some kind of story on some kind of screen. As annoying as the people droning on about “content” are, there’s no doubt that they’re right – there’s going to be an explosion of moving media to go on all these screens that are popping up around us.

I’ll be watching out for  “The game before the game.” the extraordinary music video from Beats by Dre out of R/GA will be in contention for the big Film prizes.

Out of the same agency is the impressive #LikeAGirl for P&G from Leo Burnett is also a hugely influential piece of work, perhaps the best example this year of how brands are discovering and exploring the social tension in their DNA , something that has huge social and cultural appeal.

And don’t expect everything this year to be hi-fi and techy. Last year one of my favourite pieces was out of Ogilvy Guatemala. It was a simple song called “Vroom Ring Boom” that children could sing in the car to get their parents to stop using the phone. A road safety message delivered by responsible toddlers to irresponsible cellphone using parents.

Simple is normally the winner at Cannes. It’s a week spent smacking one’s forehead having why-didn’t-i-think-of-that moments.

So au revoir from the Mannes in Cannes, and over to the man who actually will be there this year, Jacques Massardo. In every respect he is a splendid replacement. His name is Jacques. He is of Belgian origin, a country right next door to France. And he also knows a fair bit about this thing we do. Over to you Jacques.

*imagine Chris bravely handing over metaphorical torch to Jacques*

The last time I went to Cannes was in 2008. Chris was there too, and it was great to be there with someone who already had a few visits to the Palais under his belt. I was struck by how the winning work and the views expressed in some of the better seminars, seemed right there and then, to be influencing the future of the industry.

In many ways that week in Cannes: the seminars, the work, the conversations with peers, somehow coalesced to shape the way I thought about advertising in the ensuing years.

In 2008, in the Grand Auditorium, everyone was trying to make sense of digital, its imminent rise, and the impact it was going to have on advertising.

The digital gurus were talking about the tech and how it was going to change everything, everything.

Agency maverick, Chuck Porter, allowed traditional creatives to breathe a sigh of relief as he spoke about the simplicity of a media neutral idea, putting it at the center, and allowing it to flow into relevant channels.

‘Storytelling’ was already emerging as a buzzword. Yes, in 2008.

It was the year the Film Jury awarded two Grand Prix’s. One for Cadburys’ ‘Gorilla’. Another for X-Box’s Halo 3 campaign, a series of online films that were equally memorable. The judges wanted to reflect the changing face of the industry and also didn’t want to choose between traditional and online film. A notion that strikes me as being quite quaint today.

Since 2008, like a Dementor in a Harry Potter movie, I’ve done my level best to ‘absorb’ Cannes from a computer screen on my desk in Cape Town. I’ve enjoyed reading Chris’ ‘Man in Cannes’ posts and I’ve gleaned great insights from his Cannespiration talks. It’s been amazing to see pics of him on stage scooping up Golds two years in a row, and then last year, the Grand Prix.

This year, as always, there are a lot of big pieces of work tipped for glory. I’m looking forward to seeing what wins. Most of all though, I’m looking forward to seeing the great work I haven’t come across yet – the surprise winners that seem to come out of nowhere, but are impossible to ignore.

I’m sure a lot has changed at Cannes, but I’m also sure a lot of the important things haven’t changed that much. I think we all still have a lot of questions about the role of creativity in a shifting marketing landscape. I’m hoping Cannes 2015 will be as influential in shaping the way I think about creativity and how to apply it, as it was back in 2008.

Audi Night Vision Assistant

South African roads can be hazardous, especially at night. This is compounded by pedestrians and animals crossing urban and rural roads that are badly lit.

We were briefed to create an awareness campaign for Audi Night Vision Assistant which detects objects in the drivers path and makes them visible. Instead of producing a traditional print campaign, we took advantage of the interactivity of the mobile tablet platform. The campaign is based on the insight that our eyes trick us at night when distances are hard to judge. We’re deceived into seeing one thing, which is actually something completely different.

Readers would come upon the ad while paging through a digital magazine publication. They would see a dark road with no obstacles in front of them, and only the horizon in the distance. They would then be encouraged to switch to Audi Night Vision. An object they thought was on the horizon was actually something right in front of them. This dramatized the necessity for Audi Night Vision Assistant on South African roads.

Eyes_Play_Tricks Audi Night Vision Assistant


Creative Credits 

Chris Gotz – Chief Creative Officer

Nicholas Wittenberg – Group Creative Director

Prabashan Gopalakrishnan Pather – Creative Director

Jacques Massardo – Creative Director

Iain Alman – Digital Producer

Gavin Haywood – Retoucher

Robert Martin – Hogarth Worldwide – Editor

Refiloe Chakela – Hogarth Worldwide – Agency Producer

Ryan Rabinowitz – Account Director

Fred Cilliers – Digital Designer





Allan Gray. Stay Focused.

79691-Graduate Recruitment (Cat) 594x420

Every year Allan Gray, one of South Africa’s leading investment companies, recruit the brightest graduates from universities around the country. Graduates more interested in achieving their long-term goals than the many trappings of campus life. Those with focus.

But there’s one problem… distractions. As a student, they’re in no short supply. There are the usual suspects: parties, guys, girls, and of course more parties. But it doesn’t stop there, online there are more still: Cute Animals, Grumpy Animals, Dramatic Animals, Thug Life Animals, Babies, Selfies, Epic Fails, Best-ofs etc. You name it, they’re waiting to distract you for hours on end.

What we needed was to separate focused students from those more prone to distraction. But how? By pitting them against the very things that prevent them from excelling.

We launched an all-out assault on campuses countrywide – an integrated campaign showcasing distractions in all forms: on posters, on campus radio stations, in emailers, on targeted microsites and even in a public library. Nowhere and no one was safe.

Allan Gray BlogilvyPosters on campus featured the likes of Grumpy Cat.

In addition to campaign specific radio ads, campus radio station DJs heard radio spots that talked to their very own distractions in the middle of their shows live on air.


University Social Coordinators received emailers directing them to bespoke microsites that exposed their biggest distractions.

We carried out filmed social experiments on unsuspecting study groups in a library.

All of our messaging led students to stayfocused.co.za where they found out about the Allan Gray 2016 Graduate Intake and could apply to join the firm.

Amidst all these distractions, in the first month alone, we’ve had a 161.6% increase in applications than during the same period of last year’s campaign – applications from those willing to put their focus to the ultimate test: an opportunity to work at Allan Gray.