Quicker Than A Creative Brainstorm

Mobile was the word at Cannes – and it’s all about speed, baby.

Originally written for the Sunday Times by Chris Gotz, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa.

While the FIFA World Cup rollicked along in Brazil, advertising and marketing’s World Cup, the Cannes Festival of Creativity, was held last week on the French Riviera.

David Hasselhoff plans to stay relevant, but how important is that to know?

David Hasselhoff plans to stay relevant, but how important is that to know?

Once dismissed as an in-house yahoo and prize giving, the week-long event has gained some serious momentum in recent years.

All the world’s big chip clients are there from Unilever to Coca Cola. The tech muscle is also on show in the bright sun – Google, Samsung and Apple all hosted workshops, seminars and panel discussions.

This year was particularly celebrity flavoured with guest appearances by Kanye West, Bono, Jared Leto, Courtney Love and entertainment titans like Jeffrey Katzenberg, Aaron Sorkin and the boss of Vice Magazine Eddie Moretti. Why so much fuss is made over an ad festival is questioned by some, although industry luminaries will tell you it’s all terribly important. So is it? I mean, how vital could it be that we know David Hasselhof’s plans to “stay relevant” (one of the first talks of the week) and one wonders whether seeing Sarah Jessica Parker talk on a panel isn’t really more just about, well, seeing Sarah Jessica Parker.

While, undoubtedly, Cannes draws its fair share of celebrity spotters (the queues to the glitzy talks are always much longer), there is a serious reason why close to 13 000 of the heaviest hitters in marketing, tech and communications gather in the South of France every year.

A little while ago the world started shifting, it was if Captain Kirk asked Scotty for warp speed and the future started coming at us very fast. In the middle and upper end of the market we are surrounded by ever more sophisticated devices which have radically altered the way media is consumed – we snuggle up with our partners and watch laptops in bed instead of TV, we can get the answer to any question we care to ask from a small device in our pocket and we are slowly building up a digital profile that will tell anyone who wants to know, everything they want to know.

Translation SEMINAR Kanye West (19)

This media revolution is part of why this Cannes thing is so important, it’s a gathering of the new advertising and marketing intelligentsia – all restlessly hunting for fresh ways to persuade people to buy stuff in a radically different media environment. If the rest of the world is on warp speed, the marketing, media and ad people have installed a nitro kit.

If the big speakers at the festival are to be believed, the mobile device (note that we no longer talk about mobile phones) is the big daddy of game-changers right now – it’s the future of retail, the future of news, the future of communications and definitely the future of advertising and marketing. After all, would you rather pay a fortune for a billboard on the off-chance someone might see it while driving by, or send something directly to the pocket of the person you know you want to talk to? Of course it’s not that simple, and ad people and marketers around the world have been terribly bad at mobile everything and anything. Still, as people do more with mobile, as the processing power goes up and up, possibilities multiply. Soon, facial recognition technology in public places and shopping malls will identify you, alert retailers to your presence, track your purchase history, review your social profiles and then serve you special offers and choices from the store you happen to frequent most often. You’ll pay with your phone too.

The more things change though, the more they stay the same, and, while new technology was the no-brainer theme of the festival, the other big focus was a return to good old “storytelling”.

Speaker after speaker banged on about the importance of stories.

Call me cynical, but going on about “storytelling” as if it was discovered last week in a remote Peruvian village is a bit much. Stories are embedded in humanity and saying they’re vitally important is risking a long spell in the idiot corner. I suppose re-packaging the bleeding obvious and presenting it as a remarkable new development is what ad people have always been good at. Nevertheless, there is a point to be made about “new” frontiers in storytelling because technology has given us a vast array of options to carry people along and to allow them to participate if they feel it’s worth it.

The big winner of the week, apart from the organisers of the festival, who make good coin from entry tickets, delegate fees and various “sponsorships”, was the superb work for Volvo Trucks, “The Epic Split” with Jean Claude Van Damme, which was only flighted online – a more common event than you would think these days.

A great snapshot of the whole festival, including the talks and the work that won (which includes plenty of great South African stuff – including a Grand Prix for Radio from Ogilvy Johannesburg for Lucozade), can be found at www.canneslions.com. Obviously visiting the website won’t be the same as being there, fuelled by rosé and bewitched by the frayed glitz of the Riviera, but you’ll get the gist without waking up with a hangover.

Images by Getty Images.

All the Cannes Lions Grand Prix work from 2014

canneslions grand prixIt’s always great to see the best work from Cannes Lion, so below is all the Grand Prix winning work for every category. A couple of categories failed to produce a Grand Prix so for those I have taken the most popular Gold work instead. Enjoy.
 
Grand Prix For GoodLemz, Amsterdam // Sweetie // Terre des Hommes Netherlands

Creative EffectivenessMcCann, Melbourne // Guilt trip // V/Line

DirectOgilvyOne, London // Magic of Flying // British Airways

Promo & ActivationadamandeveDDB, London // Sorry I Spent it on Myself // Harvey Nichols

PressadamandeveDDB, London // Sorry I Spent it on Myself Gift Collection // Harvey Nichols

MediaMcCann Lima // Happy ID // Coca-Cola

MobileFCB Brazil // Protection ad // Nivea

OutdoorWhybin\TBWA, Melbourne // GAYTM // ANZ Bank

Cyber
iconoclast, Paris // 24 Hours of Happy // Universal

Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg // Live Test Series // Volvo Trucks

Creative Artists Agency, LA // The Scarecrow // Chipotle

Product designG-Star RAW, Amsterdam // Raw For The Oceans // G-Star RAW

DesignAnti Bergen, Norway // Bergen International Festival Brand //Bergen International Festival

PRCreative Artists Agency, LA // The Scarecrow // Chipotle

RadioOgilvy Johannesburg // Teleconference, Kids Party, Enrique Concert //Lucozade

Titanium & Integrated Lion
Dentsu, Tokyo // Sound Of Honda, Ayrton Senna 1989 // Honda
adamandeveDDB, London // Sorry I Spent it on Myself // Harvey Nichols

Branded Content & EntertainmentNo Grand Prix
Gold – AlmapBBDO // Kombi Last Wishes // VolkswagenVolkswagen

Film =
adamandeveDDB, London // Sorry I Spent it on Myself // Harvey Nichols

Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg // Epic Splits // Volvo Trucks

Film CraftNo Grand Prix
Gold – Wieden + Kennedy, London // Cook’s Range // Lurpak

Gold – mcgarrybowen london // Honda Illusions // Honda

InnovationMegaFon, Moscow // MegaFon Sochi Olympic Pavilion //  MegaFon

SA Cannes Lions Final Day Winners–Film, Film Craft

So another years Cannes Lions festival of Creativity comes to close, and on the last awards night SA won again. All in all a great year for South African agencies with Ogilvy Johannesburg, Ogilvy Cape Town, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, Y&R South Africa, FCB South Africa, Joe Public, Net#work BBDO Johannesburg, and M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town all picking up Lions.
We will share the overall agency standing shortly, but for now enjoy the two pieces of SA work that picked up lions from the final night in Cannes.

Winning work for Film Lions
1 x Bronze Film Lion for Ogilvy Johannesburg // Topsy Foundation – Kevin
Subsequent to the making of the ‘Kevin’ ad, the Topsy Foundation has redefined itself as an organisation, and is no longer involved in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Therefore we will not feature a link to the ad as it was a donation appeal. They are in the process of donating the ad to another brand, when that is complete we will re-upload the work.Topsy’s new focus is on the care of orphans and child-headed households arising in these HIV/AIDS affected communities. To help their new cause, visit www.topsy.org.za.

Winning work for Film Craft Lions
1 x Bronze Film Craft Lion for Net#work BBDO Johannesburg // Coronation fund Managers – Doctor

Mannes in Cannes #WINNING

Chris Gotzphoto (6)

Life sometimes pivots dramatically on a single phone call. Sometimes it’s bad news, and it changes everything. And sometimes, perhaps less frequently, it’s something so lovely and amazing you’ll never forget it.

Wonderman T-ShirtsYesterday morning I was watching an early seminar in the Wunderman Beach Cabana. For those who don’t know, Wunderman is Y&R’s Direct company. The Wunderman Cabana a marvelous place where people who are too lazy too queue for ages to see Jared Leto speaking at the festival in real life, can relax on fake white leather couches and watch him on a large screen. They do this while drinking free Wunderman coffee, eating Wunderman almond croissants and drinking Wunderman San Pellegrino. When you leave you can take as many free Wunderman t-shirts as you like (which is awesome because they don’t have “Wunderman” blazed across the front, just cool designs).

So there I was watching Jared Leto, who was bloody magnificent. Of course he has won an Oscar, plays in a really successful rock band and has started up a few very successful digital businesses, so he’s basically the ultimate polymath. He could get together with Stephen Fry and rule the earth. He told us to “make my life interesting, tell me the truth or fucking leave me alone.” Exactly.

Jared Leto SelfieJared Leto was busy asking some young ladies up on stage for a starstruck selfie when my phone rang. It was my marginally overweight friend Damon Stapleton (The Zimbabwean guy). “Congrats buddy, Lucozade won the Grand Prix for radio.”

And so the day changed.

We had, of course, opened our account the evening before at the Outdoor Lions Ceremony.

Two Lions are coming home with us for our Volkswagen work.

There was some remarkable stuff on show.

Check out the Adidas D-Rose Jump Store from TBWA London for D-Rose shoes. Probably the best pop up store anyone will ever do, ever, ever. Astonishing.

The Dallas “Gas Station” for entertainment channel TNT was about as good an activation as you will ever see.

Grand Prix went to GAYTM out of TBWA Melbourne. If you want to see how to win a Cannes Grand Prix for a bank on a tiny budget, then check it out.

Mobile was on the same night. If there is one message being hammered home by all and sundry (apart from all the idiot-philosophy about “stories”) it’s that mobile is soon going to be the only game in town.

There was some really great work. “Pay per laugh” for Teatre Neu from McCann Barcelona was a brilliant use of smile recognition technology. “One minute of silence” for Anzac Appeal by DDB Melbourne brought the house down. The Mobile Grand Prix went to the Nivea’s phemomenal wrist band for Nivea Kids from FCB Sao Paulo.

The Media Lions gave us the world’s first all Lego ad break from PHD London for the Lego movie, one of my favourite pieces of the festival, being a father of 2 Lego obsessed little boys. Grand Prix went to a lovely little idea for Coke called Happy ID.

All of which takes us back to the Wunderman beach cabana and that phone call. The first thing to do was call the lovely Mariana O’Kelly, my colleague who, along with Neo Mashigo, has put her heart and soul into the creative rejuvenation of Ogilvy Johannesburg for the past year.

Leaving Mariana in a sobbing, happy heap on her hotel room floor, I grabbed a few free Wunderman t-shirts and headed out into the Cannes sun, which for all the world looked like it was shining happily out of my bottom.

Several blurry expeditions to buy t-shirts (Paul Smith ) and dresses (not for me for Mariana) later we found ourselves seated in the winners section for the evening’s award’s show.

Mariana had brought her 6 year old twins along, and her long-suffering advertising husband. She figured that if they had to endure a year of days and nights with their mama at the office making nice ads, they can be on the glory side of the experience too. It was a magnificent idea, although the presence of small children in the Palais was bewildering for some to say the least.

First up was Design, which for some reason always serves up a stunning display of pure and unadulterated beauty. The Japanese own Design like they own waving gold cats. The flat out fabulous sticky outy piece of the night was “Mother Book” for the Kishokai Medical Corporation from Dentsu. For something that you’ll wish South Africa had done first have a look at the “Paper Prison” for the Mandela Poster Project from Interbrand New York.

The Grand Prix for Press went to the wonderful “I spent it on myself” work for Harvey Nichols. It’s not often that work that’s part of a bigger (and really great) integrated campaign gets the big Lion. So, hats off to the Press Jury for being brave and pushing it through. Another standout Press Gold was the work for Rothammer Beer from Prolam Y&R Santiago, incredible photography, great idea, unique execution. Wish I’d done it (See images below just click to zoom).
Rothammer  PUNKS Rothammer BIKERS Rothammer DUCK HUNTERS
Cyber was up next. There are more Grand Prix in Cyber than any other category, mainly because of the diversity of work you’ll find there. This year there were 3.

First went to the “24 Hours of happy” for Pharrel Williams from Iconoclast Paris. Number 2 went to “The Scarecrow” for Chipotle – another genius use of animation coupled with a great interactive experience. This is next level stuff folks, watch and learn.
 

Volvo Trucks “Live Test Series” was the last digital Grand Prix. Enya boomed out across the Palais as the audience roared, Van Damme was in the house again, if only on the screen. Watch all of them. Be jealous.

And finally on to radio, by which time we were squirming in our seats enduring a delicate cocktail of anxiety and excitement.

There was loads to cheer about for South Africa, as we made up for our verlep performance earlier in the week.

The Bronzes, Silvers and the Golds all featured SA work.

There is always a fear, when you’re about to get up onstage at Cannes, that the reaction to the work from the hyper picky ad crowd is going to be tepid – that your big moment will be flattened out by a collective meh.

They played the work. We shifted our bottom to the edge of our red velvet seats.

I was sitting next to Ted Royer, ECD of Droga NYC. Ted roared with laughter. The audience erupted, they loved the spots and we walked up onto stage amidst whooping and cheers.

Mariana’s twins toddled up the stairs accepted the Grand Prix (and refused to let it go for some hours afterwards) and that pretty much brought the house down.

It was a big moment. It was the moment one of South Africa’s greatest agencies climbed up off the canvass and put on the big gold championship belt again.

Those 2 little boys holding up that Radio Grand Prix will be one of the great moments of this year’s festival, but very few people here know just how important it was to 500 or so people slogging away in Joburg.

Long may it last. It could not have happened to finer and more deserving bunch of people.
Ogilvy Johannesburg Radio Grand Prix

SA Cannes Lions Winners Day 4 – Design, Press, and Radio

So on a night that saw Chile eliminate Spain in Brazil (no doubt spurred on by their countries World Cup supporters ad), in the South of France we saw Ogilvy Joburg light up the palais with 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold, 2 Silvers, and 3 bronze Lions!
Another 6 agencies picked up Lions, below is all the winning work, enjoy.

Winners for Radio Lions

1 x Grand Prix and 1 x Gold Radio Lion for Ogilvy Johannesburg // Lucozade – TELECONFERENCE  /  KIDS PARTY  /  ENRIQUE CONCERT

1 x Silver Radio Lion for Ogilvy Johannesburg // Huggies Gold – BOYS  /  GIRLS

2 x Bronze Radio Lions for Ogilvy Johannesburg  // Discovery Channel – MAY DAY FOLEY HOEDOWN FOLEY

1 x Bronze Radio Lion for Ogilvy Cape Town // VolkswagenTHE SINGING CHILDREN OF THE R33

1 x Silver Radio Lion for TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris // Flight Centre – Too Old For Ibiza (Work not found)

1 x Bronze Radio Lion for Y&R South Africa // Colgate Plax mouthwash – SURPRISE PARTY  /  TEACHER GREETING WEDDING

1 x Bronze Radio Lion for FCB South Africa // Lexus – PRECOGNITION

1 x Bronze Radio Lion for Joe Public // One School at a Time – ‘PROJECT ENGLISH’

Winners for Press Lions

1 x Silver Press Lion for Ogilvy Johannesburg // Bose Noise Cancelling headphones – ELVIS  /  KURT  /  JAMES (Click to zoom in)
Bose Headphones
Bose headphones - James
Bose headphones - Kurt

1 x Bronze Press Lion for Ogilvy Johannesburg // Philips Body Groomer – IT LOOKS BIGGERPhilips Boody Groomer ad

1 x Silver Press Lion for TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris // Road Lodge – CRACK SNOG  /  SACKRoad Lodge Crack
Road Lodge Sack
Road Lodge Snog

1 x Bronze Press Lion – TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris // Mail & Guardian – DIANA TUNNEL  /  NAPALM GIRL  / MANDELA IN PRISONDiana Tunnel ad
Mandela in Prison
Napalm Girl

1 x Bronze Press Lion for M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town // Boxman – Angel Drum  /  Teacup (Click to zoom in)
Boxman Angel
Boxman Drum
Boxman Tea Cup

Winners for Design Lions

1 x Gold Design Lion for M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town // The Haven Night Shelter – The Street Store

2014 SA Cannes Lions Winners and Shortlists day 2

Yesterday night saw 6 more Lions for SA, bringing the countries tally so far to 6 Bronze, 2 Silver, and 1 Gold Cannes Lion, with FCB SA and their Coke Rainbow campaign topping the tables.
Tuesday saw 36 more SA shortlists, 30 of them for Radio (we seem to still be king in that category), this year we again have a chance of breaking the SA Cyber Lion shortage, our hopes rest on a honey badger and FCB. All the work (some via links) are below including the 4 Design Lions Shortlists.

Winners for Outdoor & Media Lions
1 x Bronze Media Lion for M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town // The Haven Night Shelter – The Street Store

1 x Silver Lions for Outdoor – 1 X Gold Media Lion & 1 x Silver Lion for Media FCB South Africa // Coca-ColaA Rainbow For The Rainbow  Nation

1 x Bronze Outdoor Lion for Ogilvy Cape Town // VolkswagenCape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
(Click to zoom – Copy “There’s more out there”)

Cape-Town_thumb4
Durban_thumb3
Johannesburg_thumb3
1 x Bronze Outdoor Lion for Ogilvy Cape Town // VolkswagenI’m Going To James, Picking up my Wife (Click on the image to zoom)
Im-going-to-james_thumb3

Picking-up-my-wife_thumb3
Shortlist for Cyber Lions

2 x Shortlists for FCB South Africa // Johannesburg Zoo – World’s First Live Tweeting Honey Badger

Shortlist for Design Lions

1 x Shortlist for Y&R South Africa // Joburg Zoo – Night Tours (Click to zoom)
Joburg Zoo night Tours_thumb[2]

1 x Shortlist for Machine Cape Town // Machine – Facecake (Click to zoom)
Machine Facecake_thumb[2]

2 x Shortlist for M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town //  Haven Night Shelter – The Street Store

Shortlist for Radio Lions – Click on the brand links to hear examples of the work

13 Shortlists for Ogilvy Johannesburg // Lucozade, Discovery Channel, Huggies Gold, KFC

1 x Shortlist for Ogilvy Cape Town // Volkswagen Genuine Parts

3 x Shortlist for Y&R South Africa // Colgate Plax Mouthwash

3 x Shortlists for FCB South Africa // Lexus Adaptive Lights, Toyota Genuine Parts

3 x Shortlist for TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris // Nissan Leaf, Flight Centre

1 x Shortlist for Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town // Wordsworth books

3 x Shortlists for Joe Public // One School at a Time

3 x Shortlists for Metropolitan Republic JHB // Hippo.co.za

Mannes In Cannes: We give you flying cars. And crappy wifi.

Mannes in CannesWe 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.

SapientNitro SEMINAR Spike Jonze (Getty)Spike Jonze, the famous, famous director (did I mention he was famous) sat on stage talking to the not-famous-at-all CCO of Sapient Nitro, I have no idea what his name was.

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.

Just don’t.

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.