Jotz of Gotz: Cannes Part 6

ChrisChris Gotz

Been there. Done that. 

Well, it’s all over folks. In what can hardly be described as a glittering ceremony, the organizers of Cannes Lions awarded the last remaining Grand Prix’s to the lucky, fist pumping few. And boy did they whip through those Lions. In a desperate attempt to get through 3 full categories, plus the various other odds and sods, the Silvers and Bronzes were rolled on the screen as simple title credits. No work was shown other than Golds. And they literally flung those out. If they could have fired them at the recipients with a crossbow they would have. Pity really, not seeing all the work that won. What we did see was really fabulous though.

Looking back over my predictions I didn’t do to badly. Nike "Write the future" got the Film Grand Prix. The Puma Social spot got a well deserved Craft Grand Prix. The first ever effectiveness Grand Prix went to the Walker’s "Sandwich" activation, which makes me happy, always loved it. Integrated went to Decode JayZ with Bing by Droga 5, who also got Independent Agency of the year. So we had Dave Droga bouncing up and down onto the stage like, well, like Dave Droga really.

The Titanium Jury decided not to award a Grand Prix, as if to underline their ever so discriminating pickiness. There was more than enough good work to go around. Tell you about that in a mo. I must admit that there is a tendency at this specific awards show for some of the judges to act as if they are giving away the Nobel Prize. This earnest and soul searching quest for worthiness is, quite frankly, a load of horse poo. We are in the persuasion business. We are, in the evolutionary chain, not very far away from the man who knocks on your door with a suitcase full of brushes. We sell stuff. We are looking for new, fresh ways to do it, and heaven knows there are lots of them. Yes, advertising can change the world, but sometimes it’s ok just to sell lots of breakfast cereal with a good joke.

OK. Here are some things to look at on canneslions.com. Mostly from the Titanium and Integrated Category, some from film too. Some are funny, some are (as if to completely refute and contradict my earlier point) unbelievably inspiring, some are sad and some are just rollicking visual hayrides. 

"Concert Milk" for the Concert Hall Dortmund. By the clever people at Jung Von Matt.

"The last text" by BBDO NY for AT&T.

"Ready to work" for Levi’s by Wieden and Kennedy Portland.

"The ripple effect" for the Transport Accident Commission from Grey Melbourne. You will cry.

"Born of fire" for Chrysler by the irritatingly brilliant Wieden and Kennedy Portland.

"Rear view girls" for Levi’s by Colenso BBDO Auckland. You will laugh.

"Balloons" for MTV by Loducca Sao Paulo. How could that get just a bronze ?

Finally, my favourite campaign of the whole show, maybe because I am a daddy.

The UNICEF campaign "Kitchen, Family, Kids" by Lowe Indonesia.

Ok. They have called my flight. Thanks for reading, if you’ve been reading (although if you hadn’t, then you wouldn’t be, if you know what I mean).

Client of the year last night was IKEA. The founder of the company was quoted last night. He said something that will stick with me. It is something that will give me hope. Maybe you will find it useful too.

"Remember that most things are still to be done."

Goodbye.

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Jotz of Gotz: Cannes Part 5

Chrisgrand-prix

Men on sticks and men with pipes.

Here is something I have learned. When in Europe it is important to remember that the cars drive on the right hand side of the road. As a pedestrian this means the cars will be approaching from a different direction when you cross the street. This is a crucial piece of information, especially when you step into the road and a black Aston Martin is hurtling towards you.

Another thing I have learned is : never buy 3 bags of Maltesers from the supermarket and keep them in your fridge for the duration of your stay. They will keep you in a sad, unsettled state of queasiness, especially in the morning, before breakfast.

Yesterday was the Saatchi and Saatchi Young Director’s Showcase. A reel of films by the best new, young directors from around the world. They are not all commercials, indeed the best films on yesterday’s reel were not. My favourite, and probably one of the most lovely things I have seen for ages, was "The Lost Thing", an animation piece from Andrew Ruhemann. It is flat out bloody beautiful. Please watch it, it’s on YouTube. It will be the best 15 minutes of your week so far.

There was another lunch yesterday. My big boss, Paul Smith ( no, not that one), hosted a few CD’s from around the world at a restaurant on the beach. One of the greatest things about Cannes is getting to sit around and chat with a bunch of ad people from around the world.

I ordered Steak Tartar, because I am one of the few people outside France who actually like raw mince. It came with chips, which was both cool and weird. I have noticed that the fancier the restaurant, the more rude the waiters are here. Yesterday the rudeness scale was through the roof. A simple request for the location of the bathroom was treated with utter disdain and consternation. I was eventually led to the men’s room like a village idiot being taken for a walk "here you are monsieur" (said in tone of adult to 3 year old who doesn’t know how to use the potty yet). Anyhow, it was a lovely meal.

And so on to the celebration of David Ogilvy’s 100th Birthday. He wasn’t there of course but just about everybody else was. Had a chat to Donald Gunn of the Gunn Report, who is an old mate of my dad’s from the ad days of the 70′s. He tipped Nike "Write the future" as the Grand Prix. Neil French, super-heavyweight Creative Genius was there too. There were also two men on poles, very long poles on which they perched precariously and performed acrobatic tricks. This may have been some sort of esoteric advertising analogy but I don’t think the intention carried that much depth. Nevertheless as the evening’s entertainment it was gasp-inducing.

Friday morning I was up bright and early. It was TV Shortlist day. Which, for me, meant 2 things. Firstly, the dire disappointment of realising we had not made the Shortlist. Secondly the thrill of being able to sit in the Palais and watch all the world’s best commercials back to back for 4 hours. Lovely. And it was good, even if we weren’t on it. The even better thing was that Ogilvy Joburg is on it, 4 times in fact, which is a great achievement, and I strongly suspect they will win a Lion for film, maybe more than one. This is good because Fran Luckin (the CD of Ogilvy Joburg) has suggested that if failure continues to haunt us this week then (her words) "we should just hire a car and drive off a cliff like Thelma and Louise". She said I could be Louise. I pointed out to her that this meant I would have to sleep with Brad Pitt and then have my wallet stolen. So she agreed to be Louise.

So here are my picks from what was, in places, a really strong selection of commercial from around the world. Try and watch them if you can, even if they don’t win. Although I think they will. Let’s see how may I get right.

If you want to laugh, watch "Braids" for H2OH! drink by BBDO Argentina Buenos Aires.

If you want to be tricked then watch "Exorcist" for Dirt Devil by Andreas Roth Ludwigsburg.

If you want to see the Grand Prix then watch "Write the future" for Nike by Wieden and Kennedy Amsterdam. Although it’s not my favorite, I think it will be the BigOne.

If you want to see the Craft Grand Prix then watch "After Hours Athlete" for Puma Social by Droga 5 New York. Again, my prediction.

If you want to see the audience favourite then watch “The Force” for Volkswagen Passat by Deutch New York.

If you want to see the best idea on a tiny budget then watch the entire Volkswagen Original Parts campaign by Almap BBDO Sao Paulo.

If you want to see the weird Thai commercial that will be on the reel then check out "Ballroom" by JWT Bangkok for Top Charoen Optical store.

If you want to laugh again then look at "Lift things up" by Mullen Boston for Planet Fitness.

And then right after that watch "Haka" by Publicis Conseil Paris for Online Sports Betting.

If you want to know that a good story never fails then watch "Lucky Dog" for New Zealand Lotteries by DDB Group New Zealand.

If you want to cry and be inspired then watch "Team Hoyt" for the Spinal Chord and Brain Injury Telethon by our very own Bassat Ogilvy Barcelona.

If you want to see astounding cinematography bringing an ultra simple idea to life then look at "For every breath" by George Patterson Y&R for Medibank.

If you want say "that’s amazing" then have a look at "Xylophone" for NTT Domoco by Dentsu Tokyo.

If you want to just feel good then watch "choir" by Santos Buenos Aires for Coca Cola.

And if you want to see one of the simplest, best ideas ever made then check out the campaign "Family", "Kids" and "Kitchen" for UNICEF by Lowe Indonesia.

And finally in Internet film, probably another Grand Prix contender the entire Skittles campaign by BBDO Canada Toronto.

Let’s see how I do folks. The Film Ceremony is tonight. So I will write my final entry somewhere within the bowels of Heathrow. Until then.

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Jotz of Gotz: Cannes Part 4

ChrisCannes David

Dinosaurs vs cyborgs. With chocolate mousse.

Good morning,

Well at least it is in Cannes. Twenty five and sunny with a cool breeze. I am told South Africa is being lashed by a series of cold fronts. I will hold a silent vigil for you all this morning on the beach, with the gentle waters of the Med lapping at my ankles as I sip delicious coffee from the coffee stand, watching the boats (ships?) of Russian oligarchs bobbing quietly in the bay.

Yesterday Mofilm (whoever they are) hosted a crowd sourcing seminar with Jesse Eisenberg as one of the guests on the panel. Jesse Eisenberg is apparently "very interested" in crowd sourcing, which gave a semblance of respectability to the otherwise completely gratuitous insertion of a celebrity into the presentation. Also on stage were 2 executives from General Motors, who were clearly the sponsors of this talk. The GM guys were also "very interested" in crowd sourcing. They had recently done some user-generated commercials which caused them to be tremendously pleased with themselves, as if this was the marketing equivalent of landing a man on Saturn. They then showed these commercials, all of them. Throughout this Jesse Eisenberg sat to one side, moping and gazing off into the middle distance, uncannily like his portrayal of Zuckerberg in the Social Network. It was weird, so I left. This ended up being a good thing because I managed to catch an Ogilvy Masterclass on what it takes to be a good account-management person. Graham Fink and Johnny Hornby were brilliant. They described a great suit as "a creative man who cannot draw or write copy, who pushes both the client and the agency to do new things". I have called accounts people many things in my time, but this is not one of them. They called a good suit a "ruthless editor", a "brilliant collaborator" and regarded truthfulness as being a prized quality. Jolly good stuff all round. Then I went to lunch.

This was no ordinary lunch. This was lunch hosted by Ogilvy for Coca Cola in a large chateau by the sea. First we listened to a talk by the Marketing Vice-President for Coke Latin America, Javier Sanchez Lamelas. Great, great client who truly understands what we do and why great partnerships deliver in spades. This stuck with me : "The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion (which he pointed out contains the word motion, to move) pushes us into making a decision, while reason allows us only to draw sterile conclusions". The Latin American Coke work has no long drinking shots, no "moments of extreme refreshment", just pure expressions of the optimism that Coke is really all about. Then we had lunch. As a copywriter I know that I am prone to moments of extreme exaggeration, but lunch definitely cracked my top-ten-all-time-best-lunches-ever-in-castles list. Anchovy and olive tart, roast chicory, rare roast beef, salad Nicois with quail’s eggs. Bloody perfect, and what a setting. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Zoro had come charging in on his black horse and slashed a big Z in the chocolate mousse. It was just that kind of day really.

So, last nights ceremony. Dinosaurs vs androids. The past vs the present.  Or print and cyber, for those of you getting increasingly confused by my obtuse metaphors. Oh, and design too, which was first up and presented some of the best work on show so far. Check out the Tamiya calendar, which is just genius and so "on brand" it’s ridiculous ( that is the first time I have ever used the words " on brand"). The Lightwall Reflections for BMW by Serviceplan Munich is simple and beautiful, almost enough to completely absolve them from calling their agency Serviceplan. And then the opening titles for The Off International Festival, created by The Mill in London, blew me off my feet. Although I  was sitting down, so that makes no sense really. Anyhow, check them out, singularly the most beautiful piece of anything at this year’s festival.

The Press Lions came next. I loved, loved, loved DDB Argentina’s Responsible Driving campaign. Grand Prix went to Samsonite suitcases "Heaven and Hell", which I must point out I predicted earlier in the week. I must admit press looked a bit inert in amongst all the wonderful design and cyber pieces. Probably because it is.

Cyber was just, well, cool. Also probably because it just is. Please go and look at all the Golds, there’s not a bad choice in there. The astounding Arcade Fire work was in there by Google Creative Labs. It’s been copied so much already, even at this years festival. The Google Chrome Browser work by BBH New York was Gold. And it will win again in TV. Finally, and totally and utterly predictably, Wieden and Kennedy’s response campaign for Old Spice won big. Check out the video, even if just to see the slam dunk social media results stuff at the end of the piece. It became the most watched viral piece of communication in history, ever, ever, ever.

I had to leave the cyber ceremony a bit early. I began to feel a bit Ill. I strongly suspect that the ultra-rich lunch, followed by half a kilo of chocolate mousse and rounded off with handfuls of Maltesers in the afternoon was my downfall. Although I would rather blame too much sun.

At Ogilvy we have run out of finalists now. So we wait for film : tic follows toc follows tic follows toc. My money’s on Ogilvy Joburg and their POWA film, but I don’t want to jinx it.

I am no longer disappointed. Just inspired. They say the work will set you free

And it has.

Just wish some of it was mine.

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Jotz from Gotz: Part 3

ChrisButch-Cassidy-And-The-Sundance-Kid-Shooting

Three drunk Colombians and the Sundance Kid

Yesterday began with three drunk Colombians. At Cannes it is not unusual to encounter incredibly drunk people at all times of the day. They were in the queue at a coffee stand at 9am. I bought a coffee. They bought three ice cold Carlsbergs. Then they went tearing off after an athletic looking jogger, running theatrically behind him shouting hysterically in Spanish. Poor guy.

Yesterday, of course, was Robert Redford day. He came to talk to us about storytelling, something he knows a bit about. Unfortunately the interviewer was a blow-waved slightly younger looking extremely-pleased-with-himself version of Alec Baldwin. Thanks goodness this did not stop Robert Redford from being funny and inspiring and wise. It also served up the unintentional bonus of Robert Redford (who is incredibly suave and dry) occasionally making fun of blow-wave Alec Baldwin guy.

Alec Baldwin blow-wave guy : What keeps you going ? What drives you?

Robert Redford (deadpan): Sex.

He said some other really great stuff too. He talked about being the Sundance kid opposite Paul Newman. He talked about the Sundance Festival and how it almost single-handedly saved independent film in the States (ok him and the Weinstein’s).

Other things Robert Redford said which were cool :

"the only thing that ever leads to success is change"

"nobody ever votes for a new idea, you have to grind it out and force it through yourself"

"always look in the other corner" (which Freud said, but then there is something totally cool about watching Redford quote Freud on a stage at Cannes in front of mostly bemused ad folk (and blow-wave guy who by now had realized that Robert Redford was taking the piss a bit).

Another thing Robert Redford said was "beware of success, it has a very dark side ".

This is not something I have to worry about too much this week as success is proving a bit elusive. Ogilvy Cape Town are 10 shortlisted pieces down without a win now. If I wasn’t such a good guy I would be outside the Gutter bar at 2am coming up with conspiracy theories ( ok, I was). Other people are winning, which is lovely ( cue forced and distinctly ungenerous smile).

At last night’s ceremony South Africa won big. Network BBDO did not so much fly the flag high as wrap themselves up in it while doing backward flick- flacks singing shosholoza. They got a Grand Prix for radio (for Mercedes accident avoidance systems) plus another gold and 2 silvers. Boom. There was a smattering of other stuff too. Huge audience favourite was the LoweBull CT piece for the Cape Times Employment section.

Other stuff to look out for.

The outdoor piece for The Missing Children’s Initiative from Kempertrautmann Hamburg.

The totally brilliant media gold for Irn Bru by PHD London.

The June 16 campaign for Tunisia by Tunisia Memac.

In outdoor the Samsonite Suitcases ad by JWT is brilliant, and it will be a multiple winner this week.

There was a Guerrilla demobilization campaign by Lowe Bogota which deserves to be looked at just because they used 2 Blackhawk Choppers in an outdoor piece.

My favorite outdoor piece last night was the Lego campaign by Leo Burnett Moscow, maybe just because I have small boys at home (sons not concubines).

Finally the Decode JayZ stuff by Droga 5 New York is totally and utterly brilliant. Look at it, if you haven’t already seen it.

I saw a few Ted Talks yesterday. Yes, they are here as well. In true Ted style the standout talk of the week so far ( sorry Robert Redford) was not about being connected but about being disconnected. An unassuming, shy, man ( don’t remember name) talked about how the over-connectedness of our world is killing our attention spans and completely ruining our ability to think clearly and intensely and for extended periods about the problems we face every day.

He suggested (and this is especially relevant for us ) long periods of "disconnected" time that will allow us to sit, totally without distraction, in groups or alone, and talk, think and solve – just like we did in the old days. He called it "pure time".

It sounds simple. Yet we never do it.

We should probably start. Right after I check my phone for messages.

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Jotz of Gotz: Cannes Part 1

ChrisCannes Beachfront

Our Man in Cannes: Musings from Ogilvy Cape Town’s ECD Chris Gotz

Hello. I am in Cannes.

I know this because the men are mostly burnt orange with large gold watches and wearing boat shoes. The women wear flowy-silky expensive-looking kaftans, as if they may be called upon to board a luxury cruise liner at a moment’s notice.There are other people too. They are all much younger with lots of facial hair and seem to be competing in a vast and interconnected game of "my t-shirt is cooler than yours". These are the ad people, who have come from far and wide to this, the first, annual, "Festival of global creativity". This appears to be a feeble and badly disguised attempt by the organizers of the Cannes Advertising Festival to reinvent themselves as a more relevant and globally-impactful event. It seems to have worked. Just a glance at this year’s seminar program will tell you that. Malcom Gladwell is here. Edward de Bono too. Robert Redford is going to talk about storytelling. Jesse Eisenberg is here to talk about social media, not sure why, maybe they think he’s Zuckerberg. Patti Smith and Will.I.am are going to talk about music. Aaron Sorkin is going to talk about writing for TV. Eric Schmidt is going to talk about himself, a lot. And why shouldn’t he.

Cannes is packed to the rafters with celebs. Maybe they just rounded up everyone who was still here after the bloody film festival and gave them a topic and told them to wing it, who knows. Anyhow, all will be revealed soon.

As I write this juries of wise, discriminating and occasionally bitter creatives are sitting in judgement of the world’s best work. Already the Direct and Promo and Activation Shortlists are out. Ogilvy Joburg features twice for the brilliant POWA film. Ogilvy Cape Town once for VW Polo "Sell your car". So we are on the scoreboard folks. Tomorrow we see another flood of Shortlists released, so here’s hoping for more success. I will keep you posted. Although I am sure all the studio folks will be online and tallying up Shortlists long before I give you the lowdown. Anyhow, some very drunk Swedish people are singing loudly below my window, which is making it hard to concentrate. At least, it sounds like Swedish. Unless they are just really, really, really drunk English people. Will let you know tomorrow.

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