Our Cannes correspendent Alex Rogers reports from the festival:
There is lots of whispering
on the Carlton terrace. Partly to keep the noise down for those with rosé-fuelled hangovers. Partly as there is suspicious
chat about judging and results.
Awards. That is really why most of us are here this week after all. So
when you have dedicated months, sometimes years, to perfecting a
campaign, then elect to submit it for a panel of esteemed industry
experts to critique, any hint of foul play is 'kind of a big deal'. And
so the whispers begin.
I am absolutely not suggesting that there is any malpractice with the
judging process or the jurors at Cannes, merely relaying conversations
which may or may not have been overheard whilst the process takes place
behind semi-closed doors.
Scamvertising isn't new news but it is more prevalent. We are seeing a
rise in the number of 'case studies' relaying campaigns whose only trace
of existence takes the form of an awards entry. And it is surely
getting easier to do this in the less 'traditional' media where campaigns
can disappear overnight.
Block voting. Since the first awards show known to man there has been
talk of networks awarding the work from their sister partners to boost
the holding company's haul.
Territorial favouritism. Eurovision Song Contest style. Is there really
that much better work coming from emerging markets or are the more
emerging markets voting for each other? Too many tactical 'nil points'.
It seems to me there is enough brilliantly creative, smartly innovative
and 'proven to be effective' work in our industry to let politics or
provenance stop the best work from winning. I've been honoured to see
some world class creative on show this week; from the boards in the
Palais, to the campaigns presented at agency sessions, to the video
recaps for the winning gold gongs. Here's hoping the whisperings are
just 'industry tittle tattle' as the final awards are announced tonight
and may the best work win.
There's been a lot going on this week as always, from the sad passing of Soprano's actor James Gandolfini to the worrying incident of Charles Saatchi holding Nigella Lawson up by the neck at a restaurant. But then again Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their new born son North, so at least there's some light relief for us all.
It has also been the week that Instagram has made the change to allow videos on the platform. Because if you thought your friends were terrible at taking pictures, it's impossible to imagine how bad they're going to be at trying to direct a 15 second video.
Lastly, but by no means least, we released the highly addictive Gumulon. If you haven't downloaded it, please do as it's a lot of fun - www.gumulon.com/dl. According to the Apple Game Center, I'm currently 3rd in the world at the touch version. Just saying.
Some have been surprised to find rock'n'roll legend Lou Reed speaking at the Cannes advertising festival this week and by the positive comments he made about the industry - "The advertising people actually pay you for what you did". "What's he got to do with the world of advertising and marketing?" asked The Guardian. Well, Mr Reed has some history there. Here's a blast from the Wieden + Kennedy archives - Lou pitching Honda scooters in a '70s spot by W+K Portland. Why walk on the wild side when you could ride?
Yesterday, two of our Tesco team members donned their wellies
to check out some farm life. Georgia and James ventured up to Cambridge to see
for themselves all the good work Tesco has been doing with their Finest* free
Harry the farmer has been in the business for decades and
knows a thing or two about poultry. It’s no mean feat to stock the nation’s
shelves with chicken, but with people like Harry on the case fear not; dinner
will be served.
After three days on the rosé, she's gone native. Our Cannes correspondent Alex reports :
So, apparently it sometimes rains in the South of France. It is testament to the usually sunnier climes (and the current Cannes clientele) that when the first raindrops fell at the Massive Music gig on the Baoli Beach, the near thousand people there assumed someone on stage was spraying champagne, Formula 1 winning-style. Oh dear. SO lucky the Carlton Terrace has an awning fit for an after party.
Luckily it had been standard issue weather at the Mill Villa earlier. Brad Pitt has good taste, right? Yes. You only have to look at Angelina to see that. So the pool party chez Pitt (where he spent his stag) was a pretty epic location. An unpretentious crowd, delicious cocktails, blockbuster views, AN ICE CREAM CART and a rolling barbecue. Lush.
Cannes has been ramping up all week and it feels like, with the arrival of Teams Soho and Shoreditch, this thing is now in full sway. Probably why today's note from me is more 'party' than 'Palais'. Oops.
Just to prove that Alex has also been doing some vaguely work-related stuff, here she is (far left, shades, hangover) listening to Coke's Jonathan Mildenhall speak at the IPA event.
Over the past 12 months we’ve been on a
journey with Stride gum. A long, chewy journey.
We’ve explored the outer galaxies,
pioneered new technology, created a new reason to chew and discovered a new
alien race. We’re now at the end point of this epic voyage, which is
appropriately situated at the bottom of a deep space mine.
The purpose of this interstellar
To fuse Stride gum and video-gaming together in perfect harmony.
Hello there, and welcome to Gumulon.
Available today, free (FREE!) on the App Store,
Gumulon premieres groundbreaking chew track technology, allowing players to
control a free flowing game solely by mastication. Yes, it’s a game you control
by chewing Stride gum.
Gumulon sees you play as Ace, a renegade
alien miner who unintentionally awakes a terrifying subterranean monster. The
aim of the game is to escape from said monster, saving other miners along the
way, by jumping Ace up the deepest mine Gumulon has to offer.
Via the front facing camera of an iPhone or
iPad players use their mouths to control the intergalactic action. You chew,
With Gumulon we didn’t want to just create
a throw away branded game. We wanted to create a new experience, with Stride at
its core, that players would want to return to over and over again.
This meant starting from scratch and
building our own software to make chew tracking a reality. For this we needed a
partner, enter Johnny Two Shoes. Chew-controlled gaming. Not a trick, is it?
An indie games studio of incredibly high
quality, their hard work on the project has helped to create a game we’re all extremely proud of. We hope you enjoy it
Also, a massive shout out to super-producer Dom Felton (#MajorBlazer) and creative
tech Will Hooke who have sacrificed their ability to be in same room as each
other to make this happen. Thanks guys.
There will be more Gumulon chat here in the
near future but at this very moment in the space-time continuum it’s your duty
to go and save Ace. Download the game here.
Lesson of the day: it isn't easy to win a Cannes Lion. So to win for creativity one year then come back the next and prove it actually made a difference to client business? Well that is a triumph. And W+K Amsterdam did just that for Heineken on Monday.
To celebrate their Grand Prix of Effectiveness we drank a toast or two with said beer brand. And washed it down with a sip or two of champagne.
The morning after the night before I still had effectiveness front of (hazy) mind. I eagerly listened and learned two life lessons from two powerful women:
To be effective you need passion. Annie Leibovitz said when you have the opportunity to work on something which you can truly romanticise, it is less of a business, more a way of life.
To be effective you need to be smart. Vivenne Westwood said intelligence consists of two parts: sweetness and light. -The latter is led by our brain, forms our rationale and drives desire. -Sweetness is how we empathise and engage with people. Coupled together in advertising, this is the sweet spot when we tell authentic stories in emotionally engaging ways.
So 'passion + intelligence = effectiveness'? Not the most traditional formula, possibly one planners would refute, certainly one that in isolation won't win you any Cannes Effectiveness Lions, but who am I to argue with Annie and Viv?
It’s not often we take the time to step back and look up around here. Last week, we set off with our Tesco clients on a walking tour of the Street Art around the Brick Lane area. It was so interesting to find out more about all the local scribbles, splatters and masterpieces that we walk straight past every day. Unsurprisingly some of the ladies among us, myself included, were particularly vocal in their appreciation for the more glittery pieces.
From the portraits of local heroes, cranes, fighting cats, hidden mini figurines, to what I guess would be described as cartoon panda porn, there’s a heck of a lot to be seen.
Our stroll came to an end at one of the local food hot spots, The Orange Buffalo by Ely Place. The chicken wings here are insanely good and guaranteed to leave your mouth on fire and your face orange and sticky. Smiles all round.