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Cannes Lions: Bob Garfield on Creativity, Being an Ad Critic + the Ad That First Inspired Him

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Creatives young and old have had a love/hate relationship with Bob Garfield, who for the last 25 years has produced his "Ad Review" segment on Advertising Age. (His position on this? On a scale of one to five, few ads are total zeros and few ads are prize fives. Over his whole career the average ad has received about a 3.4, significantly higher than the average true quality of industry television advertising output at large.)

Ad bloggers, whether or not they agree with his arguments, arguably see him as the person who began what they continue today. He's also the author of The Chaos Scenario and co-hosts National Public Radio's "On the Media."

I ran into Bob at the Carlton this weekend, then later Monday in front of the Palais, sporting a decidedly cannois summer hat. (I didn't know at the time, but it was also his birthday.) He thoughtfully agreed to sit and talk at a nearby beachside restaurant -- which we only later discovered is probably the loudest atmospheres in all the land.

So forgive the sound on this bad-boy. Click below to see the video, and read the rest of this piece over at Yahoo! Scene.

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The Dutch Take Over La Croisette Monday Night

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To say that Monday night at Cannes was a bit busier than Sunday night would be an understatement. The big event of the evening was the Dutch Young Creative beach bash. Those Dutch know how to party! But we'll get to that in a minute.

The night began at the Grand Hotel where DraftFCB and Campaign held their parties. The weather was perfect. Not too hot. Not too cold. There was wine, beer and delicious snacks. I arrived early and and was met a bit later by fellow yahoo! Scene scribes Angela Natividad and Ask Wappling.

Conversation ranged from the view to the impending initial Lions wins to the heat to French wine and cheese to golf to water skiing and even divorce. But no one really wants to read about a depressing topic like that on an advertising news site so we'll spare you the details.

Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Cyber, Design Cannes Lions Shortlists Released

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Tuesday brings the release of the Cannes Cyber and Design shortlists. Sample contenders for the Cyber Lion include Crispin Porter + Bogusky for Coke Zero's Fan 400, R/GA for Nike's Free and The Black Mamba, AKQA for Halo:Reach's Remember Reach, Goodby Silverstein & Partners for Adobe Museum, Wieden + Kennedy for Nike's Better World, Strawberry Frog for Education Trust's The Girl Store, Wieden + Kennedy for Old Spice's Response campaign, BBH New York for Google's Chrome Fast, Saatchi LA for Toyota's Swagger wagon and TDA Boulder for Webroot's Social Media Sobriety Test.

Sample contenders for Design include Digital Kitchen for The Cosmopolitan's Digital Experience, SapientNitro for Footlocker's Class in Session and The Mill for International Festival's 2010 Open Titles.

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Romania Wins Promo/Activation, Direct Lion Grand Prixes

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Taking the top spot during Monday night's Cannes Promo/Activation and Direct Lions was Romanian agency BV McCann which took home two Grand Prixs for Promo/activation and direct. The agency won for the work it did for Kandia Dulce.

Kandia Dulce is a Romanian chocolate bar that was originally tied to the country's patriotism with packaging that mirrored the country's flag. But when the economy tanked, the packaging became less relevant and sales took a hit. BV McCann came up with a tongue and cheek strategy which repackaged the product to look like the American flag, complete with stars and stripes and the tagline, "The taste of coolness."

Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Focused, Humanized Content Helps Online Brands Win

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Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington took that stage at Cannes for a session entitled The Re-Calibration of Form and Function Online. The gist of the panel, aside from it being a bit of a pitch for AOL's newly tightened content belt, was all about the humanizing of the internet and how content, done right, can bring real-world humanity online.

Huffington outlined her four pillars of what she dubs the "grown up internet." First off is Trust. Huffington argued brands and online entities should work towards speaking in the sort of tone one might use when speaking with a friend or colleague in a non-business, social setting. As examples of this, she pointed to a few Huffington Post headlines which, in her opinion, made the experience more human.

Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene.

by Steve Hall    Jun-20-11    
Topic: Brands, Industry Events



Jonah Lehrer: The Science of Creativity is Instinctive

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Author and Wired editor Jonah Lehrer joined DraftFCB's Director of Strategic Planning Matthew Willcox to discuss the science of creativity, specifically what triggers it and whether it can be honed.

One major problem we have with creativity reveals itself in linguistics: we talk about it like it's singular, but it's plural. Our job is to think creatively the right way at the right time, applying the appropriate mental tools to the task at hand.

Relaxation Breeds Insight

To understand the different facets of creativity, it helps to know what precedes a moment of insight: alpha waves, closely associated with states of relaxation. Walking to the beach, taking a shower, daydreaming -- doing something you really like doing, in other words -- is what makes it possible for your mind to arrive at what we traditionally understand to be creative epiphanies.

The logic is simple. When we're not relaxed, we're too focused, we produce both physical and mental tensions. Tension only restricts and builds upon itself, stifling any semblance of insight before it can even be born.

Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene.

by Steve Hall    Jun-20-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Third is Better Than First. But at Cannes?

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Speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival Monday morning Malcolm Gladwell delivered a simple but powerful message; being third (or second) is better (and more profitable) than being first.

Using the 1982 battle with Israel and Syria, Gladwell pointed out the reason Israel won (shot down 87 Syrian planes losing only 3 troops) is because it used the inventions of others. Namely, Russia and the United States.

Gladwell, with example after example made the point Russia, traditionally very centralized, is excellent at developing military strategy. The United States, with its decentralized military and access to a well-funded private sector, is excellent at creating intricate and effective devices of war. Israel, small and poor, is excellent at implementing the strategies and developments of others to their success.

Moving off the topic of war and onto business examples of first isn't best, Gladwell reminded the audience Steve Jobs didn't invent the personal computer, nor its graphical user interface. Xerox, a well funded operation with legions of engineers and technicians and culture of innovation, invented what Jobs eventually turned into an affordable device consumers could understand, use and afford.

Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene.

by Steve Hall    Jun-20-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Outdoor, Media, PR, Radio, Press Lions Announced

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It's Monday in Cannes and a slew of shortlists has been announced. The lists for Outdoor, Media, Public Relations, Radio and Press have been released.

Selected contenders in Outdoor include Y&R Chicago's work for PETA's Passion campaign, Mother New York's work for Target's Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular, Leo Burnett Chicago's work for Kellogg's The World's Largest Cuckoo Clock, JWT New York's work for Burma's Human Rights Watch and R/GA's work for Nike's The Film Room.

Read the rest on Yahoo! Scene.

by Steve Hall    Jun-20-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Adrants Goes to Cannes

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Once again, we'll be bringing you all the Cannes goodness you can stand. Working with New York-based Cake Group, Yahoo! has launched Yahoo! Scene, an online site that will cover the advertising industry's most high-profile events. For Cannes, we will cover all the news, gossip, announcements, parties, seminars and beach action. Additionally, the site will aggregate all the social content generated during the Cannes so readers can see real time social check-ins and status updates.

For Yahoo! Scene Cannes coverage, your scribes will be former Adrants Co-Editor and current AdVerve Co-Host Angela Natividad, the famed Ask Wappling, publisher of Adland and Steve Hall, publisher of Adrants.

We're calling it a trio of awesome. Check out all the coverage over at Yahoo! Scene or right here on Adrants. We'll be posting pointers to the best Yahoo! Scene Cannes coverage throughout the week.

by Steve Hall    Jun-18-11    
Topic: Industry Events



Direct, Promo & Activation Shortlists Announced

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Cannes 2011 has officially kicked off. The weather is a gorgeous, sunny, 78ish degrees, the Croisette is filled with sun bathers and the Palais is filled with attendees registering and checking out some of the early exhibits.

Near registration, Shots, of the legendary Shots parties at Cannes, was pimping subscriptions in exchange for their impossible-to-get tickets to the magazine's Thursday night party. We worked our charm to no avail lest we opted to part with about $1,500 for the subscription.

Now on to business. The shortlists for Direct as well as Promo & Activation have been released. You can check out the lists here. Next up, PR, Outdoor, Media, Radio and press will be announced Monday morning.

by Steve Hall    Jun-18-11    
Topic: Industry Events



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