Saturday night: the show to end all shows, the one people actually queue in line for. (Though markedly less so than in previous years, as tweeted by Influencia.) And while recession-spawned conservatism was accounted for, the jury hailed from all corners of the globe and generated cheers -- like rock stars.
Saw some awesome work over the next two hours, but it remains a shock who ultimately won what.
There was a lot of talk about how Cannes Lions '09 differed from previous years. I'd say there was a greater focus on how efforts addressed users directly, although creativity remains a big part of that. And given who won the Grands Prix for Titanium and Integrated, it may be the first year agencies must take into account that the user has become a legitimate advertiser himself.
This is no death-of-the-agency foretelling; it's simply a call to listen more closely and respond more intuitively to the crowd. We have spent so many years trying to contrive artificial emotional connections between products and people; it is only natural that, now that they're able, consumers demand to know why those connections should exist in the first place.
What does your company stand for? Does it listen and respond to me? Crucially, is it as willing to incorporate me into its message as I am to incorporate it into my life?
Grand Prix recipients, and a wee bit o' work, listed below.
OK. Who knew going to McDonald's late at night was such a big deal. Apparently a few people in Oklahoma City do. Enough to show up for a red carpet-style event put together by Wave Omnimedia Group. Patrons heading to the restaurant had their pictures taken on the red carpet and their likeness projected on a large shadow wall.
You can see a video of the event here and photos here. Other red carpet events will take place July 4 and August 1.
Last night was the Cannes Lions awards event for Design, Press and Cyber efforts. As always, for the full list of winners, go hithery-dithery. But here are the Grand Prix winners for each category:
For DESIGN: "Paper Battlefield" for Nike Hong Kong by McCann Worldgroup/Causeway Bay.
For PRESS: "We Are Animals," that creepy bejeaned-human-meets-carnal-instinct campaign by FRED & FARID/Paris for Wrangler.
For CYBER: "Best Job in the World" -- which is seriously cleaning up this year -- by Cumminsnitro/Brisbane for Tourism Queensland.
"Eco:Drive" by AKQA/London for Fiat also scored a Cyber Grand Prix, as did "Why So Serious?" for Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight. The latter campaign is a typical piece of elaborate genius by the folks at 42 Entertainment/Pasadena, whose every project is not so much advertising as it is grand oeuvre.
Hey, Cannes Lions delegates! Have a big heaping slice of buzzkill, brought to you by Weisser Ring!
I get that these are for a good cause. Given the appropriate context, these particular pieces are damn stirring.
But given that this image ornaments the exterior of the Palais and these ads plaster the interior, you gotta wonder: which sadistic member of the ad festival planning committee picked out this year's damaged kids motif?
Last night was the ceremony for Radio, Media and Outdoor -- not very exciting stuff, but you get a chance to review highly localized work you wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. Always good to remember what ad life is like outside internets.
Here are the Grand Prix winners for each category. Hopefully by now I don't need to tell you where to go to see the full list of oversized bookend recipients.
For RADIO: Net#Work BBDO/Johannesburg wins Grands Prix for "Dancer," "Dog" and "Ferret" -- three radio pieces for Virgin Atlantic Airlines, South Africa. Wanna hear? Listeny-listen.
For MEDIA: JWT Japan/Tokyo scores for "Kit Kat Mail 2009" on behalf of Nestle's Kit-Kat.
For OUTDOOR: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg wins Grands Prix for "Fight the Regime," "Cheaper than Money," "Trillion Dollar Billboard," "Z$250,000,000" and "Wallpaper" -- on behalf of The Zimbabwean. The campaign's objective was, in great part, to demonstrate the ridiculous rate of inflation affecting Zimbabwean currency as a result of the current regime.
We covered one execution in which trillions of Zimbabwe dollars were used to wallpaper a billboard. Trillion dollar bills were also used as flyers. See the rest of the work; if you're curious about the roots of Z's current political situation, read some colourful background.
Just wanted to do a quick update before Cannes consumes me and I lose my will to blog while sober.
Arrived yesterday: five-hour train ride from Gare de Lyon to the Cannes station, which appears to be dead-center of nowhere. You can immediately tell who came from the city because we're all still in coats, looking grimy and sordid.
First ad I saw upon entering the Palais. Where better than a sweltering, decadent vacation spot to remind us of the dire consequences of climate change?
Somewhat less depressing than the wrist slitter cause ad that appeared on BART trains during New Years Eve '06.
Heh, this is highLARity. For Sustrans, which campaigns for sustainable transport in the UK by promoting a bike-or-walk commute, Rubber Republic launched Elejumper.
The object of the advergame is to build enough steam for the elephant to slide onto a ramp with sufficient momentum to get himself to work. Probably the best part about it is you can hit space bar mid-flight to flap his ears, and if you flap them while he's on the ground he kind of just lays there, thumping pathetically. Oh how we LOLed.
The game's objective is to promote Sustrans' Change Your World 2009 challenge, where, for the week beginning June 29th, people are invited to swap their cars out for more earth-friendly transport. If all car users do it for just one day, traffic is expected to go down 20% that week.
Pledge your support at the Change Your World site or at the end of the game.
Vehicle mark Lancia partnered with the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to demonstrate support Aung San Suu Kyi. The latter won the Nobel Peace Prize in '91 and has been imprisoned in her home country, Burma -- er, the Union of Myanmar -- for the last 18 years.
Suu Kyi is currently on trial; in the meantime, this video is seeking broader dissemination throughout Europe and the rest of the English speaking world. It's moving work that depicts past Nobel Peace laureates stepping out of cars and onto the red carpet. The last car opens to an empty back seat -- Lancia's way of pouring out the liquor, so to speak, for the absent Suu Kyi.
"We're looking for seven pairs of travellers, one for each of Australia's stunning states, to become Van-Tastic Adventurers."
Winning pairs will be flown from anywhere in the world to Australia, where they'll be given a "karmic campervan" that looks a lot like the Plaid Nation tourbus, actually. They'll also get to digicams and laptops for six weeks, $1000 worth of gas, free access to the area's top attractions and a list of places to go.
But that's not all! The best travel documentary produced by one of the seven couples gets $10,000 and two Virgin Blue domestic flights.