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.
The 7th Chamber has seeded a video which promotes Nokia'a 5800 phone. The entire video is spoken in song titles and album covers. On the site, people can create their own song title playlist video, submit it and get a chance to win a Nokia 5800.
So while the lucky (unlucky?) ones are in Cannes this week, the rest of us can get all creative and win a phone.
But here's a thought. All these contests. What aren't they all one by people working in advertising? After all, we're supposed to crank this shit out in our sleep, right? Why is it always some pimple-faced teenager that wins these things? Are contests beneath us? Do we refuse to be creative unless we are paid? Are we just lazy? What's the deal?
On a recent episode of This American Life, Sarah Koenig, tells the story of her father, famed copywriter Julian Koenig, who wrote "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and copy for the VW Think Small ads. It seems his partner, famed ad man George Lois has been taking exclusive credit for work the two did together while at DDB.
Seemingly the consummate gentleman, Koenig never took issue with this until his daughter, producer of This American Life, began to probe deeper asking him about the origin of the ads and his work with Lois. It's yet another story of greed, ego and pompousness run amock in the advertising business. Give it a listen.
Commenting after forty years about his partner, Koenig said of Lois, "his talent is only exceeded by his omnivorous ego."
Back in June, we noted The Hills babe Audrina Patridge would soon make her debut in a Carl's Jr. commercial. That day has arrived. In the commercial, we get to hear how Audrina has to give up "like everything" to look as hot as she does in a bikini. But the one thing she won't give up is the Carl's Jr. Teriyaki Burger with which she's "totally obsessed" and cuz, ya know, she has to be "a little bad."
While Barbara Lippert says she "appreciate(s) that it's a somewhat more natural setup than having Paris Hilton hose down a luxury car while sucking and licking the burger on all fours," we still think the Paris Hilton spot was the best Carl's Jr. commercial ever. Bikini + soapy water + famous socialite in her prime = gold.
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.
Clowns give me mixed feelings. Having seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space at too young an age, they terrify me. And having watched a clown dejectedly make unwanted balloon animals at a party where all the kids were too old, they also make me inexpressibly sad.
Anyway, Ronald McDonald was outside the Palais today, wearing jetpacks of all things. He was doing this big dog and pony show for whoever reared a camera in his direction. Seeing him made me frightened, and when I'm scared I get mad, hence the venomous video.
Here's a new GoDaddy spot that will neither change your life nor get you off. In it, two preppyland hotties on a golf course find an enchanted genie lamp. One wishes for the world's longest drive, har har, and I'm sure you can imagine what happens next.
Bob Parsons stars as the somewhat seedy genie; the more vocal chick is model Anna Rawson, a new GoDaddy girl and LPGA player.
"V-Day" kicks off a new online video effort by Tampax that follows the story of Zack Johnson, a guy who woke up one morning to find he has a gaping vagina where his second head should be.
Don't know how it'll all pan out, but it promises to be occasionally funny in a banal teen angst kind of way. Follow the progression at Zack16.com, a site reminiscent of a teenage boy's notebook, complete with videos, a blog, Polaroid-styled images and a Twitter feed.
The tweets are kind of funny and appear to be getting progressively more emo. Apparently he's already had a period and now feels every guy should experience one.
Hear, hear. Although to be frank, marvelous breakthroughs in birth control make it so even real women don't have to endure random visits from Aunt Flo anymore.
Work by Leo Burnett/Chicago.
- Recapping Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World.
- JWT could use Nestle copywriter.
- Lady Parts. Auto services.
- VW tweetnalysis.
- Disney, Asus partner on kiddie Netpal comps. (Via @FredCavazza.)
- UNIQLO calendar.