Some moments after I sat down with SapientNitro's Worldwide Chief Creative Director Gaston Legorburu and Creative Director John McHale, I got a hard sense of what our time together would be about.
"Our secret weapon is our culture," Gaston said. And the culture is bred and nourished with conscious attention.
They reflected that they've never actually discussed their culture with the press before, and maybe because of that, they sat and outlined the entire blueprint.
The SapientNitro Positioning Statement
A mystique surrounds SapientNitro's culture, in part because the "agency" -- if you can call it that -- came from left field, blindsiding traditional agencies and digital players alike.
Sapient's roots lie in business and IT consulting, two specialties that still heavily impact its culture. It's technology, hardware, organizational management -- universes that traditionally have nothing to do with creative. But two years ago, when it started building touchscreen "Happiness" vending machines for Coca-Cola, followed by machines that dispense Unilever ice creams when a person smiles agencies began to worry.
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Tuesday night in Cannes the party scene really and truly kicked into full swing. With all the delegates in town combined with the fact Tuesday was Festival of Music, the Croisette was jam pack with people eight months old to 80 years old. Making way from one party to another was quite the challenge.
We again visited Le Rooftop, Fast company's series of parties/sessions. Last night Omnicom CEO John Wren made an appearance to speak about the state of the advertising agency and the fact he'd be happy to helm Omnicom for as long as they'll have him. A delicious dinner was served before heading out to the Croisette and the other parties.
Aside from the fact many sessions at Cannes are simply veiled commercials for the brands and agencies that host them or an excuse to have a celebrity on the panel, Mofilm's panel, Can Crowdsourcing Build Big Brands?, offered up a semi-amusing point from Jesse Eisenberg (Celebrity. Check) who likened ad agencies to Hollywood's large, disparate and convoluted studio system and independent film making to Mofilm (celebrity endorsement?)
Nothing like slamming the infrastructure that forms the lion's share of the Cannes Lions Festival. But, hey, Eisenberg is right. The Holy Trinity of Omnicon, Publicis and WPP are big, bloated and slow moving. Which is probably why all kinds of people are all over crowdsourcing, the topic Mofilm's panel today.
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Tuesday night in Cannes, New York's Droga5 took home the Outdoor Grand Prix for its Microsoft Bing work, Jay-Z Decoded. The campaign placed pages from Jay-Z's autobiography on outdoor boards, posters, kiosks and, where existing media didn't exist, customized placement such as pizza boxes, plates and burger wrappers, in relation to the autobiography's content. Fans could locate particular pages of the campaign by playing an online game which would give clues, via Bing's mapping and search functionality, as to the boards' locations.
All of the Outdoor Lion winners can be viewed here.
For its darkly strange and surreal radio campaign for Mercedes, BBDO Johannesberg brought home the Grand Prix for Radio Tuesday night at Cannes. The agency last won a Grand Prix in 2009 for Virgin Atlantic. The campaign, Accident Avoidance Features, has people who've been in car accidents taunted by the people they hit.
The copy is wickedly weird. One spot reads, in part, "For my birthday, he sent me a half sheep and 27 emotionally fraught mix tapes. He is intimately acquainted with the contents of my bin. I know he's touched my earbuds. And he likes to knit things for me too. Things like ponchos, cat suits and eye patches. To think, if I'd been driving a Mercedes-Benz with Lane Assist, that nifty accident avoidance system, we never would've met."
Other Gold Lion winners include:
- Y&R Bangkok for Mai Tan
- Network BBDO for Galderma
- Lowe & Prtners for Samroc Paint
- Three Drunk Monkeys for IKEA
- LatinWorks for Cin Las Americas
- Grabarz & Partners for Modern Music School
- DDB CoNetwork BBDO for lumbia for Armed Forces Columbia
- Jung Von Matt for Noah
Yahoo! EVP Ross Levinson sat down for a discussion with Robert Redford this morning in a Cannes session entitled Content as Conversation Catalyst. Levinson kicked off by reiterating Yahoo!'s goal of aligning distribution with authors and providing consumers a personal digital experience on all platforms.
When Levinson asked Redford, "What makes a good story?", Redford responded, "Sex." After the hilarity dies down, Redford added, "something you don't know that hits you in the gut and heart. And informs you."
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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.
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.
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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.
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."
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