Advertising can accomplish many things but when you get right down to it, it's all about sales. Because, without sales, there's nothing. No money to make product. No money to pay salaries. No money to expand. But sales don't magically happen. It takes work and it takes leads. Yes, leads.
And, just like there's an app for everything in this world, there's a conferences that's all about lead generation and online customer acquisition. It's called LeadsCon and it's happening in New York July 26-7 at the Marriott Marquis. We're going. If only to come to the realization that marketing and advertising aren't all about winning awards and spending a week in the south of France on the company dime. So leave your ego in Cannes and come meet the people who generate the revenue you
waste spend at the Gutter Bar.
Here is where I distill the Cannes experience and make a lot of reflections that the world will forget or, more likely, simply never read. So I'm gonna start with the videos and photos, culminating in the longest wrapup of Cannes ever, which you must all read or perish.
Not really. If, after all that, you still want to read the reflections, scroll all the way down.
This is a post about smoking, which I wrote to precede my sunshiny Lions wrapup. It is randomly scattered with pictures of the events and people referred to, in part for context, but also so you don't have to scroll through all the "fun" shots without perspective.
In advertising, we pick up a lot of habits - "creative" habits, mostly - that we occasionally are and aren't proud of, depending on our mood and who's looking. The Cannes Lions becomes a magnifier of all those habits: there, trapped in paradise for a week, people don't just drink until 5 in the morning; they often smoke as if all the weight of the world depends on it.
"Last night I knew it was time to go home because I started chainsmoking," complained Shannon Stephaniuk of Glossy. "I hate smoking more than anything else in the world!"
I suppose I believe her. I've never seen Shannon pick up a cigarette, not once, and I smoke a great deal, which usually outs the casual smokers in party atmospheres.
Anyway, this Cannes phenomenon leads to a lot of semi-casual conversation about why we all started smoking in the first place, which naturally drifts over to quitting and efforts to get there.
This is why I started smoking (in earnest, not counting the flirtation I had in college when my best friend gave me a pack of Vanilla Dreams for my 18th birthday): to eke a promotion out of a boss who only discussed "the future" with his subordinates during smoke breaks. I was 19, maybe 20.
"You know what Gabriel Garcia Marquez did to quit?" began Draftfcb ECD Mark Fiddes, rather grandly, at a beachside luncheon for production firm Mad Cow. "Gabriel Garcia Marquez buried his last packet of cigarettes. Big mound. It was something he could walk by and look at every day."
"That's how he quit?" I asked incredulously. Garcia Marquez was a heavy smoker - six packs a day at worst, I think.
"That's how," Mark said smugly.
- London-based Bare Bones is heading to New York and will host an exhibition Tuesday, June 29th from 6 - 9PM at envoy enterprises (131 Chrystie St) which will feature London/Euro-exports and NYC locals. Following will be an after party downstairs at Home Sweet Home from 9-11PM. Live performances by the mighty Jugger-Nut & The Giggle Fits.
- SKYN's got a a little game you can play. Somehow this sells condoms.
- A London ad campaign aims to introduce the true face of Islam and reverse negative attitudes toward Muslims.
- Here's Cristiano Ronaldo's ego hub.
- Montreal vs. Toronto vs. Vancouver. You decide.
- Leave it to the Japanese.
Last week, before all the Cannes fun and games were over, I scored an interview with ECD Richard Gorodecky of Amsterdam Worldwide (@amsterdamww).
You remember AW as the agency that did the Tansu shoe for Onitsuka Tigers, which won Design Gold at Cannes Lions in the Corporate/Brand Identity category.
Some background: this giant shoe is composed of multiple cupboards and openings in the Japanese Tansu style. Users that are able to unlock the compartments get to keep what's inside. The agency also made a digital version with revelations that include product information and free stuff.
A little context on this interview: he, Kerrie Finch and I took seats on the terrace of the Majestic. We made small-talk and every once in awhile they'd randomly mention suckling pig.
"I don't get this reference," I said after about the eighth time.
"Let me explain," Kerrie said. "You know that question, 'Is TV the new hearth'? We were saying earlier that it can't be the new hearth because you can't roast a suckling pig on it."
Last night at Cannes was the ceremony everyone stays up for, and the one I missed, to my infinite regret. Crucially, it also marked the first year a Film Craft category was incorporated into the Lions.
Some really good stuff was awarded, material that was a pleasure to watch repeatedly over the course of the year. All in all, a crisis isn't a bad backdrop for the ad industry. Some beautiful, deeply human things have come out of it - work that makes us dream again.
Take a look down yonder. I am only listing Grand Prix, Integrated Grand Prix and Titanium Grand Prix winners. To see the rest, click on the category.
Here's a few pictures (derived from one) of Hungry Man's Villa Party at Cannes which occurred a day or two. Thanks to Bud Theisen for sending it in.
We're lovin' the girl on the left whomever she is.
Here's the Cannes Shortlists for:
Film Craft Lions
Titanium & Integrated Lions
Jury opinion seems to be favoring TBWA\Chiat\Day's Gatorade Replay and BBH's Johnnie Walker The Man Who Walked Around the World for
I'm about 24 hours late on this, because the universe of Cannes seems to have priorities (and possibly a wormhole?) of its own, but here are the Grand Prix winners from Wednesday night's ceremony at the Lions.
Steve mentioned earlier that there are some Wrath of Cannes shirts going around, and yeah, those rumours are true: the other day the Wrath's Kristen Bryan found me, handed me a Grand Coney tee and asked me to strike a "sexy" pose.
Not sure what one of those looks like, since I by nature just ooze sex out of my pores, so I whipped out some creepy awkward fist-to-face thing that was probably planted in my subconscious by AsianPoses.com.
Ask Wappling, who took the picture at left, also sported a shirt, as did Rafiq from ihaveanidea and Brett McKenzie.
The real Cannes is officially invaded. New goal - to actually experience Wrath of Cannes live. Someday.