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.
Remember that creepy We Are People campaign Wrangler ran a while back in which humans were hunted as if they were animals? We called it "bad advertising that's trying to pass itself off as high art." Guess that shows how much we know about advertising...the thing won a Grand Prix Press Lion.
But, that's not what we're talking about here. Nope. We're talking about a spoof of the campaign in which the tables are turned and the whole thing becomes We Are People. Except there's animals. Walking around as if they were people.
The campaign's called Wanker. George Parker would love it.
Everyone takes a little something different away from Cannes. Some take home awards. Some come home with nothing more than a giant hangover. Others, like the Perlorian Brothers come home with a decidedly different take. Have a look here.
Israeli agency Mizbala has created CannesZions, an effort to call attention to the Israeli advertising community.Regularly updated, the site features work done my Israeli ad agencies and marketers.
Currently on the site is work for Christina Aguilera's new fragrance, Pantene and Nokia
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?
The other night I had dinner with Shannon Stephaniuk of Glossy Inc. Because she's an old-school Ad Fest attendee, she brought me up the narrow, picturesque Rue Saint Antoine -- one of the staples of Old Town Cannes, where few fresh ad folk venture.
Ended up having dinner on the terrasse at Le Chaperon Rouge, where foie gras comes cooked and snails are extra-salty. We also experienced more than our fair share of pupil-dilating Priceless! moments, two of which I managed to record.
(Granted, they both happen to be street-guys-for-profit moments, but that's life in the jungle for you.)
- Don't miss Wrath of Cannes! It's tomorrow from 7-10P at the East River Bar.
- Amidst Cannes, New York Festivals announced the 2009 Grand Trophy winners, honoring six countries with the coveted award. This year's Grand Trophy recipients include: CumminsNitro, Australia; Publicis, France; and BBDO/Proximity Malaysia. The United State also received three Grand Awards, honoring BBDO NY, Big Ant International and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
- Do you laugh or do you cry when you watch this New Zealand safe-driving PSA?
- Dos Equis Most Interesting Man is now a professor at the Most Interesting Academy.
- Zugara has launched an online shopping application that's destined to make online shopping much easier.
At 72 Croisette (the so-called Gutter Bar) last night, Shannon Stephaniuk introduced me to the members of Ogilvy Stockholm, which won a Gold Lion for its work for UNA Sweden.
Their objective was to raise funds to support the war victims of Georgia (the country, not the state); and to do this, they spoke with the locals and gathered small, specific and personal items that belonged to people affected by the war.
See Shoes, Sweater and Sheet; I found the sight of those scorched, warped items physically painful, and the stories still more moving.
It's my strong feeling that the work deserved a Grand Prix, but apparently you can't win one if the effort is nonprofit. Weird logics. In any case, I hung out awhile and talked to the guys about the work, what they did and how it made them feel in general.
Video interviews below. Given that it's the Gutter Bar at 2:00 AM and not, say, an Embassy lobby, try to bear with the background noise. Better yet, imagine you're there, stumbling around with your third vodka tonic, playing guess-the-accent with your group of chums-for-the-week.
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.