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.
Last night the Ad Club of Boston held its first ever Ad Club Reunion, and event that brought together over 500 Boston area advertising professionals from across the years. The event was held from 6P-10P at Cyclorama, a large, cavernous space perfect for the event and allowing for attendees to wander and mingle with those they haven't seen in years.
As someone who has a history in the Boston ad community, it was great to see some faces from the past. I was pleased to run into Keith Lane, the creative director of Emerson Lane Fortuna, my first agency gig. Emerson Lane Fortuna was long ago sucked into the vortex of Arnold but Dick Emerson, Keith lane and Michael Fortuna will always be my advertising super heroes. The agency was an amazing place to work. So full of energy. Every client was awesome and that tiny little sandwich shop across Canal street rocked.
Biz Stone's Twitter talk this afternoon was met with a full auditorium, people clamoring for places to park cameras and laptops so they could livetweet questions in real time.
Kind of a neat format. Stone addressed questions as they appeared under hashtag #hkcannes, the results of which were projected onto a screen. Two problems with this method:
1) Wifi outside the press room isn't accessible for free, meaning those that livetweeted from inside the room were either paying for use or mobiling it up. Questions were never taken directly from audience members, raising their hands, for example.
2) Questions were still for the most part selected by a Hill & Knowlton rep. I'm pretty sure the Oracle of Delphi had a less formidable filtering system.
Stone talked a bit about Twitter's birth, which I'm sure will become the stuff of online legend, so I don't really need to go into it. (Hey look, here it is.) One point of interest: his partner, Jack Dorsey, conceived the idea out of a fascination with AIM status updates.
This is beyond weirdly creepy. Or is it creepily weird? Or is it just bad? Or wrong? Whatever. It's made by an ad agency that's going to Cannes for the first time so, of course, it's full of all sorts of inanity not to mention a tiny red Speedo...a version of which arrived at our doorstep this morning, no less! And no, we are not going to wear it lest we want to be a poster boy for Donny Deutsch.
Yes, Red Tettemer is going to Cannes and they've brought their red Speedos along. Not to mention a lot of other weird shit. Have fun, guys.
This year was the first year Cannes recognized PR's role in getting a brand message across, so PR people just about creamed themselves getting here. Even Hill & Knowlton couldn't help but say something smug about it before passing the mic to Biz Stone this afternoon.
Yeah, you guys are in the door, woo woo.
We're not gonna sit out and type the full list of trophy bait; that's what the Cannes Lions awards subsite is for. But here are the Grand Prix winners in all three categories, and a few nice PR Lion winners, too.
For PROMO: "Yubari" for Yubari Resort (Japan), by Beacon Communications/Tokyo.
I didn't really understand the beauty of this campaign until it was explained to me in full. Apparently Yubari used to be a miner town, and when the mines closed and all the miners left, the city was hurting for cash.
Beacon was enlisted to address the problem. In its research of Yubari it discovered something compelling: that its inhabitants do not divorce. Ever. For whatever reason, probably having to do with that it was damn-near deserted, marriages there maintain a 100% success rate.
Silver bullet in tow, Beacon immediately positioned Yubari as the place to insure your happily ever after. The campaign was ridiculously successful in the first year, with newlyweds angling from far and wide to visit. And that's how a small minor town became Japan's City of Love.
For DIRECT and PR: "Best Job in the World" for Tourism Queensland (Australia), by Cumminsnitro. Well-deserved -- this was truly ambitious work from an agency that was hardly on the radar before this year.
So there you have it. Now see below for some nice PR Lion notables.
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.
OK, so last week we kinda trashed the journalistic efforts others have planned for Cannes this week tossing them off as overly trendy or lazy. Of course, it was in jest and of course you knew that.
But now it's time for us to stand behind one of our fellow media outlets, Adland, which, in a very non-lazy/non-trendy fashion, had planned to offer video commentary of the week for its readers. Adland's Ask Wappling had asked a friend and former copywriter to be her cameraman and that's where the douchebaggery started.
Because her chosen cameraman was a former copywriter, the organizers of Cannes seem to think he's trying to sneak in for a free ride as a copywriter and not as a cameraman for Ask. That's just retar...oh wait, we can't use that word, right? Anyway, that's just idiotic.
If anyone here has any clout with the organizer's, can you please deliver them a swift slap upside the head and tell them to stop being such idiots? Thank you very much.
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.