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.
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?
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.
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.
So Knob Creek, due to demand for its bourbon, is running low on supply and is at risk of running dry before its next batch is ready in November. Rather than bottle the next batch before its full nine year maturity, the comapny has turned its lack of product into a promotion. A sick joke of a promotion but a promotion none the less.
We've been sent all sorts of goodies from marketers in the mail. Sadly, most are of the throw-a-way variety. This is most certainly not the case when it comes to liquor, unless you consider pouring the product down one's throat throwing it away.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Twitter delays scheduled downtime, following the Iranian elections, to give Iranian users a platform for protest/discussion/covert tweet-ups/etc.
- Not one to miss a hot show, Anonymous launches iran.whyweprotest.net, a space for what it calls a "tech-savvy uprising."
- Okay, onto less serious things. CK orgy scandal action.
- "Contextual dating sadness."
- Swill from Lovemarks man.
- AgencySpy ponders the tough stuff.
- Harley Davidson gets all musical.
Hopping right on the "we'll do anything to increase ad revenue" bus, Entertainment Weekly is out with Andy's Richter Scale, an advertorial on the magazine's Must List page pimping the Conan O'Brien show, Andy Richter himself and HBO's True Blood. Wait, what's this ad for again?
Whatever the ad may be for, we love the riff on vampires which ends with, "And have you ever noticed that their real-life fans are ust renaissance fair types with substance abuse problems?"
As advertorials go, it's a good one. So good, it took us three days to realize it wasn't just an editorial sidebar to the Must List. But one wonders. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?