One of the most interesting people I met at Cannes last week was Herve De Clerck, who runs Ad Forum and Act Responsible.
In this video he talks about how Ad Forum operates, and in great length about Act Responsible -- its humble roots out of the ashes of 9/11, and how it's pushing to do two interesting things:
o Encourage the advertising industry to contribute its talent to social and environmental causes
o Promote the work of those that do
"Every year we gather the work for social and environmental issues ... and every year, we put on an exhibition," he said. The exhibition was held with support from DraftFCB, on a sunny terrace alongside the Palais, where you could grab a coffee, check out the beach and stroll at leisure through a wide-open gallery of interactive and print-based cause work from around the world.
- Houses come a-hunting on Twitter. (More proof that in this market, it's do-or-die time.)
- Love can be complicated. (But once you pop...!)
- The revolution will be Tweeted. In Iran, anyway.
- 140-character twibutes to Michael Jackson. Srsly.
- Spike Lee, out loud and in Cannes.
- Seed bombs. That plant seeds!
- When writers go apeshit.
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.
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.
"We're looking for seven pairs of travellers, one for each of Australia's stunning states, to become Van-Tastic Adventurers."
Winning pairs will be flown from anywhere in the world to Australia, where they'll be given a "karmic campervan" that looks a lot like the Plaid Nation tourbus, actually. They'll also get to digicams and laptops for six weeks, $1000 worth of gas, free access to the area's top attractions and a list of places to go.
But that's not all! The best travel documentary produced by one of the seven couples gets $10,000 and two Virgin Blue domestic flights.
- 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.
With the explosion of social media, the direction marketing flows is shifting from outbound to inbound. After all, with the ability of a company to have an infinite number of "findable" touch points in every corner of the internet, spending the bulk of marketing dollars on traditional outbound push marketing makes less and less sense.
As this shift continues, the practice of inbound marketing becomes ever more important. So what is inbound marketing? According to inbound marketing company HubSpot, it's a combination of "getting found" through SEO, blogging and social media; conversion through landing pages, lead tracking and lead management and analysis through marketing analytics, competitive analytics and lead scoring.
EUTube -- the YouTube channel of the European Union -- is seeding a video called "Electrical Derby," whose job is to educate viewers about electricity, while propagating the Eurotrash pop culture aesthetic that gives spoofs like this a perpetually appreciative audience.
After a few watches we're fairly confident we'll be experts in how batteries work; but every time we start the video up again, we get caught up in fantasizing how RAD it would be to spend a few hours at a neon roller derby.
We like the idea, but imagine trying to explain supermagnets at a rave. (Actually, it's possible we've done that -- and it all went horribly wrong.) In any event, "Electrical Derby" is a follow up to "Chemical Party," last year's attempt to teach chemistry with synthesized music and mating rituals.
AdFreak takes vocal issue with this spot for Oven Pride, which got the clear in the UK after riotous accusations that it was sexist.* (Okay, maybe "riotous" is overstating.)
The ad's not sexist, our buddy blog says; it's just idiotic. And yeah, we're inclined to agree. Even taking into account that British humour is different from the American variety, everything from the man's chimpanzee behaviour to the narrator's forced "mm-hm-hm!" at the end gives us the ad-willies.
It's just a low-budget piece, screenwritten, no doubt, by housewives that produce skits for the local Pentecost. Speaking of housewives, know what yours needs? A shiny new set of Madison Avenue cookware.
- Why you should buy the shirt at left. (No, it's not a Greenpeace thing.)
- Tetris' 25th.
- Keg party on Twitter. May be a mite warm, though.
- What tacky-ass Kiss needs to do is show women trying to type with those acrylic French manis. Not so sexy when your E's and I's keep turning into 8's and 3's, are they?
- 10 examples of how crowdsourcing is (possibly) changing the world.
- Tinseltown jailbait.
- Very Funny Ads is a glowing testament to the following truth: it's not that people don't like ads, it's that they don't like shitty ads. Embrace it.
- This is kinda saucy: YouTube XL makes your favourite amateur vids deliciously watchable over big TV screens. (V-v-via.)