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.
Honda is out with a seriously yawn-inducing addition to its Dream the Impossible Dream documentary series called Dreams vs. Nightmares. In the video, regular people and famous people (Clive Barker and Deepak Chopra) talk about how their dreams and nightmares affect their lives and their work.
Chris Applebaum is probably best known for the videos he's done for extra-extra artists like Britney Spears and Rihanna. In "It's All about the Roosevelts," he slums it up for Taco Bell, but doesn't stray too far from his trashy pop roots.
The statement "It's All about the Roosevelts" riffs off Diddy's "It's All About the Benjamins," a track from a year we're too embarrassed to look back on and that plays on Benjamin Franklin's appearance on the $100 bill. NOTE: The music is all original.*
To call attention to the apparently savage act of gutting a fish while it's alive, Dutch agency Revolver Media created a website and video featuring fetish model Ancilla Tilia. There was a countdown clock and on Monday, June 22, Tilia began to strip.
Described as a "brilliant riposte to the current financial climate and the champagne fueled jungle," a debut novel from James Palumbo is getting some promotion with a dark, noire-style video complete with old school gangster-style slayings, gallons of champagne, freaky pig-headed people and breasts so big they need a wheeled cart to support them.
The book, available July 1, is about a society gone wrong. A society in which reality channel Shit TV (yes, that's what it's called) has overtaken the small screen and filled it with "homicidal dwarfs on rollerblades and obese mamas in tutus." Title character, Tomas, has had enough and with the help of his tommy gun, he hopes to eradicate the world of this filth.
An additional two promotion videos will be added to the site on July 3 and July 10.
The 7th Chamber has seeded a video which promotes Nokia'a 5800 phone. The entire video is spoken in song titles and album covers. On the site, people can create their own song title playlist video, submit it and get a chance to win a Nokia 5800.
So while the lucky (unlucky?) ones are in Cannes this week, the rest of us can get all creative and win a phone.
But here's a thought. All these contests. What aren't they all one by people working in advertising? After all, we're supposed to crank this shit out in our sleep, right? Why is it always some pimple-faced teenager that wins these things? Are contests beneath us? Do we refuse to be creative unless we are paid? Are we just lazy? What's the deal?
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.
We hate Box Tops. We hate the mess they make when family members collect thousands of them to raise money for various educational causes. OK, so we really don't hate Box Tops but we do hate the process one must go through just to see their benefit. It's like coupons and Sunday circulars. Why create and print all that crap when you could just give the discount/donation anyway? Oh, we know. It's becasue you really don't want to give things away so you make it really hard for people to take advantage of what you're sort of offering.
Despite this opinion, enough people have clipped enough Box Tops to raise $300 million for schools. So that's not a bad thing. They've even made a little video to celebrate.
We still hate the mess they make though.
As part of his research project "about the future model of advertising" for thesis work at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, AlmapBBDO Creative Director Sergio Mugnaini created a Mad Men-themed online research survey that's very cool. The survey takes scenes from Mad Men and dubs the survey questions right into the scene. Way more interesting than page after page of plain text. Ingenious, actually.
Remember Tom Dickson from BlendTec? He's the guy who tosses stuff into a blender infomercial-style. Mullen grabbed him for a video that promotes a new Olympus camera. Tossing everything from an SLR to a point and shoot to a lens to an HD camcorder to a voice recorder to some sweet art, Tom blends up a master piece: The Olympus EP1, the ultimate gadget.
Oddly, the thing looks like it came out of the fifties but some Olympus designer probably that that'd be all retro-cool.