cannes of worms?

The creative fraternity have recently returned to their offices after drinking the South of France dry of rosé at this year’s Cannes Lions awards.

However, not all is rosy in the garden. Some of the industry’s most respected bloggers have been critical of Cannes and everything it stands for. Dave Trott believes advertising festivals like Cannes prevent creativity rather than encourage it.


“You’re not doing advertising for six million people in the street anymore, but for ten people on the jury. How has that got anything to do with the job we’re supposed to be doing?”


Jeff Goodby reckons that “Nowadays, Cannes is more like a plumbers’ or industrial roofing convention, after which I go home and begin to explain to a friend that there is an amazing new fiberglass insulation technology that will enable us to cost-effectively sheathe surfaces exposed to the sun and make them blah blah blah...”


On other blogs, a debate has been raging about the resurgence of scam ads (work created for the sole purpose of winning awards and furthering the interests of the individuals and the agencies involved). This has always been a grey area, and in the age of the case study video entry, it seems harder than ever to define what is legitimate and what isn’t. Take a look at the Volkswagen Speed Dials film produced by the Colenso agency in New Zealand that has just picked up a Silver Lion at Cannes.

I think this idea is brilliant. It could actually save lives as well as help sell Volkswagens. I’m not suggesting this is a scam ad for a moment, but the comments attached to the article in Campaign Brief, the leading advertising blog in Australasia, make interesting reading.

It doesn’t appear as though this fantastic product is actually available for the general public to buy. Whoops! But the question is, does that matter? As one anonymous antipodean puts it: “The fact that it'll never be mass produced doesn't seem to matter in this day and age, when viewing a web film like that can have a similar emotional effect as the actual project would have had.” With almost 150,000 YouTube views, I would say this film has more than pulled its weight for the client already. It might now resemble a plumber’s convention, but work like this will always make Cannes relevant and worthwhile for me (even if I never get to go these days).


Creative Director

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