And now for some Cannes predictions…
By Chris Gotz, Creative Circle Chairman and ECD Ogilvy CT
The annual, traditional, tremendously accurate, never biased, ever-so-wise Cannes predictors have gathered again. They have selected the pieces of local work that might, just might, cause their creators to spend all their per diems in a single round of drinks at the Gutter Bar celebrating their Lions. Although chances are they won’t be at Cannes, so their ECD’s, who of course will be there, will buy the drinks and celebrate like they did the ad – after a quick, shouty, side-huggy telephone call on the steps of the Palais to tell the team how amazing they all are and just how generally awesome everything is, and how it would be so cool if they were able to be here too (if the ECD hadn’t flown Business Class and spent all the money). Apologies, that was a long sentence. Ad people don’t normally write like that. Generally they write like this. You know – lucid, short, intelligent, crisp sentences. Everyone tries to sound like David Abbott’s body copy for Sainsburys. And (ad people can start sentences with and – because we’re, like, f#ck grammar, we’re ad people) the point is (because there is a point, really, there is) that you will only win in Cannes if we don’t behave like ad people. We will win at Cannes by doing stuff no-one expects us to do.
These are the Cannes predictions, so there better be some soon. I also need to make up for my ludicrously tangental intro paragraph. So here are a few wild predictions:
1. Next monday morning, also known as Shortlist Monday, will probably be depressing for most of us. We will trawl the raft of Cannes shortlists looking for our work. While doing so we will come across amazingly well-crafted print ideas from China (hand drawn for months, possibly years, by carefully selected teams of juniors with small hands). There will also be incredible Brazilian activations using hand-reared Unicorns combined with large football crowds to promote gene therapy programmes for, say, a new children’s hospital. And, of course, there will be Swedish digital pieces (created by perfectly groomed men with beards and women who dress like a Vogue version of Pippie Langkous) using drones, sensors and polo bear migration habits to market a new 4×4. What we are not likely to find, unless we work for Wiedens, are vast amounts of our own work.
2. To compound the inadequacy of those of us who don’t have heaps of shortlists, there will be the air-punching few who do. The rest of us will say “wow, that’s awesome, good luck.” Although many of us (the mean –spirited ones) will secretly harbour hopes that the shortlisted work will Stuka-dive spectacularly out of the show as the famous “Hispanic judging bloc” goes about their dastardly work.
3. There will be a shit Thai television execution featuring a life size locust and an insurance salesman. It will win something. There will be low tuneless whistling when it does.
4. Rob McLennan will lose his luggage, or be rerouted to Vladivostok, or both.
5. Marketing blogger Herman Manson will not be at Cannes, because (his words not mine) “Awards do not equal creativity and excellence.” Fortunately the CEO’s and CMO’s of some of the world’s largest corporations (who clearly disagree with Herman) will be there. In addition so will musician Jack Black, Formula 1 Driver Jenson Button, Conan O‘ Brien, Director Sir Alan Parker, Editor par excellence Tina Brown, Annie Leibowitz, Anderson Cooper of CNN and many more.
6. Japanese tourists will take photos of ad people on the red carpet outside the Palais des Festivales, thinking they might be minor celebrities. The ad people being photographed may also consider themselves minor celebrities. They will all be wrong.
7. People, perhaps people you know, will win. This will lead to much enthusiastic neck grabbing, fist bumping and feigned modesty. This will be followed by rounds of drinks more expensive than a small townhouse in Honeydew.
8. One of the Juries will pick a Grand Prix that makes a “statement”. This could be a film that’s not really a film (a really overhyped, boring activation with a guy jumping from deep space for instance). It may be a radio spot that’s actually a channel emitting a virtually inaudible throbbing hum in an attempt to talk to the aliens. There have been many of these over the years, all as awful as they are mystifying.
9. There will be incredible, gasp-inducing work, lots of it. It will inspire us and crack us up and makes us hate Swedish web people and anyone who works at Wiedens or BBH or Ogilvy Sao Paulo more than ever. Best of all, it will make us desperate to do work that is equally as good, equally as category breaking, equally as inspiring – which, if you think about it, is why Cannes and everything associated with it, is there in the first place.
Good luck everyone, if some of the truly lovely work that’s been selected here is anything to go by, it’s going to be extremely tough to win this year.
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