Cannes Is Coming, So On Your Behalf, I Am Humbly Going
Your favorite (or, well, friendliest) advertising correspondent is headed to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this week. But it’s not for another week, you point out: June 19-25. Yes, but judging starts next week and this year I’m honored to be on one of the festivals many international juries — the Direct Jury.
Cannes Lions is the biggest advertising and marketing festival in the world, and thousands congregate in this beachfront city near Nice, France, to judge, reward and celebrate the best and most provocative work in the industry. It’s admittedly indulgent, it’s navel-gaving, it’s grotesque — but it’s also incredibly important. The thing about contests and awards shows is that if they’re credible like Cannes, then you get a sense of where you stand in your field and to be recognized by your peers for unusual or innovative ideas and effective work is a huge honor. In addition to Direct, there’s Public Relations, Promo/Activation, Radio, Cyber, Media, Press, Outdoor, Design, Film, Integrated, and this year for the first time: Effectiveness. And with awards like Titanium, it also gives you a look forward of where the industry is heading.
Last year, I was mostly focused on our agency’s global contest, Search for the World’s Greatest Salesperson, which culminated at the Cannes Lions festival and where at the Ogilvy seminar the audience voted with their phones to pick among three finalists one winner. This year, Ogilvy is celebrating what would have been David Ogilvy’s 100th birthday.
This is my fourth year at Cannes, and I try to take in as much work as possible from around the world as well as attend a few seminars and events. Throughout the week agencies host topical seminars and there are also keynotes with some famous folk like will.i.am, Piers Morgan, Arianna Huffington and more. Here’s the schedule. IKEA is also being honored as the Advertiser of the Year. Of course there are great parties too, but those are more inevitable than the actual point. Unless you get on a yacht. Then that is the point.
You’ll be able to follow daily coverage through publications such as Advertising Age, Adweek, Brand Republic and Campaign. I’ll probably be tweeting more than posting long columns, but will do a round-up about something interesting I learn as soon as I can.
The hit among award shows, and well positioned do well at Cannes (much like the Golden Globes are precursors for Oscars) so far this year has been Old Spice Response Campaign, which most recently nailed the biggest Effie Award.
Will it hold up against strong work from around the world at Cannes? What new insights will I glean from my first-hand jury experience? Stay tuned.
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