BY Matt Williams
In this week’s issue of Campaign, the editor Claire Beale argues that the Cannes International Festival of Creativity is more than just an expensive jolly.
It’s a point that she makes extremely convincingly.
While the recession had seen people feel sheepish whenever they mentioned the annual event, a record number of award entries, high-profile seminars and attendees from a broader range of companies has put Cannes back on the map, shifting the focus back to what the Festival (and the entire creative industry) should all be about: the work.
Naturally, we’re as intrigued as anyone about which campaigns will be taking the Coissette by storm this year, and we will of course be keeping you up to date with all the news and views from the Festival.
But beforehand, it’s only right that we join the rest of the advertising crowd in predicting what we think are the campaigns that we’ll be talking about come the end of next week. Will we be feeling rather smug, or pretending that this blog post never existed?
Let’s start with the UK. As a nation, we’ve been forced to endure a few disappointing years at Cannes, with South American and Asian agencies working hard to bridge what used to be a pretty wide gap. This is not necessarily because of declining standards in the UK, more to do with the creative excellence now stemming from these other regions.
And while it’s hard to predict this year as the year that the UK goes out all guns blazing and leaves all others in the shade, there are a couple of campaigns that could see UK creatives flying home with Lions in their luggage.
First off, here’s BBH’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ spot for The Guardian. This has all the makings of a Cannes winner – it’s a well-crafted spot, provides a strong sense of drama, makes a comment on society and required a brave client to sign it off.
And here’s DDB’s work for Harvey Nichols. It’s a very smart idea for a client that is known all around the world for producing consistently interesting and provocative marketing campaigns.
The Harvey Nichols ad also has humour, and humour usually thrives at Cannes. This could be because it takes a braver client to allow their creatives to go down this route, or more likely it could be because comedy tends to travel well.
But which campaigns will be laughing all the way to the Grand Prix? Among the favourites is this spot for Smart, by BBDO Proximity in Berlin (turns out some Germans do have a sense of humour):
Carlsberg ‘Bikers’, by Belgian agency Duval Guillaume Modem, has also been generating a fair bit of buzz, and for good reason:
Then there’s Canal+. The broadcaster regularly does well at Cannes, and agency BETC Paris has come up trumps again with this brilliant ad:
Finally, let’s look across the pond to the US. At least a couple of the Grand Prix usually comes from the States, and although there’s no ‘Old Spice’ or ‘Gatorade’ that’s predicted to storm the Festival as previous years, you can still find a number of worthy Grand Prix candidates:
Sony Playstation 3:
You may have noticed that we’ve mainly looked at likely Film winners so far, but the truth is that there’s a real sense of quality across all categories this year. While the introduction of new Awards like Creative Effectiveness and Content means it’s now almost impossible (not to mention extremely confusing) to join up all the dots, don’t be surprised to see some of these campaigns pop up in the ‘winners’ sections in one category or another:
Mercedes Benz ‘Invisible Car’:
Intel ‘Museum of Me’:
Coca Cola ‘Polar Bowl’:
Smart Argentina ‘Twitter’:
Whoever wins next week, it's nice to see that creativity in advertising is still as strong as ever.