If day one was all about discovering shitness then day two was all about my sense of fragility. This may partly be because I am trying to survive on very little sleep and occasional mouthfuls of Maltesers. Slugs of ice cold Perrier provide only partial and temporary relief.
Arianna Huffington, she of the Huffington post, spoke about lack of sleep in her wonderful seminar yesterday. She says it is the central malaise of modern society and the cause of many of our ills. She also said that lack of sleep has somehow strangely become associated with male virility. In other words men who have had three hours sleep will comment “I only had three hours sleep and two handfuls of Maltesers but here I am battling through the day like a champion“. Women do not do this because they are, on the whole, more sensible and sentient beings. She also said lots of other stuff and identified a few megatrends.
The other great talk yesterday was Contagious magazine’s annual trend summary of where the world is going, and what the work is telling us about the present and the future. Truly fascinating stuff. My proudest moment at Cannes so far (apart from boasting in a virile way about having has no sleep and living on mouthfuls of Maltesers) was when they played the Carling Be the Coach case study as an example of truly engaging, social work. You get quite a kick when 5000 ad people are listening to the most influential trend spotters in communications flag your work as terribly important. Yeeee bloody haaaaa.
And so on to last night’s awards, where I wore smart black leather shoes instead of trainers (I thought they would bring me luck, more formal y’know). This turned out to be a mistake, as Steve Back, Aussie Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Singapore launched into a tirade of derogatory comment about my footwear, “did your wife buy you those mate”, cue raucous harharharing from gathered creatives, all wearing trainers to formal evening. Anyhow, they turned out to be a bit in the lucky side, as Ogilvy Cape Town went on to win three Lions. Two for Carling Be the Coach and one for Volkswagen Bluemotion Label. It is so bloody wonderful to be on the scoreboard here folks, I cannot tell you enough about the quality of the work we are up against. I will, however, try. Please look at it, it is truly a reflection of the way we should all be thinking at the moment.
Take a look at the brilliant “Beauty of a second” piece by Leo Burnett Milan. Truly beautiful little onesecond short films that really make you feel better about life. It is so good when advertising improves the world a little bit, and that was a recurring theme last night, brands doing their bit for people, for places, for society in general. I suppose digital conversation platforms and social media have made brands super sensitive about the people they are talking to, and the people who are talking about them, so in order to be liked, to guide positive and inspiring conversations about themselves, they do positive, inspiring, altruistic work. Which is making our industry pretty much the greatest it has ever been. Either that or I am just sleep deprived and on a chocolate high.
Check out “Bring your own cup day” for 711 Slurpees from Leo Burnett Melbourne, for just the coolest, feelgoodest promotion. “The return of the dictator Ben Ali” by our very own Ogilvy Tunisia is totally, wonderfully powerful and inspiring, it is work that changes a country. Then the Hellman’s “Mayonnaise recipe receipt” is a little piece of genius from Ogilvy Sao Paulo, once again unexpectedly rewarding people with a cool, smart brand experience. South Africa’s Metropolitan Republic won big with a Gold and Silver Lion for Wimpy “Braille burgers“, a truly popular piece that went crazy on the web, good on yer boys. The big, big winner on the night was “Small business gets an official day” for American Express from Crispin Porter Bogusky, Boulder. Once again a brand acting for the better good of all, this time doing it’s bit for small businesses. Deservedly it won two Grand Prix’s.
And so day 2 came to a subdued close. All that remains is for me to shout out an unashamed plug for my twitter handle @MrChristiffa,where I try and keep an irreverent and watchful up to the minute eye in things. Although it has been pointed out to me that for the past 2 days I have been hash tagging a bar in Amsterdam instead of theCannes Lions Festival, i am a bit of a digital immigrant I am afraid. If you want an altogether more reliable and comprehensive view on things then @OgilvyCT and of course @ididthatad are probably the better follows, with our very own Kate Desmarais and Julie Maunder at the controls. Until tomorrow then.
Day three beckons. And that bag of Maltesers is calling me.
Chris Gotz is executive creative director of Ogilvy Cape Town, and chairperson of Creative Circle.