By Roger Pe
Each year, more than 9,000 people in the global creative communications business come together for a rendezvous in Palais des Festivals along postcard pretty La Croisette.
What was once a creative domain is now a merry-mix of clients, production house directors, PR and media practitioners, trade magazine publishers, special effects animators, print production specialists, CEOs, and this year, a Hollywood box-office film director and a former US President.
The Olympics of advertising is set to unfold this Sunday, June 17 to June 23 promising a full week of a wildly inspiring program.
The list focuses on the latest trends in advertising, insightful marketing case studies, new technology, techniques and innovations in creativity.
This year, the festival is introducing two new categories: Mobile and Branded Content Entertainment Lions – to celebrate the best creative work on mobile devices and those developed with a client's DNA at the core.
Is Cannes Still Relevant?
That’s the most irreverent, in-your face question many people asked when world recession hit us in 2009 and ad agencies went on a retrenchment-spree extending even up to this day.
“It's fast becoming clear that the majority of things we're rewarding, as an industry, are either small or marginal efforts for legitimate clients, things we made for real clients that the clients seem not to have ever heard of, or out-and-out fakes.
Some of these projects are well intentioned since, at the very least, they are meant to "inspire" us when we work on bigger, better-paying accounts.
But without getting into whether this kind of activity is immoral or just plain chickenshit, I'd like to point out a graver toll it's taking on us all: It's making our business less famous. Less fun. Less public. Less about any of the reasons you probably got into it in the first place.
We've created a system that rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business.
We have become connoisseurs of esoterica. And in the process, we're becoming more about us, and less about changing the world. We are becoming irrelevant award-chasers.”
Three years ago, Cannes organizers made drastic changes in entry submissions.
Clients must concur with what ad agencies submit and market outcome of the ad campaign must be substantiated by facts, making harder for those who may have intentions of circumventing the rules.
Cannes also introduced the Creative-Effectiveness Award Lions to honor highly creative work that made impact on sales.
Great Stories Start In Cannes
Inspite of harsh criticisms thrown at Cannes Lions there are still many who believe Cannes is the greatest thing that ever happened to the ad industry.
“Cannes is the start of many great things: an idea, friendship, connections, beneficial networking, even a career, “said a blogger.
“Cannes Lions is 7 days of life changing learning experience. Listening to your heroes share intimately inspiring stories can’t be measured by money,” said a Creative Director who’d been to Cannes twice.
By Roger Pe