My Inevitable Defensive Cannes Lions Post

I really don’t want to have to write this post. But when even the Cyber Lions Jury Chairman is posting things like this, what’s a guy to do ;-)

Picture 25

There are traditional agencies (although they’re the least traditional of the traditional agencies obviously) who are doing incredibly well in awards like Cannes. But let’s not forget one simple thing. THESE ARE ADVERTISING AWARDS!!! Therefore it would seem totally outrageous to suggest that companies whose business is advertising won’t be able to do incredible work in that space. Of course they will. They can apply a bunch of the same principles you’ve always used. Add some executional smarts hired in from a production company and whomp, there it is. Awesome online advertising!

And that’s not to suggest that agencies like CP+B don’t have the capacity to do interesting things beyond traditional online advertising. Things like Whopper Sacrifice prove that they do with bloody bells on.

It’s obvious that the language of the past isn’t going to be the language of the future. And as everything becomes more digital these stupid old distinctions become pointless. And hey, perhaps pure-play digital agencies will become a thing of the past?

But I thought it was advertising that was meant to be fucked? So doesn’t that mean winning lots of advertising awards mean that you’re the most fucked of the fucked?

Sorry that’s my best playground insult battle-weapon launched ;-)

I wouldn’t write off the digital specialists just yet. There’s a bunch of things that we can make and do that are pretty damn exciting. And the fact that they’re increasingly not ‘advertising’ has to be interesting to some folks. Surely?

[Edit: just to clarify – I called Cannes an ‘advertising’ award because that’s how it’s perceived by most people – it’s entered by companies that do advertising for clients. Many of them are advertising agencies, no? It just so happens that a lot of stuff that’s getting awarded is progressive advertising.]

[Edit2: was also interesting to see how different juries would perceive work differently – because everyone has their own agenda. The same work would fare quite differently if it was entered in Design / Titanium / Cyber, for example Fiat Ecodrive appeals to some people in the Cyber Jury because they like to think they can design automobile functionality.]

Mum Rocking The Cannes Workshop Scene


I enjoyed my workshop in Cannes – it was all about smart, simple, social ideas. I wrote about it here. Thanks to everyone who helped to create chatter around it. Not sure if that’s what did it, but the room was totally full, which was great.

The big twist was that my ‘special guest’ was my mum.

I got participants to answer a brief aimed at a target audience of 60ish baby-boomer-tech-savvy individuals. Then I surprised them by getting mum to critique their work over iChat (which thankfully played ball in a live setting).

She was great. They were surprised. And we all learned a lot. Me included.

Yay! Mums!


Poor Dave has had all his camera stuff and a laptop nicked. This is the man who did it. He’s trying to see if the photos might mean anything to anyone. And he’s looking to get the information circulated online, in a ‘here comes everybody‘ kind of a way. So I’m helping.

A Plea For Help


I’m in Cannes. Sitting in the belly of the advertising beast. There are some great people here. And some terrible people too. There’s some great stuff going on, and some horrific things too.

Anyway I’m doing a workshop tomorrow between 2 and 4 about the power of small, simple, single-minded ideas online. I think it might be nice. I’m looking forward to it.


Here’s the details – written by the Poke NY guys so it’s a bit yankee-y if you know what I mean ;-)

But I have a problem. Everyone else who’s doing a workshop seems to have posters, busty girls giving out leaflets and all that jazz. I’m in the program. That’s it. So dear readers I’m asking for a massive favour. If you know anyone in Cannes, or you know anyone who knows anyone who’s in Canees. Can you tell them about my little workshop. It’s only small, and simple. But it might be kinda fun.

And I seriously have a such a special guest that it’s untrue. For real. My special guest is so super-awesome everyone will be totally blown away. I also have the super-smart Brian Morrisey from Adweek helping out.

Please tweet it, email it, blog it, send out smoke signals, whatever. I’d love my little workshop to be full without resorting to promo-chicks and cheap tricks – unless this is considered a cheap trick ;-)

Or, alternatively, Newscorp are talking at the same time.

Raving ’89

Old skool ravers

The DJ History guys are publishing a book of photos from raves back in ’89.

Very special photos. Featuring very special people. Pre-order it now.

I had the hair, but I wasn’t there.

ravers in the car and on the phone

Nokia Chargers Required – Even In Cannes

You know that email that always goes round that says “does anyone have a Nokia charger”? Even at the world’s most prestigious advertising festival same shit still happens.

Here’s me delivering aforementioned Nokia charger. In a style that feels reminiscent of first person shooter. Maybe Nokia should do a game called ‘charger rescue’? It’d be a nice antidote to all of those super violent killing games we’re all so fond of.

I would write more about what’s going on. But I’ve been locked in a room for days. Twitter is the only way I can communicate with the outside world. Send help…

Beautiful Short Film and Music Vid

There’s something about this short film ‘Last Day Dream’ that got me ‘right there’. Not there! The still of the video is totally misleading. Via scene360.

Chris Milk who made the video is also responsible for this absolutely insanely brilliant video for Gnarls Barkley: