Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cannes: Day 2

I woke up, and the inside of my mouth tasted like Gouda rind.

Way too many beers last night at the Gutter. I have this fuzzy memory of yelling at a group of art directors from TBWA\Chiat \Day. “You were the future! But now you’re just an ad agency!” So I started the day out right with a killer hangover. And I was woken up at 6am by the Dutch stoners. (It seems they like to start their mornings with a little jogging.)

So on to the Lions. I spent most of my morning emailing from the Microsoft “Creativology” Lounge. Microsoft is everywhere here at Cannes. Even the lanyards have the happy Microsoft logo. (Hmm, I wonder why they don’t say Vista?)

Tuesday’s big news was that BBDO-NY took the Grand Prix Lion in Outdoor for their HBO Voyeur campaign. It was BBDO-NY’s second win in two days. The ad was pretty impressive. On a building in New York, they projected a huge image of an apartment building with all of its exterior walls removed (sort of like a dollhouse).

I liked the ad, but it started me thinking about advertising awards in general. What’s the point of them? Are they just there to separate the geniuses from the also-rans? Just a way to inflate already inflated egos?

If there is a constructive reason for awards, it must be to inspire. We in the industry should look at award-winning work and say to ourselves, “Wow, I hope someday I can make something that good.”

And here’s my problem with the HBO Voyeur ad. How is this hugely expensive, one-time media event supposed to inspire me to make a great billboard? Am I supposed to go to my next pitch and tell the client, “I have a great idea! Just take your entire year’s advertising budget and spend it on one outdoor ad in New York!”? (Leo Burnett-Chicago came close to a win in the media category with a McDonald’s billboard that featured live plants. I can just see how that would work on a limited budget. “Hey Ernie, would you mind driving downtown and watering the outdoor?”) With competition like that, is it even possible to win an outdoor award with a few brilliant words on a plain background?

More tomorrow. But right now there’s a Kronebourg with my name on it.

By the way, I just heard two guys excitedly talking about Web 2.0 as if it was something brand new. Bleh.

1 comment:

Joker said...

if anything has become ultra obvious it's that the more money you have, the easier it is to win an award... Wait a minute, that's been the case always. True there are some great cost efficient adverts that win prizes and are honestly more praiseworthy than others, but the idea that a huge production wins an award sends this message out:

"Spend enough money on a big account with a good idea, and you'll win a prize. in other words don't put the effort in if you have a limited budget and just cash your check."