Last night was the Globe & Mail event here in Cannes on the Lagavuna Beach. Canadians congregated to enjoy one of the finest views in the world, looking at the bay, its large flotilla of yachts and spectacular topography. The Globe had a magnificent set up on the beach, with a stage ending a meter from the sea.
Many seminars this week explored how to take risks, the result being the work that wins awards. It seemed risky not to have lifeguards on duty last night. There are many rules in France, but there isn’t an American litigious mindset, so anything goes. The sandy beach is located just across from The Carlton, which is the epicenter of the ad world, especially between midnight and 3AM when more than a thousand ad execs seemed intent on changing the world, lit up by the favorite local drink, large bottles of rose.
Stats are that while the festival attracts only half as many people as the film festival in May, business at The Carlton and other bars is twice as big. Quick count: Ad types drink four times more than film types. One small degree of separation, yet a large consumption difference.
It appears you don’t need to be here to drink to a Lion. Stephanie Nerlich, CEO of Grey Canada, whose agency won a bronze for Radio said, “This year’s win makes it a three-peet. Sadly, our team is not in Cannes to celebrate, but for every win big or small we crack out Crown Royal and Gold Lindt Chocolates and raise a glass of rose.” Clearly, she knows the routine.
"I'm excited to see that creativity in the charity space is moving more towards solutions versus just awareness and appeal," said Patrick Scissons, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Canada. "Ideas like Cundari's 'Pain Squad' and our 'Most Valuable Social Network' program for Missing Children's Society are good for the industry."
Pablo Vio of Jam3 shared his perspective beachside on their Cyber Lion Award: “Bear 71 was a story created by the National Film Board of Canada, Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes. The mandate was to tell the story in a different way by re-interpreting Banff national park and the story of Bear71 through the eyes of digital technology, sound, music, narration and over-arching message of how humans and technology intersect wildlife. The NFB continues to be at the vanguard of interactive documentaries, and to be recognized by the best creatives internationally is an amazing feeling and validates it. This is not just a win for Jam3 and the NFB but for Canada on the global creative stage.”
The Globe event had the hosting team sweating. They got ambushed by possibly the world’s greatest communicator.
Bill Clinton was announced to speak at the same time, 300m away. Never having heard him, my intention was simply to be in two places at once. Along with a few thousand people, I waited in line. Clinton’s brand is quite extraordinary and the experience of seeing him exceeds the lofty expectations you have going in. I guess this is why he can command over $250,000 to speak for 50 minutes. He revved-up the crowd about sustainability, child obesity, Haiti, economic opportunity, Africa, climate change. It wasn’t completely audience centric, but it effectively left you feeling you would be able to have an impact by creating networks of collaboration. I left wanting to do my share, but on my way to sign-up it felt better to walk 300m and drink with my friends at the Globe. Tomorrow, possibly, I can jump on the bandwagon. FYI, someone did ask the Monica question to Bill. He simply responded, “Yes, I know. But c’est normal here in France right?” Just kidding.
ADD/ADHD ad types demonstrated self-restraint with Clinton. Thus far, listening to any speaker regardless of who they are has been a complex multi-task of listening and watching while emailing, twittering, texting and checking to see if they had just won a Lion. I was always told only women could really multi-task. I guess the new cyber-generation and creatives of all genders are equally adept. And of course, all the French people I have seen at the gym here can multi-task; chest press while watching TV, ride the bike while reading, return a couple of calls while stretching, and text when doing leg extensions. All, of course, without ever breaking a sweat unless when wearing a scarf. One never wears lululemon or athletic gear here. That would be “choquant” (hideous).
Stefan Danis, reporting for Adnews.com, is CEO of Mandrake and NEXCareer and has published Gobi Runner, a book about overcoming adversity, available at Amazon.