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The President’s view

Cannes in 360

Issue 48 | September 2018

Juan Carlos Ortiz, President and CEO, DDB Latina

Directory: So, what brought you to Cannes this year?

JCO: I've been coming to Cannes since 1998. Twenty years.
It is a very different festival today if only because clients now think it's important. That means we have a lot of meetings and I don't mind that because it has given me the chance to talk to our clients about what I call Biped Brands.
What I mean by that is that advertising has historically been about storytelling but now data and technology is vital as well.
Brands need both legs if they are to run to keep up.
Cannes reflects this bipedal reality of storytelling and technology together. The festival has adapted but its roots are still in storytelling and most of the awards reflect that fact.
So I come to Cannes to talk about this and to see what other agencies are making of the same situation.
I also come because I'm hoping, I'm expecting, a number of DDB agencies will be winners.
In fact, this year we won 33 Lions. More than last year. So we can't complain.

Directory: One accusation levelled at Cannes Lions this year is that it was more Anglo-Saxon than ever, in other words biased in favour of those countries where English is the first language. Is this true, do you think?

JCO: No. Just look at DDB's performance this year. It's true that the UK did particularly well, with adam&eveDDB winning two Grands Prix but Brazil did well too and Africa Sao Paulo (a DDB agency) won the Print & Publishing Grand Prix for Budweiser.
In terms of country rankings, Brazil always does well and this year came in as the third most awarded country after the USA and the UK.
Argentina used to do well but not so much this year because of the crisis. But they'll be back, they have such a strong tradition of storytelling.
A couple of years ago DDB Spain was winning Golds so they have a tradition of great work too.
As a Colombian myself, one of the things that gave me great pleasure this year was to see Colombia winning two Grands Prix. The same as the UK.
(Innovation Lions Grand Prix to MullenLowe SSP3 Bogota` for "My Line"; Product Design Grand Prix to "Kingo" by Ogilvy Bogota´.)
It's a small country but there is a tradition there of creativity not just to sell things but to solve some of the social issues too. Creativity doesn't recognise territories. And Cannes is about great ideas rather than geography.

Directory: As the CEO of a massive region, you'll have three different groups of people you need to spend time with at Cannes – your own teams, your clients and then industry leaders from the tech companies to media owners. Who is most important to you?

JCO: The creative people, no two ways about it. DDB is a machine and the machine is powered by people. When the machine is motivated and winning awards, then it is moving forward and we have happy clients.
So, Cannes is crucial because we get together to work, to learn and, importantly, to celebrate.
It sounds crazy but every year we stand out in the street and drink champagne and toast every winning piece of work. This year there were about 30 creative directors out in the street, toasting.
If you've won a Lion, you want to feel good about it, yes, but you also want to be determined to come back the following year. No-one from DDB goes to Cannes unless they deserve to be there.
As I like to say, you don't go to Cannes, you get to Cannes.

Directory: So, you'll be back next year?

JCO: I liked that Cannes was less crowded this year and I loved the work. Actually, I think it was my favourite Cannes of the twenty I've attended. We came second in the network rankings and next year we want to be Number One.
That's the goal.

Print & Publishing Lions Grand Prix 
AFRICA, Sa~o Paulo, Brazil

CCO: Sergio Gordilho
Creative Director: Matias Mendez
Creatives: Felipe Ribiero, Rafael Quointal, Rodrigo Sganzerla

Idea
These pictures of Budweiser's legacy in music would have cost the brand a small fortune to buy. But how much cooler anyway to get people to search on their phones to find them.

Results
5 million searches.

Innovations Lions Grand Prix
MullenLowe SSP3 Bogota´, Colombia

CCO: Carlos Andre´s Rodri´guez
Creative Directors: Juan Pablo Moldonado, Camilo Jime´nez Art Directors: Mario Mendoza, Victor Rodri´guez

Idea
"My Line" brought the power of Google Search to anyone with a phone in the remoter parts of Colombia. Call, ask Google assistant a question and get an answer in seconds.

Results
Now 99.3% of Colombians have access to information.

Product Design Lions Grand Prix
Ogilvy Bogota´, Colombia
CCO: Ramiro Eduardo
VP Creative: Juan Pablo Alvarez ECD: Ivan Rivera Head of Art: Camilo Ruano

Idea
Kingo Energy is an innovative way people could buy energy without the need to buy or maintain equipment at half the cost of candles and kerosene.

Results
Kingo have raised $35 million and now provide pre-paid energy to 60,000 homes.

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