Welcome to Directory 16

Issue 16 | September 2010


September 2010

Once again, the editorial section of the magazine is fatter than ever, with a mixture of analysis, opinion and quick one-page case histories of the major Direct winners.

At Directory, we always worry that we will not be able to get in enough good work to honour our pledge to our subscribers to be “the bible of Direct”. This time was no different. But we really needn’t have been jittery because cracking campaigns came in from around the world.

What this means is we have had to leave out some ideas which really ought to be here even though there are more pages in Directory than ever before, up to 112 from 104.

Once again apologies to Wayne Pick for not finding space for Rapp NZ’s  “Scroll All The Way Down” work for the New Zealand Marketing Association.

Apologies also to Partners Andrews Aldridge but we will try to publish their ‘Beanstalk’ campaign for Early Learning Centre in Issue 17.

We feel bad that Proximity Canada’s ‘Viralocity’ isn’t here; and even worse that Sergio Müller’s ‘Squash the Tomato’ idea for Lavonline didn’t make it either.

Still, it gives us plenty to write about in the next newsletter. So, if you submitted a campaign (or two) to us and it hasn’t appeared in this issue, please don’t be discouraged. No-one ever said this business was easy.

Patrick Collister - the Editor at the Directory party in Cannes

Cannes 2010 – observations and reflections

The Cannes Advertising Festival gets bigger and bigger. This year some 8,000 delegates came to see some 50 seminars and take part in 20 workshops spread over seven days. On four separate nights there were awards presentations with 100 Lions handed out in the TV category alone.

But what I really mean by “Cannes is growing” is the number of categories, currently standing at twelve and about to become thirteen.

It is easy to understand exactly why the festival has expanded from the TV-only show it was twenty years ago.

Firstly, advertising began to change and the awards categories mushroomed to reflect those changes.

Secondly, there’s money in it.

For Emap, owners of the business, this is good news. Take Wieden + Kennedy Portland’s campaign for Nike Livestrong with the Chalkbot. This won the Grand Prix for Integrated Campaigns. It also won the Grand Prix in Cyber. It could also have won awards in Outdoor, Media, Direct, Promo, Design, PR not to mention the new Grand Prix for Good.

And ‘Deepest Pockets Of The Year’ goes to…

With the cost per entry ranging from €1150 for entering the Titanium and Integrated category to “just” €380 for Direct, Media, PR et al, it would be relatively easy for an agency to spend as much as €20,000 on submitting one piece of work alone.

If you are a big multi-national agency, this is affordable. For the small, independent shops ,Cannes is beginning to price itself beyond their means. Perhaps this was why they created the ‘Independent Agency of the Year Award’. As an enticement. (It was won by Jung von Matt, Hamburg.)

Take Special Group, from Auckland, whose “Orcon + Iggy Together” campaign won the Direct Grand Prix. Quite probably they could not afford to enter it in any more than the one category.

To be Agency of the Year, you have to have deep pockets to be able to fund all your entries. This year the accolade went to AlmapBBDO Sao Paulo.

Everything except Titanium

The plethora of categories brings some strange results. For instance, TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A.’s “Replay” for Gatorade. This was branded content, the story of two Highschool football teams being brought back together 16 years later to replay a drawn match.

It won Gold in the Titanium and Integrated category, Gold for Branded Content in Film but only a Silver for Branded Content in the Media category. And in ‘Best Use of Special Event’ it only made it to the shortlist. In Cyber it was worth a Bronze. It probably deserved the Titanium Grand Prix, actually, as the most inspiring idea of the week.

Cannes these days is about buying as many juries as possible in the hope one of them will look kindly on your work.

For many agencies the expense is worth it because the currency of Lions is increasingly valuable. This is because clients are coming to Cannes in ever greater numbers. Agencies which do well at Cannes do well in front of the very people they most want to impress, people like Keith Weed, new CMO of Unilever, Mary Beth West, CMO of Kraft and Marc Pritchard, CMO of P&G.

The most desirable Lions are Direct

It used to be that the most prestigious Lions to be won were on the last Saturday of the week, for Film & TV or in the Titanium and Integrated category. But no longer.

Paul Silburn, Executive Creative Director of Saatchi, London, and a serial winner at Cannes both as a copywriter and as a creative director, told me that, for him at any rate, Direct and Promo were the two most interesting categories, the ones in which he most wanted to do well.

As it happens, his agency’s only Gold was in Outdoor for “Singalong” though they did pick up two Bronzes in Promo for “Josh’s Band”.

The Direct and Promo Awards were held at the very beginning of the week, on the Monday evening. Almost everything that won an award was also a winner five days later, at the Saturday bash, leaving a number of visitors thinking they might save themselves a lot of money next year by coming just for the first two days rather than for the whole shooting match.

Looking at the Direct Lions, it is becoming increasingly hard for direct marketing agencies to win awards in their own category.

Above-the-line agencies took the major prizes and Aboott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, was named Direct Agency of the Year.

Their campaigns for Walkers Crisps and for The Metropolitan Police won three Golds, three Silvers and five Bronzes.

The results in both campaigns are impressive. For Walkers, the online films were viewed 1.6 million times leading to extra sales of 1.5 million packs of crisps. With the Anti-Knife Crime videos, click-through from the banner ads was 2.1%, as opposed to the 0.2% norm.  More than 3,000 comments were posted about the campaign, which has achieved total views approaching 3 million.

However, with video at the heart of these two campaigns, albeit online rather than on TV, many direct marketers were muttering darkly that Abbott Mead Vickers is a direct agency in the much same way Goldman Sachs is a Friendly Society.

Direct agencies can’t compete in direct any longer

That’s one response to the way ad agencies are piling into Direct, have a moan about how unfair it is. Another is to enthuse about how the bar has been raised.

Guy Bradbury, Executive Creative Director of Touch DDB belongs to this camp. Specialist direct agencies need to up their game, he believes, even if it can be difficult for them to get the same sort of permissions and the same sort of budgets to think big as the trad ad. agencies.

To try and change this, he took a senior client with him to the Festival.

“Why aren’t you doing work like this for us?,” he asked Guy as they reviewed the Direct winners together.

“Because you won’t let us” was the reply.

There were many more examples of agencies bringing their important clients down to Cannes, not to schmoose them but to educate them and inspire them.

So, while most of the big Direct Lions went to what is essentially brand advertising, there were a handful of traditional direct pieces.

Grey Vancouver’s “Cardboard Record Player” for GGRP Sound Design won the only Gold for a mailing of any sort; but for my money, it is a triumph of execution over idea. Making a record player out of cardboard may be clever but it doesn’t position GGRP as being at the cutting edge of recording technology, does it?

Languishing in among the Bronzes, however, was the brilliant “Magical Christmas Cards” from Crispin Porter + Bogusky Sweden for the Swedish Postal Service. It allowed Facebook users to create real Christmas cards for their friends out of their Facebook conversations, a genius way of making digital and mail work together.

It’s not all hard work

Cannes is no longer the big knees-up it used to be.  As well as an opportunity for senior managers and senior clients to spend time together, many networks also use it as an opportunity to hold their own mini-conferences.

Wunderman hosted a two-day event for their worldwide team of creative directors and I was privileged to be invited along to talk to them for an hour.

But there is still plenty of opportunity for partying and the Gutter Bar did great business until dawn on pretty much every night of the week.

Directory had its own small poolside party and it was rewarding for us to meet some of our subscribers – Sergio Muller from Rapp Italy, Mish Fletcher, Head of Corporate Communications for OgilvyOne Worldwide,  Ellen Distave and Christine Jean of Belgian Post, Matt Morley-Brown from AIS, David Harris from Wunderman, Mark Rapley and Alison Tindall from the Garden Partnership among them.

See you next year!

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