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Welcome to Directory 20.

Issue 20 | September 2011

To those of you who are relatively new subscribers, we hope you like what you see. Any suggestions to make Directory more valuable to you, either in the magazine or the online archive, please tell us.

Finally, big thanks to Angus Morrison at Royal Mail for his support.

While he has moved on to another job within the organisation, we’ve been fortunate that his successor is Tim Hamill, Head of Agency Development at the Mail Media Centre, whose encouragement has been nothing short of amazing.

Much of the content of this issue is devoted to Cannes.

The festival gets bigger each year – and more important.

Now a ‘Festival of creativity’, it has become a meeting place for media owners, technology companies, clients and agencies of every persuasion.

This year’s event was eight uninterrupted days of ideas rewarded, ideas shared, ideas explored and ideas set going.

Here are ten things I noticed.

1. More clients

Cannes 2011 was bigger than ever before in terms of numbers of entries, numbers of delegates, numbers of seminars and numbers of clients.

20% of all registrations were marketers.

There is a (small) part of me that says this isn’t necessarily all good. Clients really ought to know when to leave their agencies alone.

In the old days, creative people went down to the South of France to lick their wounds and to cheer to the rafters the handful of their own who had managed to get permission to be brilliant.

Now they have client meetings each day.

Perhaps that’s why the Festival has changed its name. It’s no longer an advertising fest but a ‘Festival of Creativity’.

To be fair, this is a lot more than a cosmetic alteration designed to increase attendance numbers.

If in the past Cannes was about rewarding great ideas, it is now about stimulating them. It is no longer inward-looking and self-congratulatory but outward-looking and inspirational.

Cannes has become, if you like, open source.

So Carolyn Everson of Facebook told her seminar audience that Facebook is looking to the creative community for new ideas to help them develop their products.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, talked about how he proposes to double the profitability of his company through promoting sustainability. The challenge for agencies, he said, was to change behaviours.

Sir Ken Robinson talked about how ideas are urgently needed in order to prevent the planet from self-destruction.

And Michael Wolff, Editor of Ad Age, pointed to his audience and said. “You. You are the people who will have to have the ideas.”

These are pretty serious people to be able to go and listen to. Not to mention Arianna Huffington, Malcolm Gladwell, Eric Schmidt, Will.i.am et al.

An advertising festival wouldn’t attract people like them. A festival of creativity, on the other hand…

So, while there is a part of me which is still unreconstructed creative luvvie,I also believe the new-look Cannes is impressive and important. As the media world fragments, it is an important binding agent.

2. About the boys

80% of all piurchases are made by women, apparently. But 80% of the award winners at Cannes seem to be made by boys for boys.

My own feeling was that Nike ‘Rewrite the Future’ didn’t deserve a Cyber Grand Prix. It’s a good piece of work. But a default winner.

Just as no-one ever got fired for buying IBM, no-one looks an idiot in a jury room for voting for Nike.

If you look at the 13 juries at the festival, only one was headed up by a woman. Out of a total of 550 jurors, fewer than 50 were women.

To be honest, the festival organisers themselves are uneasily aware of the problem and encouraged IPG to host a seminar on the subject.

I was intrigued by Carol Lam’s comments. She is the Executive Creative Director for Lowe in China.

What she said was, firstly, in China there will be no obstacle to women reaching the top, once the local talent pool has matured and the ex-pats have all gone home.

Perhaps when China leads, the rest of the world will simply have to follow.

The second point she made was that perhaps it is because women are more creative than men they don’t climb as far up the greasy pole as they could.

“When you are good, everyone wants a part of you – it makes your life even more hard to manage. Women opt out not because they feel sidelined. But because they feel too wanted. There are too many demands.

Being a creative person, successful, wanted, needed, you find yourself asking, what the hell am I doing? It is part of the nature of a creative person to feel the need for self-actualisation.”

Just as an aside, in her brilliant talk for AOL, Arianna Huffington mentioned that if Lehmann Brothers had been Lehmann Brothers and Sisters, maybe the world would have avoided the banking crisis.

3. A declaration of independents

Julian Boulding, CEO of thenetworkone, noted that the awards at the beginning of the week – Promo, Direct, Media, Outdoor and Radio – were dominated by the regional outposts of the network agencies.

So, McCann’s Bucharest picked up two Grands Prix for Rom while McCann’s London and McCann’s New York did diddlysquat.

It’s not completely true. JWT China did win a Grand Prix for Press but JWT New York didn’t do too badly with a flurry of Golds for Human Rights Watch ‘Burma’ (featured on page x).

And while Net#Work BBDO Johannesburg won a Grand Prix for Radio, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO also managed to win the inaugural Effectiveness Award.

But the point is a good one. In London, certainly, the big network agencies seem to be bowed by process and procurement. In emerging markets, relationships are less bureaucratic and agencies nimbler.

The economy has a lot to do with it too, of course.

In the BRICS markets, there is growth and there is a mood of buoyancy.

In the Eurozone and in the USA there is alarm.

The emerging markets have well and truly emerged and a new order of submerging markets is taking shape.

For great work to happen, you need the confidence to take risks. And you don’t take risks when you have just emerged from one crisis and seem about to lurch into another.

That said, there was some great work on show at the back end of the week. But it is no surprise to discover that the Titanium, Integrated and Cyber awards, were all dominated by independent agencies.

When it comes to newer kinds of communications, the Wieden + Kennedy’s, the BBH’s and the Droga5’s of this world are better suited to devising and selling them.

So, respect to Wieden + Kennedy Portland for the innovative use of Facebook as a place for Old Spice to respond to its fans in real-time with personalised videos.

Respect to BBH for their Superbowl film for Google Chrome.

And hidden away down in the Silvers, personal admiration for Jung von Matt’s fabulous work for Dortmund Concert Hall, in which they played classical music to the region’s cows.

Then bottled the milk and sold it, using the bottles as media to get the message across.

Incidentally, it was, perhaps, no coincidence that Sir John Hegarty was the recipient of the first Lion of St. Mark Award for his outstanding personal contribution to creativity.

One of the most significant campaigns in the world last year was DraftFCB New Zealand’s ‘National Depression Initiative’ for the Ministry of Health, which we showcased in Directory 17.

Led by rugby legend John Kirwan, the campaign helped some 4,500 people start creating their own online journals to deal with their depression.

This was a complicated, detailed story to tell. But one that does great credit to advertising itself, let alone the people behind it.

I can only presume the Direct jury were too lazy/hasty/shallow to consider it.

They can be forgiven (just) for blanking the same agency’s ‘Mostnificent’ mailpack for MINI New Zealand (featured in Directory 18).

I agree, it’s a ‘Marmite’ campaign. Love it or hate it. But, c’mon, either way it was BRAVE and surely worth a Bronze?

Another Directory favourite (Directory 19) is Proximity Colombia’s campaign for Pintuco. How that didn’t justify a Silver at the very least, I have no idea.

In a year when juries were instructed to take into account local cultures, it is baffling to me that Taproot India’s ‘Love Pakistan’ (Directory 18) did nothing at all.

And while I’m at it, Lowe Brindfors’ ‘Christmas Bargains’ for Save the Children (Directory 18) was worth a bit of metal, surely?

And how about Shackleton Madrid’s ‘Capable’ campaign for the ONCE Foundation, (Directory 17)?

I could go on. But won’t.

4. A few scandalous omissions

One of the most significant campaigns in the world last year was DraftFCB New Zealand’s ‘National Depression Initiative’ for the Ministry of Health, which we showcased in Directory 17.

Led by rugby legend John Kirwan, the campaign helped some 4,500 people start creating their own online journals to deal with their depression.

This was a complicated, detailed story to tell. But one that does great credit to advertising itself, let alone the people behind it.

I can only presume the Direct jury were too lazy/hasty/ shallow to consider it.

They can be forgiven (just) for blanking the same agency’s ‘Mostnificent’ mailpack for MINI New Zealand (featured in Directory 18).

I agree, it’s a ‘Marmite’ campaign. Love it or hate it. But, c’mon, either way it was BRAVE and surely worth a Bronze?

Another Directory favourite (Directory 19) is Proximity Colombia’s campaign for Pintuco. How that didn’t justify a Silver at the very least, I have no idea.

In a year when juries were instructed to take into account local cultures, it is baffling to me that Taproot India’s ‘Love Pakistan’ (Directory 18) did nothing at all.

And while I’m at it, Lowe Brindfors’ ‘Christmas Bargains’ for Save the Children (Directory 18) was worth a bit of metal, surely?

And how about Shackleton Madrid’s ‘Capable’ campaign for the ONCE Foundation, (Directory 17)?

I could go on. But won’t. Pintuco from Proximity Colombia, featured in Directory 19 – surely worth a Silver?

5. The blurring of lines

It’s not just the blurring of lines between categories that continues apace but the blurring of lines between online and offline, between actual and virtual.

We saw this with Nike Chalkbot a year ago, an idea that allowed a person sitting at a PC in Wisconsin, say, to write and leave a message on a road three thousand miles away in the Tour de France.

This year, every page from Jay-Z’s autobiography was placed in the actual location it referred to. But it could be found online and kept by Jay-Z fans using Bing to try to assemble the whole book before it was published.

An online treasure-hunt of objects in the real world. Clever.

Clever enough for the Integrated Grand Prix. But also the Grand Prix for outdoor and a Silver for Cyber (not to mention Gold for Direct and a Bronze in Promo.)

In the same sort of vein was a trend for turning a relatively small even in the real world into a globally shared event.

Thus, the small town of Gisburn, Lancashire, was put under the microscope by Renault, when they sent Claude from menton there in a Megane to bring the place some joie de vivre.

And Braddock Pennsylvania became the subject of a series of online documentaries made by Levi’s, demonstrating their new workwear at work.

Finally, in AKQA’s ‘Star Player’ for Heineken, there was a blurring of lines between screens, so that they all begin to connect with each other, TV, PC and smartphone, in such a way the experience becomes richer and deeper.

6. People want to participate

John Wilkins of Naked announced that the new rules of creativity are “The three C’s. Community, crowd-sourcing and collaboration”.

Brands, he argued, must learn to actively involve their fans.

This means being able, let alone willing, to respond to them. One of my favourite campaigns of the week was from Leo Burnett, Canada, for James Ready Beer. When the brewery sent out a million bottles without the traditional messages printed inside the caps, they apologized and set about a “total cap recall”.

Drinkers who sent in blank caps would be sent ‘something’ in return. And they were. Bits of old tat from Toronto’s junkshops. And the JR fans loved it, talking excitedly on Facebook about their daft gifts.

Old Spice guy won Wieden + Kennedy Gold because he responded with over a hundred individual videos to specific tweets and messages, one little film made specifically when Hollywood star Demi Moore tweeted “Hey Old Spice Guy, I want a personal video too.”

More than that, though, Wilkins argued that brands should be inviting people to help them develop better products and services.

Stuart Wells of Nokia showed how the cellphone company’s Push Snowboarding project harnessed the collective power of the snowboarding community with board manufacturer Burton Snowboards to create an app that makes the whole experience of skidding downhill at huge speeds richer and deeper.

It’s now possible for a mobile phone to be able to collect and measure heart-rate, speed, orientation and even adrenaline rush.

P&G have had Connect and Develop up and running for a couple of years now. It’s a website that invites people to submit ideas for P&G products.

Amazing, that a company that once shrouded its brands in protective patents is now openly listening to its consumers and sharing information with them.

As an example of where crowd-sourcing might take us, as people and as an industry, there was a Fiat Mio in the main concourse of the Palais, the world’s first car designed entirely online by thousands of people in collaboration with each other.

7. Up the creeks

Of course, collaboration is only possible because of new technology platforms

that connect individuals and groups with each other round the world,

Creeks are creative geeks and they are becoming increasingly important in our business.

Best use of technology was probably AKQA’s ‘Star Player’, which should have won a Grand Prix in the eyes of many.

In the Cyber section, Edding’s idea that lets you highlight in yellow patches of text as you browse online was simple but cannot have been easy to make.

Perhaps the creekiest idea of the lot was ‘The Human Jukebox’, when Carl Fredrik Flemming, owner of Pause Hi_Fi in Stockholm, swallowed a miniaturised wireless sound system. Followers could choose songs from Spotify and play them in Carl’s stomach.

Intriguing to think that a year ago the iPad didn’t exist but Alexx Henry won Gold for designing a video cover for VIV Magazine and a spread on ‘Your Worst Sexual Fears’ for the same publication.

Now apps like ‘We Are Tennis’ are designed to allow viewers to move seamlessly from one screen to another as they go through their day, from PC to mobile and to iPad without missing a moment.

Interesting to hear James Murdoch in ‘The Cannes Debate’ talking about how News Corp sees the iPad as a tool to revolutionise education.

Why spend huge sums of money on large numbers of teachers when many of them are not good?, he enquired. Why not spend money on bringing the brilliant teachers to as wide an audience as possible.

Even two or three years ago, this sort of conversation would never have happened at Cannes. As an advertising festival, the patter would have been all about ads. Now, at a festival of creativity, adland is learning to widen its horizons and become actively involved with its clients as they explore new territories for their products and services.

Oh yes, the times they are a-changing.

And yet, we haven’t seen the impact of 3D nor of interactive gaming platforms like the latest generation Wii or X-Box Connex. But we will in 2012, we will.

8. Mobile emerges

Talking of technology, mobile is where much of the investment money is heading as it develops rapidly.

This year there were well over 20 awards handed out to mobile ideas of one sort or another. Enough for the festival to consider a new category for Mobile next year.

My advice to Cannes. Don’t do it.

Already mobile covers too many kinds of ideas for them all to be corralled in one section. In 2011, mobile ideas won in Outdoor, Cyber, Promo, Direct, Design, Media and even Press.

Hakuhodo won Gold for Domino’s Pizza. All they did was create an app which uses every mobile’s GPS technology to allow people to order pizza to be delivered to wherever they happen to be. In the park, at the seaside, wherever.

That’s a business idea. One worth $4m in additional sales.

Cheil’s Grand Prix winner with Homeplus ‘Subway’ was also an idea that drove sales.

But AKQA’s Heineken ‘Star Player’ is a game. Additional sales are helpful but incidental.

Jung von Matt Stockholm’s ‘Getaway’ for the launch of the MINI Countryman is also a game designed to create PR as much as anything.

Colenso BBDO’s idea for Westpac, ‘Impulse Saving’, which allowed the bank’s customers to save money by tapping a big red ‘save’ button on their mobiles is not just an app with an insight – we all know we spend too much on things we don’t really need – it is also a brilliant brand-building tool.

Westpac CEO George Frazis is quoted saying: "This new product will do more to improve our brand reputation than traditional paid-advertising."

Perhaps the most interesting insight into the future of mobile was when Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google took to the stage.

“Throw away your plans,” he told the audience. “They just get in the way.”

Someone’s phone started ringing in the audience.

Normally, people get irritated by this sort of interruption. Not Schmidt.

“We like mobiles,” he said, with a grin. “Mobile is the future.”

He talked about Moore’s Law, which states that technology advances at a rate of 100% every two years. So the handheld device will be 1000% more capable in 2031 than it is today.

Already cloud-computing is allowing Google’s Android to become both a bank and a wallet, opening up a trillion dollar opportunity for marketers to involve customers in highly targeted, highly personalised ways.

9. Responsibility

There was a sense that creative people have always had the means to come up with ideas to help the world become a better place. Now they must.

I don’t necessarily mean in terms of the environmental disaster that looms over us, described with wit and insight by Sir Ken Robinson.

But responsibility for dealing with inequality, injustice and instability.

For instance, Memac Ogilvy Label Tunisia’s ‘Brand Collective’ idea. After the January revolution, Tunisia had managed to get rid of a despised leader but still had a despised government in place.

The country came to a standstill. But one person in the agency, realising that economic stagnation would reverse all the gains made by the fledgling democratic movement, set about doing something about it.

They brought together five media owners with six clients to sponsor a day in which all the news channels, in TV, radio and print, would broadcast and publish as if it was June 16th 2014 and Tunisia was a prosperous, thriving democracy.

It was a gentle wake-up call. And it worked.

This same sense of responsibility is behind all DDB Stockholm’s work around ‘Fun Theory’ for Volkswagen. They won a Titanium Lion with the competition submission from for the ‘Speed camera Lottery’.

This is an idea that fines bad drivers for exceeding the speed limit and redistributes the money in ‘lottery wins’ to all the good drivers who obey it.

The whole pitch is that sustainability does not have to be boring. It can be fun.

More than that, argued Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, when he spoke on stage, sustainability is the engine of growth for the developed world. It will force us to create new products and new solutions from which we will be able to make reasonable profits.

Being responsible, then, isn’t just about good corporate governance but about good business.

10. What about the bottom line?

Reading many of the submission entries, I was struck by how seldom sales and bottom-line improvements were mentioned.

For instance, Ogilvy Brazil’s campaign for Coca-Cola, ‘Santa’s Forgotten Letters’. It won a Silver in Direct, the one category where results are said to matter.

They wrote: ‘We gave adults a reason to believe in Christmas again’. And theoretically, it shouldn’t have won an award.

JWT New York’s multiple Gold winner for Human Rights Watch ‘Burma’ was equally vague.

‘Thousands of signatures were collected from people of 86 countries in under 12 hours. The petition book was sent to the United Nations Secretary General and leaders of countries that have close ties with Burma. More than 150 political prisoners have since been released.’

As if the petition and the freeing of the prisoners were connected.

And how many thousands? And how was the petition delivered? And how was it received?

There is a fault-line running through most awards shows and it separates ideas that are entertaining and involving, designed to create feelings about brands, and ideas that are designed to create sales.

They get judged and awarded as if they are the same. But they aren’t. One is about emotional response, the other about transactional response.

If Cannes wants to create another category, it may be here – a Lion that recognises a response that can be measured purely and simply in terms of financial benefit to the advertiser.

Traditional agencies are prospering in Direct awards because they are creating ideas that entertain – jurors as much as punters – with ideas that open hearts.

Specialist direct agencies are creating ideas that are more rational, designed to open wallets.

It’s an unequal competition. But an inspiring one, nevertheless.

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