Monday, June 28, 2010

Cannes 2010

This year’s largest Marketing and Advertising festival in Cannes was once again well visited and showed the largest amounts of submissions from all over the world than ever before. The Cannes festival demonstrated an interesting mix of the usual stereotypical behaviors of people in the industry - young marketers partying hard until the early mornings, scam ads that will never die, and huge egos that can barely walk- with inspiring moments of dialog and presentations from people like Spike Jones who said when asked how much he would need to be paid for a trip to New Zealand: “If you have a good idea, I will sleep on your couch”.

The event allowed for a few interesting observations:

  • Marketers are hungry to learn: Every single seminar was packed with a minimum numbers of 800 visitors. Marketers, young and old, really come to Cannes to see what their peers have to say and hopefully go back to your respective work areas with some true insights and learning. The hunger for structural solutions of how to deal with our complex marketing world and the interest in big personalities ensured that the seminars were the center piece of Cannes, not necessarily the award shows.
  • The majority of agencies are still confused: I saw a few agency presentations; most of them have not developed their unique point of view on the industry over the last years. Worse, quite a few agencies seem to be totally lost in a mixture of thought fragments like “Technology is great”, “The consumer wants immediate gratification”, to “The idea still wins” without a comprehensive world view of how their agency is attacking today’s challenges. If I were a client, I would be worried.
  • The creative quality is very strong: Walking around on the lower level of the palais and studying the different lion’s winner, one has to admit that there is a lot of outstanding, smart, and well produced work, independent of category. It’s exiting and sometimes humbling to see the wealth of great ideas and concepts from all over the world.

The largest gathering of marketers anywhere in the world is always a special, weird, and relevant place to experience. Cannes is definitely an event that one can make jokes about with a lot of good reasons but it remains a powerful and important experience that everyone in our industry should witness at least once.

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