Garfield: Cannes Doesn't Matter Anymore (Have they ever mattered to African American Agencies?)

... and Neither Do the TV Ads It Celebrates, Believes Chaos Scenario Author

By Bob Garfield
Published: June 15, 2009

They should give Crispin Porter & Bogusky every statue on Monday and send everybody to the airport. Gold. Silver. Titanium. Plutonium. Whatever.

Because first of all, apart from Burger King, the advertising year was a black hole worldwide. Besides, at this stage of Cannes' history, what's the point?

BURGER KING: Fast-food 'virgins' in far-flung international locations get their first taste of Whoppers and McDonald's Big Macs.

The International Advertising Festival is convening in the midst of, well, chaos: not merely recession but the growing irrelevance of all the flashy mini-cinema long featured there. Which is why everybody present will mouth the same pieties: "It's not about film or print or outdoor. It's about the idea. It's about solving communications problems and building brands and building customer relationships by any and all means." That sort of rhetoric.
Why not? It's all absolutely true. Then, having recited the new catechism, off they will head to screen TV commercials, or to a yacht party, the Majestic patio, Colombe d'or or the beach.

Because that's what Cannes is about ... as is every other ad festival, more or less. It's simply just not all that entertaining to sit through four-minute promo videos about a website or experiential-marketing event. And it's sure harder, under those circumstances, to suspend disbelief and imagine yourself an artist vs. someone who sells deodorant and cellphones and deathburgers for a living.

But if it really is all about the work, we suggest traveling with plenty of seratonin inhibiteurs du recaptage. It is a disaster.

ad cred:
Lowe’s ‘Welcome Snoop’ campaign has won a Gold Lion in the Promotions category and a Silver Lion in the Direct category at the 2008 Cannes Festival.

Or, it is a disaster if the annual labors of Leo Burnett Co. to find the 50 Lion front-runners, based on other awards shows and industry buzz, are any indication -- and they always are. Year in and year out, the Burnett Cannes Predictions Reel has been an uncanny harbinger of things to come. We ourselves have used it to predict, with consistent accuracy, the category Golds and Grand Prix itself. This year it presages mostly shame and disbelief. (read the rest of the article here.)

Playstation - 2000
Source : Cannes Gold Lion!
Agency : TBWA Paris

Do African American Agencies even submit to the Cannes Festival? Why not? Does anyone know of any ethnic shop winners?
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