Worshipping Gold Lions. The pagan ritual commences next week.
June 9, 2008
So, in a week I go to Cannes for the international advertising festival. It will be my sixth visit, the third since joining Euro RSCG and the first time bringing my wife. I cannot pretend that Cannes isn’t a big deal; it is. I will not pretend that Cannes isn’t the grand daddy of boondoggles; it is.
Two things mark this trip for me. The first I already mentioned: I’m bringing my spouse. While Susan has been to Cannes before she’s never been to the advertising festival. I wonder what she’ll think of it and, by turns, me. There’s right and wrong about celebrating thousands of advertisements as if they were important films.
Nothing wrong with the venue, however. If Cannes is good enough for TomKat and Branjolina, it’s good enough for us. It’s the South of France in June. ‘Nuff said. Oddly enough, the Palais des Festivals, though arguably the most famous movie theater in the world, is also one of the tackiest. But we’re here to look at the work, right?
Is it wrong to hold advertising in such high regard? Drinking the Kool-Aid would be much easier sans wife. She’s a regular person. Will she find the festival much ado about nothing? Mon Dieu!
And what about the ad folk? How will she find us? We are not known as, or ever will be known as, beautiful people. On the contrary, we can be an obnoxious and ungrateful lot. Winning and/or losing at awards shows only heightens the problem. There will be plenty of both. Envy and schadenfreud are apt to flow like cheap wine at the Gutter Bar.
Another unusual bit, this year I have to sing for my supper. I’m hosting a workshop: Ideas that Inspire Belief. It’s actually a cool talk; I’ve given it before. As a matter of fact it’s what Gods Of Advertising and my upcoming novel, The Happy Soul Industry are all about. “We make you want what you don’t need.” In the discussion I compare religion with branding. Nike with Christianity. Jesus Christ with Michael Jordan.
Provocative…silly…both? Maybe I should have run it by my wife.