Au revoir les enfants d’advertising! My final column from Cannes.

June 28, 2009

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Euro RSCG’s “Tck, Tck, Tck” campaign

And so we’ve come to the end of another Cannes Festival, albeit a smaller, more restrained version. Having come up empty (save for a humanitarian award given to us by the Mayor of Cannes!), I’m leaving a day early. Let the big winners go to the show this evening. I’m saving my agency many hundreds of dollars by checking out. I hope Angelo, our CFO, is reading!

Of course I’m frustrated by not picking up any hardware. Who wouldn’t be? We had several items I thought maybe, just maybe… mais non!

For me, the highpoint of Cannes this year was the Act Responsibly presentation hosted by Euro RSCG, featuring its Worldwide CEO, David Jones and Nobel Prize winner, Kofi Annan. The topic was Climate Justice. Kofi spoke eloquently about time running out for Earth with regard to global warming. On the theme of time, David introduced an integrated campaign entitled “Tck, Tck, Tck,” designed to convince world leaders meeting in Copenhagen this December to pass serious legislation or face “catastrophic consequences.”

But it was the event’s third speaker, Bob Geldoff who stole the show. He riveted the packed theatre by neither pulling punches nor politicizing the issues. “That’s Kofi’s job,” he said. “Not mine.” Indeed, Geldoff was a house-on-fire beseeching the ad world to do far more than a banner ad here or a poster there. He wanted a full-blown commitment and one, he claimed, few of us are willing to make. However, he said, if we didn’t “by 2050 Cannes would be under water.”

I urge you all to visit the website Euro RSCG created, forclimatejustice.org to see what you can do…and to see a pretty cool, open-sourced, integrated campaign.

Final observations…

I was surprised at how many terrier dogs are kept as pets in Cannes, particularly the West Highland breed. As some of you know, most restaurants (even the posh) allow canines in with their masters. On whole, these delightful dogs are better behaved than some ad people.

How apropos: The Mayor of Cannes is a former advertising executive, having worked at DDB.

Celebrity sightings: Belinda Carlysle, Roger Daltry, Spike Lee and, of course, Kofi Annan Bob Geldoff.

Best meal: Tetu. A seafood restaurant several miles outside Cannes, specializing in Bouillabaisse. To die for.

Big winner: Among other Lions, Queensland Tourism won three Grand prizes before the festival even climaxed.

Favorite Faux Pas: Mistaking Michael Conrad (The Berlin School) with uber-famous French advertising icon, Jean Marie Dru.

Favorite Bob Geldoff quip: calling the Havas network “Hamas.”

Saddest moment: hearing from a former hot shot fellow creative director, now struggling, that he’d paid his own way to Cannes…

Happiest moment: listening to U2’s new album while jogging up the French coast. “Magnificent!”

I wish to thank Talent Zoo for providing me this forum and you, Gentle Reader, for providing me an audience. God bless and have a wonderful summer.

Steff on Twitter

From Talent Zoo, #canneslions

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