Fred from the fabled Fred & Farid, Paris, has just flown in, to accept the award"I was on vacation, I didn't even have long pants packed - I had to buy these" he says pointing to his slacks. So he's brought the family to the buzzing advertising festival. Is that different? To have the family in Cannes during the lions? Yes.
- Does having children make you think of advertising different?
- Fred: Yes. ... Before you only had the "idea" of a babies, you didn't understand. I look at things now that we made, even, like tattooing babies, and I cringe. We didn't know. You will only understand it once you have children. Back then we didn't understand. I have the family here, and it's so different, we were on the beach all day. Before, I wanted to seperate advertising from home, but now that I have brought them, this is good. It's bring your own bubble. It takes the edge off Cannes."
- Have you seen that ad with the kid who says "My mom said I could?"
- Oh yes, Hansaplast, I know that one, I understand, it was funny before, now you look at it when you have children and it's different.
We're you surprised, though? I mean, here they are calling you for the Grand prix in the middle of your vacation..."
"Well, yes, we were - it could have gone anywhwere, it could have maybe gotten a lion, maybe not even made the shortlist. It's a very unusual Grand Prix. You usually have a big question in the visual, and then the small answer way down in the right hand corner as the answer. This tells another story. It could have gone anywhere. It was a while ago as well. Came out soon after last Cannes.
I think we were lucky, the recession helped us. Everyone suddenly had to fight to survive, and then they remember - we are animals."
- "The entrance fee, is expensive, Before when we were at networks, we didn't care you know, just enter everything. Now we consider it more carefully so we only entered press, not outdoor - even though it was both."
Have you seen the outdoor? - I interject - it's not like posters at all anymore, it's like interactive. Maybe it's a good thing you didn't enter outdoor."
Fred gets a message on his Blackberry -You have a blackberry? So does Spike Lee I say, still not quite over the whole starstruck moment of almost falling over him that afternoon at the Carlton.
- Yes, it's great, I have an iPhone too but it's too slow. Did you see him? We're supposed to meet him, we're shooting a project together with him soon and need to talk about it, but we've missed each other all day. Cannes is crazy.
- Yes, it's nuts!
- ...And when we we're young, we enjoyed it, right? You see the bright eyed kids out there who are so exited. Go to all the seminars. Want to see everything. But now we're getting older.
- I don't want to get older, I want to rewind.
- I don't. Being twenty, I could never go back. I am happy now, I was happy after thirty, thirty three. You grow more confident in yourself. You tell better stories. Cannes was wild and you were exited, but now, it's just not as exiting, with all the people. I mean, we won 3 D&AD pencils, and we didn't show up. You think you're so cool, ah, the panache, but now, what a silly thing to do, you regret it for the next twenty years. So, of course we come now that we win the grand prix. You can't miss a party they have in your honor, and everyone who entered the competition, you'll regret it for the next twenty years.
- I would never go back to twenty, now we're older, wiser, and you grow to understand yourself. And we're home. We have no network, no politics, it's a smaller size, we own 70% so we can make the decisions. In Paris, in France, you can block a decision with 33%, but here we own 70%. We have last say. And we know how to use it.