Scam ads' place in Cannes
By Claudia Penteado
Scam ads have gotten out of control in Cannes. But it's not just the scam artist agencies that should take the blame. It's little surprise that things ended up like this. Let me explain: for many countries in the world „ like Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Japan, China „ from the very beginning the Cannes Festival has been essentially Anglo-Saxon. The jury has historically been made up by Americans and Europeans (usually the British). (read more of this article..)
It was common to hear from Latin judges, for example, that there was an Anglo-Saxon movement inside the jury often prejudice against non-English ads. As a result, many times there have been "Latin" movements inside the jury as well, trying to defend their own interests. But the fact is that the U.K. and the U.S. have usually walked off with most of the top awards for ads that the jury relates to.
Cannes became an annual frustration for many countries „ which never seemed to do well enough for the Anglo-Saxon standards. From this inferiority complex and frustration come the scam ads, like the historically awarded commercial created by Spanish Casadeval Pedreno for a glue brand nobody ever saw for sale. From the very beginning, "global" ideas „ meaning understood from an Anglo-Saxon point of view „ have been the ones chosen to take home most Lion Awards. The Jury had to come up with criteria that would please everyone „ explains the Festivals' Organization. But the truth is, it never really did please everyone, just the powerful U.S./European agencies. How many non-Anglo-Saxon ads have won Grand Prix in Cannes? Think about it.
The "Inferiority Complex" that has, for many years, dominated many non-Anglo-Saxon countries, has been replaced by a formula: please the Anglo-Saxons with global ideas, great ideas, fun ideas „ for worthy causes or small companies. It's not the real advertising of the local market, but it is the kind of stuff that might work at Cannes. Cannes has become, for most Anglo-Saxon countries, a huge exercise of creating advertising for the judges. Ask Germans what type of advertising sells in their market and it won't be the Cannes winners.
How frustrating has Cannes been for them?
I live in a country with great ideas and some of the best advertising in the world, but often labeled as "Latin" in a pejorative way. And I have been in Cannes often enough to know. A good idea in Cannes has become idealized to please some kind of "global" consumer „ with an Anglo-Saxon essence, which in reality, doesn't even exist „ and that's a scam too.