The Best of Cannes Self Promotion - Part Trois

Cannes might be long over, but like free rosé, the publicity just keeps on flowing. Here's the final roundup of everything interesting and vaguely self-promotion-shaped to come out of the South of France.

To recap:

In part one I covered The Grand Prix Generator, Guess The Lions and Lion Arses.

Next up, Dabitch wrote about The Cannescellation, and then Cash for Gold Lions.

In part two I covered Can Your Lions, Cannes Lionsitters and Cannes We Meet.

So, in short - that's everything, right? Nope, not even close.

Cannes Lionesses

This Tumblr blog (unlike the rest of the advertising press, I'm refusing to call it a website), is an attempt to 'celebrate female creativity' by Holly Fallows and Charlotte Watmough, a creative team from Mcgarrybowen. They're systematically going through every winning Cannes entry and giving those made by female creatives an extra platform to draw attention. Their story goes that:

"We love that in our industry the "idea" wins, no matter who it comes from. Nobody is asking for judging quotas. But when the number of female creatives is so low, well, maybe the lionesses should all get together and roar a little louder?"


Straight up - this has to be the most surreptitious bit of dirty self-promotion I've seen. What Holly and Charlotte have picked up on is the current social movement du jour - "X% of women in X Industry" - and hijacked the issue to raise their own flag up on high. "We're celebrating the best of female creativity" goes the story. But what is this really about? A movement to change the world? An extra pat on the back for a Bronze Lion? The opportunity to write a piece in AdWeek? Because they certainly got two of these three.

Stuff like this bugs the hell out of me because it's so transparently self-serving. I doubt Holly and Charlotte care about their fellow female creatives, any more than they care in particular about any social cause. There are genuine people out there who organise events to help people in advertising. One Minute Briefs. The Young Creative Council. NABS (the National Advertising Benevolance Society). But hey, we're talking about them now. Job well done.

I reached out to a Creative Director who agreed to speak with Adland anonymously:

Holly and Charlotte were the type of team who would steal an idea from something they saw on YouTube rather than come up with something out of nowhere. The most impressive thing was their collection of blogs that they went to, to get reference and inspiration and basically just steal ideas. Everyone does that occasionally but they really relied on it. I was pretty surprised when they got hired at Mcgarrybowen, but they seem to have done alright since.

The comments on Adweek are less kind. Anna Ewers writes:

Oh jeez. This is embarrassing. You got a bronze by fluke for quite a boring piece of work. It happens. Accept it humbly instead of bragging about it and trying to make it into some kind of "movement".

You see here's the thing. Advertising people are pretty savvy. And we can smell self promotion a mile away. A lesson for the future, perhaps.

A masked redirect is still a tumbr blog, but I suppose I better leave this here:

Cannes in 140

A small but fun idea here, although emojis are starting to leave a sour taste in my mouth. This twitter account which was set up by creatives at JWT, has been tweeting a plain text description of every Gold and Grand Prix winning Lion throughout the festival followed by an emojis version.

So for instance, "Beds" by Mother London is first described:

And then becomes:

Toby Chiswick, Social Media Director at J.Walter Thompson, said:

With @Cannesin140 we wanted to deliver something helpful but that also celebrated the great work on show and captured the fun of this utterly unique event.

“Whether you love them or not Emojis are ubiquitous at the moment and a new and interesting communications medium, so where better to give them a real outing than at Cannes?”

With only 200 followers, this clearly wasn't the sensation JWT were hoping for, especially if you consider they probably put more than a few billable hours into it. But I can't complain. It's light, it's creative, it's amusing, it's a good idea. Unfortunately, it also representative that we've reached a critical mass when it comes to emoji advertising. Last year this would have been fresh and innovative, while this year it is merely creative. Enough emoji advertising please. Jason Scott of Weiden + Kennedy has made what is in my opinion, the Last Great Emoji Campaign: Endangered Emoji. The pinacle has been reached, and it's all downhill from there.

And don't even get me started on this:

Cannes You Please Shut Up

Funnily enough, this very simple Tumblr blog got tongues wagging. The idea behind it was: "Dear Big Agency - Your tweets are terrible. Please Stop." And that was it. No social movement or political message beyond the fact that watching creatives on a yacht drinking wine while you're at your desk working is like having teeth pulled.

One might argue that this, along with The Cannescellation is indicitive of a greater movement in advertising where people are getting sick of Cannes entirely. One blocked it out, the other ridiculed it.

However, while I believe this movement exists - it's not strong enough yet to have any real impact. Cannes is the golden crown in the advertising season, and it will continue to be the biggest event of the year for a long time to come.

We may all be getting fucked, but at least we can do it on a red carpet.

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