Mannes in Cannes // Part 6 // I know what you did last night.

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Well, this is my final Mannes in Cannes. Reason being, I am not even in Cannes anymore. So this is more “Man in Dubai International Airport on Dodgy Wifi Eating BLT” which has a lovely ring to it you must admit.

To be honest the last few days have been of a mind copulation. Beginning with a lovely, air-conditioned viewing of the outstanding TV Shortlist on Friday. And what a great Shortlist it was, viewed with the bare minimum of low whistles (the Cannes version of the boo, don’t ask me why). This was accompanied by the news that Ogilvy Cape Town had one last Shortlist, in Branded Content and Entertainment, for our Carling Black Label “Be the coach” work. So we were to be in the game for the final ceremony at Cannes, the grand finale of the week.

Also on Friday was the long awaited on-stage chit-chat between Dan Wieden and John Hegarty. Together, as founders of fiercely independent agencies Wieden and Kennedy and BBH, they have given the world some of the most recognizable and best loved work of the past 2 decades, for brands such as Levi’s, Nike, Honda and, more recently, The Guardian. This was barbed, slick, funny and wise banter the likes of which you don’t see often. It was easy to see why these guys have set the pace for advertising excellence for a while now.

Friday night was South African party night. Very cool to see the flag flying over the Croisette. The general feeling was that we had done jolly well ( at that stage 25 Lions for the week) but our paltry 4 film Shortlists was like totally not cool hey bru, we need to make like Avis and try harder. It was good to get together with some local seuntjies after a hectic week of talking in broken English to full bearded Swedish web designers and trying to evade aggressive New York production people.

Saturday, for me, began on the beach, with a vroeg in die more swim in the Med.

As I towelled myself off, my phone buzzed excitedly next to me. It was 10.35. As a shortlisted agency at Cannes you generally spend the day of the ceremony in a state of angsty anticipation in case you get “the call” from the festival organizers, who will tell you that you have won gold. Generally this does not happen and the prickly anticipation fades rapidly after 10.30, to be replaced by a bleak disappointment, which is in turn replaced later in the day by a fresh, although slightly muted, optimism that you may have won silver or bronze.

The message, from my wonderful and tremendously on the ball awards manager back home in SA, said simply “We got gold””.

Anyone who was on the Ville de Cannes beach that day would have observed a man in black swimming trunks get up off his lounger and air punch repeatedly. This was directly followed by a curious hopping dance on the water’s edge. The rest of the day was spent in a trance-like state of serendipity, punctuated by vigorous bromantic hugging of fellow Ogilvy SA people.

Tommy Le RouxSo for the very first time I did not have to queue with thousands of sweaty delegates in the sun for 2 hours before the Film ceremony. Tommy Le Roux and I were shown to our seats at the front of the auditorium. Directly in front of us was Ted Royer, Chief Creative Officer of Droga 5, who was receiving txts throughout the ceremony from the man himself, Dave Droga. We know this because we read them over his shoulder. Towards the end of the evening our big moment arrived and we shuffled happily across the stage to collect our Gold Lion from the Jury Chair. It all happened very fast, a bit like a car accident, only a good one, if that makes any sense.

Gold OgilvyCTFilm Grand Prix went to goody-goody fast food outlet Chipotle “Back to the start”, which I liked a lot. That piece also got the Branded content and entertainment Grand Prix for the work done around it in the Cultivate program. The Gold’s were all good on the night. There are too many to list, and this blog post is very late, mostly due to the aliens’ interfering with our server capacity (at least that’s what the IT guy says). But please have a look at them (Click here), they are a huge part of what was, for me anyway, the best work I have seen at Cannes for years. It’s been lovely jabbering away like this all week. It would be great to do it again this year. It would be even better to do it while my agency clocks up another 7 Lions, although that would be overly optimistic.

chris gotzI will see you all back in SA after my 26 hour flight odyssey. I dearly hope I do not have to sit next to a full-bearded Swedish web designer or a hustling New York animatic production agent.

I have had enough of that for one year. And I really don’t want to have to share my Xtra large bag of duty free Maltesers with anyone.

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SA Cannes Lions Final Results

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This year has been a great Cannes Lions for South Africa with a total of 27 Lions being awarded to 10 different local agencies. It’s also great to see the Lions being awarded across a number of different disciplines, including mobile, a category very relevant to us, and one with a lot of potential for great creative work to come. 

Ogilvy Cape Town were the big winners this year with a total of 7 Lions (1 x Gold, 2 x Silver, 4 x Bronze). Next up were NET#WORK BBDO, DDB and TBWA, all with good showings. To see all the local winning work follow the relevant links below:

South Africa Final Medals TableSA Cannes Lions 2012 Results Table

Mannes in Cannes // Part 3 // Lessons in fragility

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If day one was all about discovering shitness then day 2 was all about my sense of fragility.

This may partly be because I am trying to survive on very little sleep and occasional mouthfuls of Maltesers. Slugs of ice cold Perrier provide only partial and temporary relief. Arianna Huffington, she of the Huffington post, spoke about lack of sleep in her wonderful seminar yesterday. She says it is the central malaise of modern society and the cause of many of our ills. She also said that lack of sleep has somehow strangely become associated with male virility. In other words men who have had 3 hours sleep will comment “I only had 3 hours sleep and 2 handfuls of Maltesers but here I am battling through the day like a champion“. Women do not do this because they are, on the whole, more sensible and sentient beings. She also said lots of other stuff and identified a few megatrends.

The other great talk yesterday was Contagious magazine’s annual trend summary of where the world is going, and what the work is telling us about the present and the future. Truly fascinating stuff. My proudest moment at Cannes so far (apart from boasting in a virile way about having has no sleep and living on mouthfuls of Maltesers) was when they played the Carling Be the Coach case study as an example of truly engaging, social work. You get quite a kick when 5000 ad people are listening to the most influential trend spotters in communications flag your work as terribly important. Yeeee bloody haaaaa.

And so on to last night’s awards, where I wore smart black leather shoes instead of trainers (I thought they would bring me luck, more formal y’know). This turned out to be a mistake, as Steve Back, Aussie Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Singapore launched into a tirade of derogatory comment about my footwear, “did your wife buy you those mate”, cue raucous harharharing from gathered creatives, all wearing trainers to formal evening. Anyhow, they turned out to be a bit in the lucky side, as Ogilvy Cape Town went on to win 3 Lions. Two for Carling Be the Coach and one for Volkswagen Bluemotion Label. It is so bloody wonderful to be on the scoreboard here folks, I cannot tell you enough about the quality of the work we are up against. I will, however, try. Please look at it, it is truly a reflection of the way we should all be thinking at the moment.

Take a look at the brilliant “Beauty of a second” piece by Leo Burnett Milan. Truly beautiful little one second short films that really make you feel better about life. It is so good when advertising improves the world a little bit, and that was a recurring theme last night, brands doing their bit for people, for places, for society in general. I suppose digital conversation platforms and social media have made brands super sensitive about the people they are talking to, and the people who are talking about them, so in order to be liked, to guide positive and inspiring conversations about themselves, they do positive, inspiring, altruistic work. Which is making our industry pretty much the greatest it has ever been. Either that or I am just sleep deprived and on a chocolate high.

Check out “Bring your own cup day” for 711 Slurpees from Leo Burnett Melbourne, for just the coolest, feelgoodest promotion. “The return of the dictator Ben Ali” by our very own Ogilvy Tunisia is totally, wonderfully powerful and inspiring, it is work that changes a country. Then the Hellman’s “Mayonnaise recipe receipt” is a little piece of genius from Ogilvy Sao Paulo, once again unexpectedly rewarding people with a cool, smart brand experience. South Africa’s Metropolitan Republic won big with a Gold and Silver Lion for Wimpy “Braille burgers“, a truly popular piece that went crazy on the web, good on yer boys. The big, big winner on the night was “Small business gets an official day” for American Express from Crispin Porter Bogusky, Boulder. Once again a brand acting for the better good of all, this time doing it’s bit for small businesses. Deservedly it won 2 Grand Prix’s.

chris gotzAnd so day 2 came to a subdued close. All that remains is for me to shout out an unashamed plug for my twitter handle @MrChristiffa, where I try and keep an irreverent and watchful up to the minute eye in things. Although it has been pointed out to me that for the past 2 days I have been hash tagging a bar in Amsterdam instead of the Cannes Lions Festival, i am a bit of a digital immigrant I am afraid. If you want an altogether more reliable and comprehensive view on things then @OgilvyCT and of course @ididthatad are probably the better follows, with our very own Kate Desmarais and Julie Maunder at the controls. Until tomorrow then. Day 3 beckons. And that bag of Maltesers is calling me.

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Cannes Lions South African Shortlist: Direct & Promo & Activation

This year South Africa has 820 entries into Cannes Lions, the USA lead with the most entries on 5058, out of a total of 34,301. Below are the first released South African shortlisted campaigns for the Direct, and Promo and Activation categories. For more coverage on Cannes / Ogilvy relevant work at Cannes follow @OgilvyCT @ididthatad or the #CannesLions or #OgilvyCannes on twitter.

  • Direct

Direct Response Digital: Mobile Marketing

SAB – Be The Coach by Ogilvy Cape Town

Social Media & Viral Marketing  / Financial Products & Services

Santam – Back At Ya by King James Cape Town

McDonald’s Inflatable Lounge from DDB South Africa on Vimeo.

Direct Response Print or Standard Outdoor, including InsertsBluemotion Label Direct-Promo-Media

Volkswagen ‘The Bluemotion Label” by Ogilvy Cape Town

Retail & E-Commerce, including Restaurants

WimpyBraille Burger” by Metropolitan Republic JHB

Business Products & Services


Aggreko “Always On” by Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency Port Elizabeth

  • Promo & Activation

Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign & Retail (Incl. Restaurants

WimpyBraille Burger” by Metropolitan Republic JHB

Best Integrated Campaign Led by Promotion and Activation

SAB – Be The Coach by Ogilvy Cape Town