Sex, Lies & advertising to the McWhopper: Piotr’s Cannes Diary

Piotr Łuczak, Group Account Manager, Lubię to — Linked by Isobar shares experience of the first half of Cannes, during his first time at the festival.

Monday went by here in Cannes at a dizzying pace, and in contrast to the opening days of the Festival, it was very eventful. Since early morning the sessions were held at all 4 floors of the Palais. To see any of the key lectures one had to stand in line and wait up to 30 minutes while the other delegates were still storming the registration zone.

From the agency’s point of view, the morning panel “Wake up with The Economist” with the representatives of Beiersdorf (NIVEA), Merck and ABI (Kompania Piwowarska’s buyer) was extremely important. The gentlemen spoke about the weaknesses of large organizations such as the CMO’s unwillingness to undertake risks, and slowness or lack of willingness to pursue bold ideas of the agency. They also emphasized the need to involve high level managers into the creative process from the very beginning. They also highlighted, many times, the growing role of social media and encouraged to test different approaches in order to obtain a rapid feedback.

The absolute strongest speech was in my opinion, “Sex, Lies & advertising” by Madonna Badger. It concerned a very important issue, namely the objectification of women in advertising and treating them as sex objects. During the presentation the spot promoting a campaign showing how children perceive advertising featuring women in an objectified manner had its premiere. The audience praised the presentation and the #istandup campaign with a standing ovation. Petition against women’s objectification can be signed online here.

In addition, the review of works shortlisted on Innovation Lions is still ongoing. Today I had the opportunity to see the presentation of the McWhooper campaign, which is one of the front runners. If so far you have not had a chance to take a look at it, I definitely recommend a visit to this website. Works on the campaign lasted for 18 months during which the legal aspects and potential crisis scenarios were thoroughly analyzed. The fact that the agency worked on the idea for almost 4 years made a great impression.

Watch the case study here.

Watch this short interview with Madonna Badger here.

The culmination of the third day of the Festival was the presentation of awards in the categories of Print, Radio and, for the second time in the history of the Festival, in the Glass Lions category. As expected, the Grand Prix in the print category went to McWhopper campaign mentioned before. However, in the Glass Lions category the winner was the Indian project made by Hype5ch agency. The project supporting transgender community was executed for the Booke Bond brand belonging to Unilever.

Watch the “6 Pack Band” case study here.

The third day was filled with interesting speeches. The main hall was full thanks to Anna Wintour and afterwards, Will Smith. Clay Bavor, VR VP at Google, also couldn’t complain about the lack of audience. Along with his team he presented a platform for Google’s burgeoning VR technology. Google’s Team presented a philosophy that Google’s VR related projects are based on. To sum up the lecture in just one sentence — on that stage Google showed how firmly they believe in this technology. Besides, the entire Festival proves how much into the VR is the whole advertising business. Both throughout the submitted and awarded projects and in the chillout zones.

The presentation is available to download here.

The evening gala brought positive emotions for the Polish artists. The biggest winner was panGenerator who received the gold award in the Design category for the project “The measure of peace” realized for the Warsaw Rising Museum. Among appreciated Polish projects by Cannes’ jury were the campaigns submitted by Y & R (The Live Fish Pack — bronze in the category of Design), Walk (I do not want to be a firefighter — bronze in the category of PR) and Saatchi & Saatchi (Thermoscanner — bronze in the Outdoor category).

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