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Cannes Reel 2003

Posted on July 30, 2003 and read 7,227 times

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Well, I was at the Bloor Cinema tonight to cover another event. It seems to be a popular venue. Around this time last year I attended Ad Night and not too long ago I dropped in for the opening night of Giggleshorts. It’s a perfect spot, the popcorn is cheap and some great used CD stores surround the theatre.

To be honest, there’s not much to write about. The nice folks at Canada Cannes and AdCam Marketing invited me to check out the awards reel from this year’s Cannes Ad Festival. Thanks very much, but it’s just the same old thing, isn’t it? Sit back, watch a few spots, have some laughs and go to work tomorrow, just like yesterday and the day before. Right? Maybe not.

The temptation is there to mentally file this screening with every other event we are herded in and out of all year long. But if there is one event which changes the way we work as an industry and the way you work as an art director or copywriter (or whatever you are) let this be it. Make October 28, 2003 the night that changed the way we pursued a global advertising presence.

Whoa! A bit heavy? Yeah, keep reading.

I actually should have begun this event review with a disclaimer to those who have already made a trip or three to Cannes. I feel like I might be preaching to the converted. It seems unanimous amongst those who have attended the festival that it is “the” advertising Mecca and that the only thing better then attending Cannes is coming home with a Lion.


Taxi President and Creative Director, Paul Lavoie took to the stage just prior to the playing of the reel. As he approached the podium he did a little tap dance, but there was no side stepping when it came to his message. The Canadian presence at the Cannes has been in a constant state of growth for the past four years or so. The number of Canuks in France four years ago is dwarfed by this years attendance and hopefully, even more so next year.

Let’s keep the ball rolling. Paul challenged agencies to find the resources to send their teams to Cannes and even suggested employees opt into salary reserve programs to ensure the trip across the pond can be funded.

His ultimate point was one that really seemed to resonate with Ihaveanidea. Essentially, Cannes can bring the Canadian Ad Industry to the world scale. He mentioned that the world perceives us as a creative nation, but it’s time to really show them what can be done with that creativity.

Technically we have competed on a global scale. We gone to Cannes and Won Gold. But there is more. Canada can do more, and we need to therefore, doing whatever it takes to get there.

This years Grand Prix was a spot for Ikea entitled “Lamp”. Created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, it featured the heart wrenching task of parting with hand me down furniture. On a dark and stormy night our subject puts his used and outdated lamp out to the curb to meet its grim destiny. The lamp he replaces it with not only is new, but funky. It’s an emotional moment that would put any tear-jerking blockbuster film to shame. The spot wraps up with the quirky ‘Ikea man’ telling viewers that they are crazy for feeling bad for the lamp, as the new one is much better.

After watching this year’s reel the question that begged to be asked was, what is holding us back? The Ikea spot was great and it deserved to be recognized. But it wasn’t anything out of Canadian reach. We have the talent, creativity and the resources to makes spots that rival this year’s top honor.

So what’s it going to take to make our mark on Cannes? I’m not sure. But based on Paul’s challenge and the testimony of David Rosenberg and Dan Pawych it would seem that we really have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of really exploiting the true benefits of a strong Canadian presence at Cannes.


Brendan Watson
Events Editor
Ihaveanidea






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