This is the communal blog of 140 BBDO's Mike Pearson and Ross Nieuwenhuizen, who are off to Cannes Lions after winning one in 2011 for their Snickers "Would You Rather" radio campaign - which also featured at Loeries and D&AD. Throughout this smorgasbord of creativity, Mike and Ross will be updating everyone on what's being said, done and awarded, so follow them on Twitter at @140BBDO and on Facebook.
Mike Pearson and Ross Nieuwenhuizen of ad agency 140 BBDO are on their way to Cannes Lions - the biggest and most prestigious advertising festival in the world - after picking up an award in 2011 for their Snickers "Would You Rather" radio campaign - which also featured at Loeries and D&AD.
Cannes Lions is a week of amazing speakers, workshops, sights and, of course, really, really amazing work. Throughout this smorgasbord of creativity, Mike and Ross will be updating everyone on what's being said, done and awarded - sure, it's not as good as being there, but it's all the motivation you need to get yourself there next year.
About Mike & Ross
Mike and Ross teamed up at 140 BBDO (www.140bbdo.com; Facebook; YouTube; blog) in 2010 and since then they have been lucky enough to work on brands including Snickers, Hunter's, Oude Meester and more - picking up a few local and international awards along the way - including most recently a double-win at the prestigious South African Creative Circle Ad of the Year Awards.
Aside from this, they are best known for their borderline-professional karaoke skills.
Michael Pearson: Before I kick this off, I must thank the team at 140 BBDO for sending me on probably the most incredible week of my life. However, all good things come to an end. Even the very good things.
My week in Cannes was one of the highlights of my brief existence, and I truly hope that all of you can get yourself there at some stage. Here are some of the highlights and my perceived outcomes of the festival.
Gap is closing
The US and Europe still rule advertising, but the gap is closing. There were 18 Grand Prix awards handed out; the US received eight, Europe seven and South America, Asia and Central America one apiece – meaning they still hold sway over the highest reaches of advertising.
However, as one moved down through the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, you see that in fact their dominance is not complete. Countries such as China, Brazil, Australia and even South Africa featured heavily in the Gold, and even more so from there down. Who knows? In 10 years we may well see Leong Wai Foong of BBDO China ascending the stage to collect Agency of the Year.
And it’s good for advertising, too. As Sir John Hegarty said, “Great advertising is reliant upon great competition.” If other agencies/regions are pushing hard, it only makes the rest of us push harder. Exciting times.
Proliferation of “BIIIIG” ideas
Another trend was certainly the proliferation of “BIIIIG” ideas. Ideas that didn’t just feature on the back of a cereal box in Minnesota, but rather took the country (or even globe) by storm:
Another trend that emerged, and has been doing so for some time now, is the “Brands Doing Real Good” factor. As seen in the Bandages campaign above, brands are trying to make a real difference. And, in a lot of cases, succeeding.
My favourite pieces
Were I pushed to select my favourites pieces from the week, it certainly would not be easy. However, interestingly, I would not go for any of the Grands Prix. My list would be as follows (in no particular order, as that’s just too tough):
On the other end of the scale, a two-minute masterpiece that probably cost more to produce than all the South African TV entries combined. However, in this case, you get what you pay for. And wow, it’s a lot.
And then, right on the other end of the scale – an ad produced in India. An ad we could have done here in South Africa; they have the same budgets as us. However, this piece is moving and wonderfully crafted; a real inspiration for me.
The true magic
But, at the end of the day, brands don’t make ads, people make ads – and this is where the true magic lay for me.
Being able to watch as personal heroes of mine such as Dan Wieden and John Hegarty debate live on stage, and meeting others such as Marcello Serpa was just amazing. Especially when you come to understand that they aren’t mythical beasts of yore: they’re human, they face the same problems as all of the rest of us – and they overcome them. Rather spectacularly.
I hope to get the chance to attend the Cannes Lions again soon and meet more spectacular people.
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