Reasons to Be Cheerful: In Uncertain Times Take Heart in the Cannes Winners
There is a fog looming over London, the UK. It is a fog that has engulfed all of Europe. Whilst Cannes 2016 fades into the nothing but a memory, and the fallout from Brexit continues to leave many of us with our heads in our hands, we are left with the pervading feeling of uncertainty.
The mood in London, and certainly within the creative industry (an industry that is, almost to a person, in the Remain camp) is confused, angry and upset. Therefore, it is worth taking a moment to recall that the past year has provided the industry with some stunning, important and memorable campaigns. They aren’t going to make the past week more palatable but they might well bring a smile to your face, and they will most certainly remind us that there is a raft of incredible, innovative, funny, sensitive and talented people to whom we wish to remain working with today, tomorrow and long into the future.
KODE didn’t win any Lions this year despite our best efforts with Persil Monster Stains but there were Lions for the likes of AMV BBDO with Guinness’ Never Alone. It’s a remarkable campaign directed by John Hillcoat at Stink, focusing on Gareth Thomas, a Welsh rugby legend who took the brave (a word to often thrown around in sport for acts that simply aren’t brave) decision to reveal his sexuality by coming out whilst still a professional player, and skipper of Wales. It’s moving, it’s positive and sends a message that being true to yourself is far more important than anything else.
Google and The Mill: Los Angeles worked together to produce the beautiful, innovative Google Spotlight Stories: Pearl a 360˚ immersive music video charting a father and daughter’s life spent in a 1983 Chevy Citation. The films are an example of the lengths with which the advances in technology are able to deliver us with captivating projects. There are four films in total, each of them a different genre and each as watchable as the other – you can see them all HERE.
O&M/Mumbai’s How to Get Perfect Red Lips is a work of art. It utilises a recognisable form of advertising, in this case, the blogger style make up tips, whilst making a pertinent point about the horrors of acid attacks on women in India. Between 2013 and 2014 there were 386 cases of acid attacks a staggering number but it is not a barbaric act confined to India. It is something that is both unbearable to imagine and yet which must be confronted. Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign is both obvious and subtle, and extremely powerful.
The under Armour work from Droga5 and Epoch Films (directed by Martin de Thurah) are two commercials of incredible creativity, direction and performance. The films for Michael Phelps and the US Women’s Gymnastics Team are as close to perfection as I have seen this year. It’s impossible not to have a greater understanding of the sacrifices and sheer bloody mindedness it takes to get to the pinnacle of your profession. Both are perfect examples of how important the soundtrack and editing are to any commercial, so often it can make or break a piece of brilliant film.
So, whilst we in the UK spend our time being bombarded by the news that we have bid adieu to the EU (that’s the EU, FOX not the UN….) have no functioning political parties, no PM, and no manager of England’s football team (I’d rather be PM to be honest), there are many, many reasons for us to celebrate an industry that is capable of all the above and so much more besides.