Friday after a week of Cannes. The streets are a mix of emotions. Literally. They caught a couple on the red carpet in front of the Palais going at it after having carefully placed their shoes a respectful distance. And all the press have to say about it here is how they managed a respectable 23 minutes in rather trying conditions.


But there are also those wandering the streets who expected more from the festival and were unpleasantly surprised to find “not even a bloody shortlist,” as the one somewhat drunken gentleman said. In his defense, we think he was actually just a homeless guy that was finishing what seemed to be a cheap brandy. But nothing is cheap here.


Discussing the streets of France with Gerry Human he relayed a story of how the previous night he was making his way across a zebra crossing with his lovely wife Caroline both of them in eveningwear. Just so you know, in France it’s kind of law to stop for pedestrians. But like everywhere, laws seem more like suggestions to rich people.


So the one car stopped and another sped up and slipped past almost knocking into the two of them. Naturally Gerry did the only thing a chivalrous man would do and kicked the car. Which then skidded to halt blocking traffic and spat out a yellow tracksuited, thin bearded, Marseille version of Ali G. Caroline sweetly continues walking and Gerry darts into a soiree at the Carlton making his way into a confused crowd of delegates and slips into conversation. LeThug came up to Caroline and  confronts her. A Full French Frontal. She politely declined his abuse in English and he set off to find Gerry. Caroline went into the hotel and got into the lift with Kim Kardashian’s bouncer. Safe. Gerry was mingling in the sea of suits and tracksuit guy ended up having just to leave them be. To skulk back onto the streets.


Whilst Gerry is telling us this story at the Ogilvy Party, Tammy Retter goes to find a chair nearby. The Gentleman from Ogilvy India says, “Listen to me. Are you pregnant? Are you Indian? Do you have a bag?” at which point everyone laughed together. But no, she didn’t get the chair. It’s a great mix of people here.


Sir Martin Sorrel didn’t came to the Ogilvy Party. He did however show up to interview Al Gore who is surprisingly funny actually. And smart. This was the only talk that went over time. Quite a bit actually. But Martin can do that you know, because he owns advertising and probably Cannes too. And you. The talk after him was by 123 west, a Canadian agency. They spoke on how to start your own agency. They had a list of points to indicate how you know it might be time to go off on your own. One of their points came up with a picture of Sir Martin Sorrel and they said when your holding company posted
$67million profits last year but you haven’t had a raise in two years. They did mention that they saw backstage and all is cool and actually, kudos to him for starting his own business. It’s working for him.


Essentially the streets of Cannes carry many weird and wonderful things, and like this story, one little thing leads to another and you wind down a completely unrelated path that ends somewhere you never expected. But you’re still in Cannes, in Advertsing and you’re laughing the whole time, enjoying every minute. Especially the minutes that include free booze, cause like we mentioned seventeen Euro (about R306) for a tequila is a bit much really. If you want to take your drinking seriously here you’re going to have to be homeless.


Lastly – the ubiquitous selfie stick! It has taken the world by storm. People in Cannes snapping here, snapping there! It has bred armies of people who roam around daily in pursuit of the perfect snap. You can’t walk down the street without having to stop just to allow someone to finish taking their selfie. Having said that though, if we put my frustrations aside, there is something to be said about an innovative product that works like a charm for those it’s targeted at. Someone saw a gap and found a way to make the human arm two times longer. A product had to start somewhere – and after spending six days in Cannes, we feel that we’ve seen many that may seem impossible to market, but are innovative and might one day make a difference in consumers’ lives. But alas, while we think the selfie stick looks ridiculous, we don’t blame those selfie stick carriers for wanting to snap away around the Croisette.


Until next time – au revoir.




The work may have hailed from the furthest corners of the planet and represent brands across every possible industry – but there was a common chord clearly visible throughout nearly all of the winning work at the first ceremony of 2015. Simply put, the commonality was “ideas for good”. Almost all of last night’s winning work in one way or another, sought to uplift or improve the lives of the audience who engaged with it. Extremely surprising amongst the Gold winners was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, that didn’t seem to have an agency attached to it – although it probably did.

I didn’t think that the 4 Grand Prix statutes awarded were heads and shoulders above the rest of the metal-grabbers last night. Although altogether, the work really and truly was outstanding. And special mention needs to go to all of the artists behind the work: the art directors, illustrators, photographers and such. Last night was a feast for the eyes.

In the Direct category, the Grand Prix went to Grey New York and Volvo for “Interception”. It utilises a stunningly simple mechanic that got the Superbowl audience to think Volvo when another car manufacturers’ commercial played on TV. This is it.


In the Mobile category, the Grand Prix went to Google for the cardboard rendition of their Google Glasses. This is just the type of progressive thing that one expects from a company like Google. It feels like we’re getting a glimpse of the future with this invention. You can bank on seeing these cardboard masterpieces popping up in awards shows in the future – it’s only a matter of time until other brands and agencies get to grips with the technology. Have a peek here.


I thought the Press winners were brilliant. With the world gone crazy over digital, it is still nice to see ideas packaged and presented the way the winners did last night. Big, original and simple ideas are still the most important thing in this business. And beauty is still a powerful weapon for brands. There was a Coca-Cola piece that sucked the air right out of the Palais last night, which would probably have been my Grand Prix choice. But here’s the official winner for your viewing pleasure.

City of Beunos

And finally, in Promo and Activations the Grand Prix went to Volvo for “Life Paint”. This win really came as no surprise. The case study was just incredibly slick, communicating an idea that really and truly only a brand like Volvo could authentically pull-off. And again, a piece of work that takes a bold and creative step towards a better world. Enjoy it here.

Life Paint

It’s time to head down to the Palais to take in some more of the world’s best work. Let’s hope that South Africa can come back strong tonight, I haven’t yet seen today’s shortlists. But if last night was anything to go by, then we’re in for another inspiring treat no matter who wins.

Contributor: Cameron Krieger – Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Durban




It’s the 62nd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the south of France, but it looks more like a festival of technology because as far as the eye can see tech companies have taken up the beach front stands. It’s clear that they want to make sure their presence is known during a week where important questions are being asked about the relevance of brands and advertisers in the lives of consumers in a world where change is happening faster than I’m typing.

How do we as brands and advertisers make sure we become part of the data that is being consumed every day and what is the role of creativity in all of this. According to Sean Rad, the founder and president of Tinder, social media platforms that can’t deliver content at the same rate it’s being consumed at, will die but is the answer in producing content faster if more than 4.4 Zettabytes of data was produced last year alone (4.4 trillion gigabytes)?

According to Koichi Yamamoto from Dentsu in Japan, big data is the new air and that artificial intelligence (AI) is the new big data frontier. Toibot is a bot that talks like you by analyzing what you’ve tweeted before and then tweets on your behalf. Vice asked its readers on twitter yesterday if they would rather have a robot sexting them than nobody at all. There are even automated copywriters available now. Does this new tech world even need us?

But Koichi also said something really profound. He said that big data can only be used to analyse the past, that it can’t imagine the future, it can’t dream, it can only make sense of the past.

Which means that we don’t need new tech. We don’t need big data. We don’t need connected devices and the internet of things. They need us. They need our emotions, our feelings, our stories, our hopes and dreams to exist. Us being creative, experimenting, playing and dreaming up new ways of doing things is what makes them smart. That the richer and more creative the lives we live, the smarter they will become.


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It reminded me that we have to keep fighting the creative fight. That we cant resort to ideas that have been formed by analyzing past winners or coming up with solutions from mashing together old ones. That is big data’s job, not ours. We have to be better than that. And as long as we know the difference between the two, we can look the big old yellow ghost in the eye and not be afraid at all.




View all the winners from Press, Promo and Activation, Direct and Mobile below:

Contributor: Mariana O’Kelly, Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg

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Officially, it’s the “international festival of creativity”. But after just a few hours of arriving in Cannes, much like my last trip here in 2013, I’m instantly reminded about what a magnificent shock to the system this event is. Everywhere you go, there are people like us talking about creativity, the work and the awards. There are beautifully executed displays everywhere – the tech companies really know how to put on a show. And then there are the seminars – every year the line-up is just unbelievable.

You’re given a literal bag of information when you register, to help guide you through the week. And the one I always reach for first is the 250-page program. This year I was surprised to see that the first ad inside is for Ogilvy’s seminar, featuring the one-and-only Monica Lewinsky. She’s on a new mission now, which she’ll be discussing with our Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Thank Khai Meng. I’ll definitely attend that one and share my learnings.

There’s an entire program of workshops and masterclasses scheduled to take place too. In 2013 I attended a number of these that were hosted by globally renowned creative directors. I probably enjoyed these events the most, they’re great for learning and sharing within a relatively small group. A workshop on technology and strategic thinking hosted by Chloe Gottlieb, Executive Creative Director at R/GA New York, caught my eye on this year’s roster.

But it’s the work that we come all this way for. There are banks of Apple computers lined up at the Paleis where one can peruse every single one of the entries, if you can. And when the finalists are announced, they are put on display. And this is a treat beyond measure. Here, we all get to be judges at Cannes. It’s a stunning preview of what each night’s ceremony will be about. With Ogilvy & Mather coming out on top at the festival for three years in a row, there’s another exciting dimension to the 2015 story waiting to unfold.

Cannes Lions is simply epic in so many ways. Officially, they’ve used the word “festival” to sum it all up. I though, won’t be reducing it to a single word, instead I’ll be sharing my experiences throughout the week in pictures and words and whatever else I can through our various social pages. Hope you enjoy it.

Cameron Krieger

Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Durban