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W+K London’s Neil Christie on that Cannes thing

It’s a funny old week with the Cannes Lions going on – people there obviously feel like they’re at the epicentre of everything while others (the vast majority, obviously) think it’s a big wank.

We’ve been light on Cannes today because: one, it’s been boring so far and, two, my correspondents seem to have gone AWOL. Anyway, here’s an interesting take on Cannes from Wieden+Kennedy London MD Neil Christie (left):

Seems like more people in this industry go to the Cannes Festival every year.

But I’m not going to Cannes.

It could be because I didn’t get invited.

It could be because I don’t think we’re going to win.

It could be because I’m too busy doing *actual work*.

It could be because I think the whole thing is a money-making machine on which the industry spends €18.5m (that’s just the awards entry fees, never mind the exorbitant travel and accommodation costs and the lavish entertaining).

It could be that this sort of extravagance seems inappropriate and even vulgar in the current economic climate.

It could be none of those things but just that, as a miserable Scots git, I’m more comfortable with a pint of lager on the filthy pavement outside The Golden Heart than with a glass of mind-bendingly overpriced rosé on some baking French terrasse.

Of course, as Jerry Seinfeld eloquently and amusingly explains below, awards are stupid.

But anyway, congratulations in advance to all the winners, respect to (our client) advertiser of the year Coca-Cola and, if you’re going, I hope it’s inspiring and productive.

Well, I might argue with the attractions of the Golden Heart – but he’s right, isn’t he?

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  1. To answer your question, Neil is right.

    It feels like we need to start thinking about branding work they way products are marked with their country of origin. So as well as “Made in XXXX” on a product, we have work that is “Made for Cannes.”

    There has been some very good work awarded but when a mirrored coffin for a funeral service wins a Grand Prix you do begin to question the judging criteria.

    It would be a fascinating exercise to see how many of this year’s Golds asnd Grand Prix winning work return as entries in the Effectiveness category next year.

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