Jane Austin: John Lewis, WPP and Publicis disagree shock and Blaze trumps the Superhumans

Inside the emotional manipulation department at John Lewis

In a seminar entitled ’emotional masterclass in advertising’, the people behind the Christmas ads that made a nation weep explained their approach. For Craig Inglis, the John Lewis marketing director, it’s about making sure “you don’t believe your own hype and it feels real and that’s complete instinct.”

Adam&eveDDB CCO Richard Brim said that the pressure of making the John Lewis Christmas ad is immense and waiting for the public reaction after it airs terrifies him. “The industry you can disagree with, the public you cannot,” he said.

He also said that in the run up to the the ad airing, members of the public pitch ideas and even send in scripts. Personally I’m still waiting on feedback on my ‘depressed penguin, bemused dog, smug child and sweet-old-man-who clearly-does-not-pose-any-threat-to-children-whatsoever trampolining on the moon at Christmas’ idea for next year.

Sorrell trash talks Publicis Cannes ban

Despite his criticisms of the festival, Sir Martin Sorrell has said that Publicis Groupe’s decision to ban its agencies from going to Cannes next year “isn’t the right move.” He said agencies enjoy it and and clients like, “even love it”. “By boycotting, what you’re doing is destroying that and I think that’s wrong,” he added. However, he continued to push his idea of taking the Cannes out of Cannes and changing location to a big city.

Meanwhile Cannes is launching an advisory committee to help “shape the future” of the festival in response to accusations that it has lost its “creative heart.” Though why it needs a committee to figure out that letting tech giants take over the place and adding ten highly spurious new awards categories each year to rake in even more cash isn’t such a good idea, I don’t know.

Christine Lagarde calls on men to join the fight for women’s equality

The IMF’s managing director Christine Lagarde revealed to Cannes that even she has had to deal with sexism in the workplace. In conversation with Maurice Levy, Lagarde said women’s equality is never going happen across the world unless men get involved. She said: “We found 140 countries had in their constitution discrimination against women. It all starts with the basic legal framework.”

Ron Howard plans ‘Trumped the musical’

Director Ron Howard, who has just taken on the Stars Wars Han Solo spinoff movie, was on stage at Cannes on a panel hosted by Martin Sorrell (who is an investor in Imagine Entertainment, the production company co-founded and run by Howard). Sorrell took the opportunity to ask Howard what he thought of Donald Trump. Howard said: “I’m really hopeful that when this presidency is dramatised years from now, it is as a lovely, hilarious Broadway musical called ‘Trumped.’”

Agencies aren’t vending machines

Burger King CMO Axl Schwan told his fellow marketers that agencies shouldn’t be treated like creative “vending machines.” On a panel hosted by The Economist, Schwan said: “Agencies are not vending machines, right? You cannot throw in money and hope the creative work comes out. It doesn’t work like this, you cannot work like this. You always have to be very close, and that’s sometimes a challenge.”

And the winners were:

The UK wins first Grand Prix for Bjork VR video

A Bjork VR music video by agency Analog and W&N Studio won the UK’s first Grand Prix, for Digital Craft, this year.

A campaign giving people to the chance to spend a night in Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom won Leo Burnett Chicago the Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness.

Film Craft Grand Prix goes to French directing duo The Blaze for ‘Territory,’ produced by Iconoclast beating Channel 4’s ‘We’re the Superhumans’ for the Paralympics which picked up two Gold Lions in the category.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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