Adscam’s George Parker: my Top Tip for Cannes – and some candidates for the tip

To Cannes or not to Cannes

In his infinite wisdom Stephen has asked me, along with others, If I can tear myself away from Harry and Meghan, to share my views on the upcoming Cannes “Festival of Fucktardliness.”

As usual, I shall take my contrarian point of view. Remember how in 2015, Jeff Goodby said… “Cannes used to be a showcase for some of the most famous ideas in the world. This year, it felt more like a convention of industrial roofing specialists, discussing the latest in fiberglass insulation technology.” He then declared he was never going again.

Guess what? He’s going this year to interview Michael Wolfe, author of the shit kicking book about Der Trumpf’s nightmare White House. Should be interesting to hear their points of view on industrial roofing. Bear in mind, these are the only two people in America who have fired my mate Barbara Lippert.

But, I digress (who me?) back to Cannes. Most campaigns relying on sports celebrities are shit.. I know, I worked on a couple in my early Mad Man days using rigidly wooden cretins such as “Steve Dumbrowski” line backer for the New York jets to pimp Rise shaving cream and deodorant. Lots of titles and animated clips of razors slicing through stubble. Horrible… The only worthwhile such effort for years was the Kronenbourg campaign with Eric Cantona. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the new campaign from Philadelphia Deli brand, Dietz and Watson featuring Andy Roddick and his wife Brooklyn Decker and created by Philly agency Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. Very funny and surprisingly well acted by the couple. In the words of the agency… “They were a blast to work with.” I have no idea if it will be an entry at Cannes, but I’ll bet it will be better than 90 per cent of the shit that agencies will spend a fortune in entry fees on.

Don’t get me going on “Dilly Dilly” for Bud Light.. an “Homage” to Game of Thrones featuring the florescent blue cans of faux beer being proffered to the King by courtiers before being taken to the dungeons to have their humps sewn on. Wieden+Kennedy should be ashamed of themselves. And oh yes… sales continue to decline. Perhaps if they started making beer instead of nun’s piss, things might pick up.

Finally, “Fearless Girl.” I know, it won’t be at Cannes this year as it cleaned up last year, However it continues to dominate other award shows, such as the recent One Show. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. It’s a fucking statue created by McCann for client State Street Global Advisors celebrating the first anniversary of its Gender Diversity Index fund that “invests in US large-capitalization companies that rank among the highest in their sector in achieving gender diversity across senior leadership”

The New York Times called it “an exercise in corporate imaging” by State Street, which, had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the United States Department of Justice, agreeing to pay more than $64 million to resolve fraud charges for secretly billing clients for unwarranted commissions. There was also a report that women at SSGA got paid less than men in comparable positions. Mmmm, Fearless indeed.

Reminds me of the time an agency in Dubai won a Gold Lion for coming up with an Iron Fish that people from Cambodia could put in their rice to cure iron deficiency. Then it turned out that someone in Canada had invented it eight years before. Personally I think the ancient Greeks invented statues, not little girls though, mostly naked men.

See ya all at the Festival of Industrial Roofing!

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About George Parker

George Parker has spent 40 years on Madison Avenue. He’s won Lions, CLIOs, EFFIES, and the David Ogilvy Award. His blog is adscam.typepad.com, which is required reading for those looking for a gnarly view of the world’s second oldest profession.” His latest book, Confessions of a Mad Man, makes the TV show Mad Men look like Sesame Street.
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