Top Tips for Cannes
I was going to start by trying to be witty and saying how this year, I have never seen less advertising – especially the sort of Lion-winning stuff normal people never get to see anyway.
I would then have got serious and gone on to talk about one unmissable theme this year: female empowerment and the addressing of gender stereotypes.
And I was then going to neatly pick three pieces of work I thought would have stood on the shoulders of campaigns like Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ or ‘Fearless Girl’ and do well at Cannes.
The first would have been the taboo-breaking Bodyform and Libresse ‘Blood Normal’ campaign.
I would have then probably said something banal masquerading as something deep, by saying a phrase like “as a result of trying to normalise menstruation the work could have been just normal too, but instead was raw and powerful”.
Then I was going to get all giddy and say how much I loved H&M’s ‘The Fall Collection’. With its full pop colour and punch and sass, with Naomi Campbell sporting a power suit and short cropped hair while lip synching: “Wham – bam – I am – a man.” I was going to wax lyrical about how it leaves any sense of worthiness behind while still managing to promote a timely message.
Next I planned to make a slightly tenuous link to female empowerment through Nike ‘Londoner.’ And make the point that you don’t need any deep message about equality when the work just has it at its core.
Then I was going to end with a clever quote from someone else cleverer than me, probably Cate Blanchett, who as chair of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, said: “It isn’t just Cannes that’s going to change. The whole world is.” And it was going to be quite neat and work. Sort of, I think.
But then on Saturday morning I heard about the devastating second fire at Glasgow School of Art.
So I decided maybe I should talk about another theme: a bigger theme; that of the power of creativity to fix things. Whether it be to fix the way women are perceived and portrayed in the world, or to help fix a Grade 1 Art Deco library.
JWT’s ‘Ash to Art’ campaign was a brilliant solution to tragic circumstance first time round, and I think will get rewarded this week. An even more brilliant solution may be needed to fix it second time round.
Micky Tudor is joint executive creative director The&Partnership London.