Yachts, parties, lions – it must be Cannes

June 17, 2008

1cannes.jpgIt’s one of the big weeks for advertising (well, in terms of parties and sunshine), so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check in on Cannes. More than 12,000 advertising types have gathered in the South of France to toast the industry — and perhaps even collect an award.

This is an interesting year for Cannes, where a lot of the chatter at parties and meetings will likely be about either the recession or the rise of online advertising, Reuters notes.

The festival, in its 55th year, awards excellence with the so-called Lions trophies and hosts seminars and workshops. In a sign of how crucial the Internet has become to advertising, the Film Lions awards now includes films for Internet and mobiles.

The $40 billion online advertising market remains a bright spot in a global industry facing dire times with soaring oil prices and an economic slowdown denting clients’ budgets.

Even though Cannes gives a nod to new media these days, AdWeek writes that the event is nonetheless struggling to keep up with the times. Like the industry itself, Cannes is “an old institution struggling to reinvent itself in a new-media environment.” 

In many ways, Cannes is a perfect reflection of the ad industry. The city itself is glamorous and beautiful, yet downright gauche and a little scruffy at times. The week of seemingly non-stop events and parties is inspiring and fun, while at the same time depressing in its ephemeral hedonism.

As for economic worries, well, ad executives won’t let those stop them from having some fun, AdAge tells us.   

Skyrocketing gas prices, credit crises, procurement officers: none of these can stop the ad-world extravaganza that is Cannes. This year’s festival will be the biggest ever, complete with more entries, more delegates (especially more marketers), more agencies planning beach bashes or lavishly catered parties, and an even bigger presence — and yacht — for Microsoft.

The Australian also noted that the hot ticket of the week is no less than its boss, News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin.

Meanwhile, USA Today points out that the first batch of winners on Monday “illustrate more than ever that agencies are crossing into each other’s areas of expertise as mediums continue to converge.”

The top direct advertising award went to JWT India for a print ad in The Times of India. While it was an ad promoting the newspaper, it was also the launching pad for a campaign, which included TV, mobile, video and outdoor, urging people to get involved and “lead India” in honor of the country’s 60th anniversary of independence.

In sales promotion, HBO won the Grand Prix for a multimedia campaign by BBDO, New York.

Keep an eye on: 

  • One of Walt Disney’s biggest jobs is uncovering talent that appeals to 8- to 12-year-olds “tweens” so it can keep flowing the pipeline of clean-cut Disney Channel stars (
  • The U.S. newspaper business still has not seen the bottom of a persistent deterioration in advertising revenue, and growing Internet revenue will not compensate for the declines, McClatchy Co Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said after the publisher cut about 10 percent of its work force (Reuters)
  • NBC Sports is investing in World Championship Sports Network, a small TV network that broadcasts Olympic sports year-round (The Hollywood Reporter)

(Reuters photo of seafront in Cannes)

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