Monday, June 17, 2024

Cannes ya man Cannes: story of a man who no longer believes in the Cannes Lions

Kan ya man kan - there was, there was not. So start all fairy tales in the Arabic languages.

And the wordplay seems so fitting for the Cannes Lions festival. First a disclaimer, no I was never at Cannes Lions, and no I have never won anything at Cannes Lions, but just like lottery one cannot win without applying so I was never in an agency that applied anything for the Cannes festival, ergo never won. So what am I harping about?

Well, this comes from the mouth of a man whose agency is so incredibly highly decorated in whatever festival you can think of, and yet he once confided into me say "these days anyone can go to Cannes and win a trophy. There are too many categories to count, too many subcategories, too many this and that, honestly it is not even worth it any longer. Back in the day, there were - what? Three categories?" and remember this is the man whose agency used to sweep the board back in the day (and still does).

Now, as I said, I have no dog in the fight so what the hell am I ranting about? Am ranting about the whole let's-meet-at-the-carlton, am ranting about the uncreatives (apparently it is not even a word!), am ranting about how exhausting it is to be a judge in a real festival (I am one at the Epica Awards and trust me this is no picnic in the park), I am talking about the machinations and what not between jurors, am talking about current editions of the festival awarding ads which are total and complete rip-offs of ads that already won at the same festival years ago, about all these "activations" and very specific events (I have read so many unbelievable "results" from campaigns in their dossiers to make you faint! One local campaign claimed it added female MP by 600% - as in, really?) and the list goes on. 

I think the whole thing turned into a gigantic circus. And an unfunny one at that.