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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
RAD IO MY TIMEAT CANNES CB asked Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s Paul Reardon, one of the winning writers of the Radio Grand Prix, for his take on this year’s Festival, his first time in Cannes. Says Reardon: “Since returning to Australia, I’ve made myself a solemn promise: whatever it takes, it will not be my last. Cannes was amazing.” FOR MY PART, the experience can be broken down into three easily defin- able a reas: a wards, dr inking and sleeping. The awards take place in the Palais de Festival, a huge complex halfway down th e main, beach-side str eet. Each day, as finalists for d ifferent categories a re announced, they’re put on display in the Palais. By the end of the week, you’re left with the world’s best c reative ove r the past year. It’s an exhib ition as i nspiring as i t i s humbling. Any to pics yo u could possibly think of rel ating to advertising are covered in daily open seminars run by the world’s leading advertising and media agencies. And ever y nig ht, awar d cere - monies for dif ferent c ategories are held in the main auditorium of the Palais. And that main room is big. Big verging on ridiculous. Two huge le ve ls of r ed velvet seat ticul ar) , there was ing, a massive stag e and a screen th at makes IMAX look like your iPOD. At award ceremonies this year (TV in par a Mexican wave r unning th rough the crowd and a guy died – I’m not joking, it’s that big. 20 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Reardon (left) and Peterson with the Radio Grand Prix on the steps of the Palais in Cannes this year. In hindsight, we wer e very lucky. Not only to win the Grand Prix, but to be able to accept the award in person. Commercial Radio Australia had sent us to Cannes following our success in the Siren Awards. So we were there when the fi nalists were announced, and when the winners were called up two days later. Unfortunately this isn’t the cas e for many other Aussies and Kiwis. Geography is against us. Once final- is ts are ann ounced , the Fr ench Riviera is just too far away to make it in t ime for the ceremony. Giv en the amount of awards Australia and New Zealand seem to win, I t hink thi s is a s hame. B ecaus e while standing on stage in that big audito- rium is br ief (you go up , you take your award , you smi le, cameras flash, you walk off) i t r eally i s an unforgettable moment. At the close of the nightly ceremo- ny, all award related activity is pret- ty much done for the day. So you move onto the second part I spoke of: drinking. I’d heard so much about the party- ing at Cannes. This side of the festi- val is legendary. But all the stories I’d h eard were f rom p eople who worked in advertising. Exaggeration is in our job description. So I never really knew Cannes f act f rom fic- tion. I can now s ay with absolute certai nty: t he r eputat ion i s we ll deserved. In Cannes, every single night, you drink and party. Hard. Global ad networks, media com- panies, photo lib raries, Campaign Brief, t hey a ll throw part ies. I t’s extravagant, it’s e xcessive an d i t’s awesome. But what really surprised me is that somehow, it isn’t preten- tious. You can have a beer and joke with creative directors and CEO’s from some of the best agencies in the world. Everyone is approach- able, friendly and laid back. Looking back on it no w, I think I can see why. Regardless of success, position o r ro le, everyone is there for exact ly the sam e reason. Copywriters, designers, producers, art directors, clients, photographers, creative dire ctor s, ac count ma n- agers, journalists, planners – every- one you meet and drink with, are all there t o celebrate and encourage creativity in advertising. This means, i f you chose to, you can l eave t he fe st ival with some impressive new industry contacts. But more important ly, it means you’ll leave with even more enthusi- asm for your work than when you arrived. For myself, winning Si rens was incredible. Winning the Grand Prix was no thing short of surreal. I’ve been a sked a few times how i t’s affected my career. I think it’s still too early to tell. Obviously I’ve h ad a h uge wel- come home from my agency. There was a massive party and bottle of Bollinger the size of a small horse. But that’s just what Clemenger is like. They’re incredibly supportive. So I guess the biggest effect is how I view my career, and my work. I’m more excited about it. That’s what makes the experience of Cannes so worthwhile if you have anything at all to d o w ith adver ti sing. Afterwards, all y ou want to do is make great ads. As for the last of the three parts I mentioned: sleeping. To be honest, there’s not a helluvalot of that going on in Cannes. But thankfully, it’s a long flight home. SE PT E MBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007
November December 2007
July August 2007