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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : July August 2007
C AN N ES many years ago. It ha d to be more than a future reference point for the year. It had to be a tipping point for all of us as an industry to forge a new road. Heroic sounding stuff, granted. But I guess that’s what Titanium is meant to be about. Grand illusions. Mammoth statements. Lofty ambi- tions. So, did the winne rs match up? Given some of the remarks I heard on the Croiset te af ter the show, maybe not. I think there was a col- lective sense that the ultimate win- ners weren’ t quite as l ofty as the title suggests. But I think there’s a good reason for that: the decision was made, for the sake of brevity, that the original winning 5 minute case-histories be edited to 1 minute films for the stage show. In retro- spect, I think this was a big mistake. Sure, it made the show go faster, but I think it also diluted a lot of the great thinking that seduced the jury in the first place. Titanium is, mor e t han an y ot her cat eg or y, about the depth of the idea. I think the missing 4 minutes lost a lot of that str etc h and pe rspec ti ve. A shame, because I think the winner (Burger King XBox Games) made for a very impressive story about cr ea ting, not jus t a new medi a channel for the cl ient, but more importantly for all of us wondering where the hell our business is going, a n ew r even ue chan nel for t he agency. Check out the full v ersion. You can’t be unimpressed by the sheer depth of work involved, or the ultimate success achieved. While I do love it, for me personally, I thought it was a real shame that the decision was made not to open the Grand Prix up to publ ic service work, as I think ‘Earth Hour’ from Leo Burnett, Sydney and particu- lar ly ‘The T ap P roj ect ’ fr om Droga’s boys in NY was really pow- erful stuff that deserved to be con- sidered for the big prize. I argued the inclusion of public service and so did [@radical.media’s ] John Kamen. For us, Titanium Grand Prix should represent the best big idea in the world that year - not the best ‘non public service’ idea. The rest of the jury, along with Terry Savage, didn’t agree, and c’est la vie. As for another popular con- tender, Nike+, like I said, at the end of the day, we were all wowed by the bravado of the product idea, but a little let down by the individ- ual elements, part icularly the tv. That said, it rightfully scored a lion. Would I do it again? You bet. Compared to judging the more tra- ditional categories, Titanium stands out as 3 days when you stop and re- evaluate everything you do. The jury was pretty speci al too. John Kamen , Mark Tutss el, Chu cky McBride and of course Alex, to name but a few. Everyone had their say, and while the debate was pas- sionate, we left on time, as friends and in one piece. Which, let’s face it, is more than you can say for my fucking luggage. (Nobby is back in Sydney wearing Mike O’Sullivan’s tangerine blouse.) JU L Y /AUGUST 2 007 FILM JURY MIKE O’SULLIVAN SAATCHI & SAATCHI AUCKLAND started wandering around the room, guiltily a voiding the g aze of ot her equally bored jurors. Then the next commer cial would star t and it would be the same ad again. Only in Polish. At t he e nd of e ach v iewing, we scored the ad on our Palm Pilots. I began aw arding p oints b ased o n how little an ad irritated me. And so my week went on. At lunchtime we’d press our cold, air-conditioned noses up against the Palai s windows a nd t ake i n t he view. Be autiful bea ches, spark ling ocean and sunny, sunny days. That was Cannes. What I had were par- ties I w as too t ired to g o to, s tale baguettes, and French telly. By day four we had our shortlist. WHEN ASKED TO JUDGE THE FILM cat eg or y at the Can nes Inter - national Advertising festival, it’s an invitation you accept, whether you like it or not. The festival is the only truly global gathering of the creative communications community. It’s not just an honour to be part of the awards, it’s a lso important for New Zealand to be represented. So, back in June, I jumped on a plane and headed to the sunny Cote d’Azure. On our first night, the jury of 22 gathered for our briefing in a plush, seasi de restaurant. Every major contine nt was represented - we were the United Nations of adver- tising quaffing rosé i n the balmy evening air . Fina lly, t his was the glamour industry I’d heard so much about. It turned out that I was wrong. Very wrong. 8.30 Sunday morning, clutching coffees and shivering through our jet lag, we were ushered to the Palais. After yet another briefing we were broken into three groups and assigned a small, darkened room. A huge screen lit up the seven small tables , seven notepads a nd seven Palm Pilots. From the shadows, a very French girl barked, “Cars and Automotive, 361 commercials to view, running time of three hours, 22 minutes. Begin.” By commercial 52 I could have writte n a book calle d ‘How To Make A Car Ad’. Cue cool Euro soundtrack, open on a windy road, cut to shots of the car swerving ele- gantly from every angle, cut to the logo with a generic, yet inspiring, voi ceover : ‘T he n ew P ont iac Cyclone. Designed to be driven’ or ‘Engine ered for the road’. In my head I’d scream, “of course it’s designed to be driven. It’s a f-ing car!” By ad number 230, the pain was really setting in. You could tell if a commer cial was rubbish or not within the fi rst 15 seconds, by which time my eyes woul d have Al l 2 2 of u s moved i nto o ne big room, ea ch sta ring wearily a t the other. Again the l ights went down, the sc ree n l it up a nd t he P alm Pilots started beeping. By Fr iday, we h ad watched t he shortlist twice and a warded metal to each piece of work: 13 Gold, 18 Silver an d 4 0 s omething Br onze. Then it wa s tim e for t he Gr and Prix, th e TV c ommercial o f t he year . Beating thr ee other con - tender s ( Sony Bravia ‘Paint’, Epuron ‘Window’, Nike ‘Pretty’), the b ig o ne was aw ard t o Dove ‘Evolution’. On Saturday morning c ame t he most t errifying ex perience o f my life: the Press Conference. Facing more than 150 journalists from a round t he wo rld, w e sat dumbfounded b ehind a trillion microphones. In little New Zealand you fo rget how big and important the global advertising industry is. Ad A ge, Bl ombe rg, C NBC, t hey were all there. Cameras were rolling and questions f lowed. I w as inter- viewe d by five di fferent pub lica- tions, on e of w hich t ranslated me into Chinese. We headed out to the suns hine like b attle weary s oldiers. If y ou ever wa nt to trul y a ppreci ate the outdoors, shu t yo urself in a ro om for a week. On r eading t his y ou p robably think I had a terrible time. Hell no! Yes, as a human b eing, i t was a di fficult , t ime c onsuming week. But as an ad guy, it was one of the most enjoyable creative experiences ever. In this sho rt period I made so me good mates, e xperienced a t rue United Nations g ather ing a nd learned more about t elevision than I’d thought possible. After 4,774 ads I learned that the mockumentary i s s till a live a nd well, s imple universal t ruths work best, and to be wary of reprises. If you ’re ev er as ked t o ju dge, jump at it. It’ll be the most miserably brilliant time you’ll ever have. CAM PA IGN B R I E F 25
September October 2007
May June 2007