Adam Ferrier Reports From The Cannes Frontline

Adam Ferrier Reports From The Cannes Frontline

Australian adland’s favourite sage, scallywag and contrarian, Thinkerbell’s Adam Ferrier, is currently taking in all that Cannes’ creative festival has to offer. Here’s his musings around what he has discovered over the event’s opening couple of days…

A few years ago one of the most absurd ideas I have ever seen won big at the Cannes Lions. It was a Coke vending machine set up on the border of Pakistan and India that promoted world peace in some twisted technology enabled scam logic. Watch it below:

The idea served its purpose by winning gold, but the violence at the Kashmir border continues to this day. It was the first (I remember) of what I’d call “purpose scam ads” that dominated Cannes Lions for many years.

But this year feels different for two reasons.

One: First of all the work being shortlisted and awarded feels much more product and sales centric than it has in many years. The purpose scam ads are at a minimum and what seems to be being awarded is work with extreme creativity in the service of commerce. Which is wonderful to see.

Two: The second big trend I notice in 2022 is that although scam purpose ads are winning nothing, “purpose” seems to be front and centre – but in a more meaningful way. It’s no longer about the creative output, but instead looks to be much more about how we go about our business.

I can’t walk five feet without being reminded about how few black people own media entities (less than one per cent of media dollars spent in the world is returned to a black person), or that unconscious bias is impacting all of our marketing decisions.

I saw Ryan Reynolds’ talk today – but he was much more interested in talking about his  Creative Ladder initiative to get a more diverse and inclusive work force in advertising than he was his actual creative stuff.

Finally, I also saw a lot of fringe disruption with Greenpeace plastering the Cannes promenade with reminders that there will be no advertising on a dead planet. Further, the awards show the other night was interrupted with a protestor returning his Gold Lion after being disgusted with the industry. (Read B&T’s reporting of that  HERE.)

I love it!

The work is less hypocritical with less cynical appropriation of global issues. Yet, at the same time, it feels like there’s less talk and more walk from an industry that has such a significant impact on the world.

And now I’m off to enjoy a rosé over lunch!

 

 

 




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Adam Ferrier Cannes 2022

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