Graham Fink's Insights From Cannes Lions
The Cannes Lions 2015 Titanium & Integrated jury had a star-studded field sitting on the jury. China’s representative was one of the world’s most awarded creatives, Ogilvy & Mather’s Chief Creative Officer, Graham Fink. Campaign Brief Asia asked Fink to nominate the 5 best ideas he saw whilst judging and then his 5 best experiences from his week long time spent at the Festival.

The best idea I saw whilst judging, in fact the best idea I saw anywhere in the world this year, is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

If I had one idea as good as this in my whole life, I’d die happy.

Our jury unanimously awarded it the Grand Prix for Good and it was very moving when the entire audience rose to their feet on the final night to give it a 5-minute standing ovation.

My other 4 favourites were….

Salta Beer Tooth Implant.
In fact I have just asked my dentist if he can fit one for me. A trusty beer opener always at the ready, right there inside your mouth. What’s not to like? Definitely our most popular Titanium Lion winner, judging by the audience’s reaction on the night.

Samsung Truck.
A great, simple idea.  Solving problems and saving lives. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of these on our roads soon.

Abla Fahita.
This was name of the strange puppet that we gave a Titanium Lion to. The back-story is as twisted and bizarre as, well, an Egyptian bazaar. Originally the brainchild of two planners who gave birth to the character for a Vodafone ad, Abla suddenly became a massive hit and a brand in her own right. Next thing, she was hired to sell Coca-Cola and went on to make her own record and music video ( which was downloaded millions of times ). This in turn spawned a long running TV series making her the 2nd biggest star in Egypt. Of course with all that pressure, she opted to have plastic surgery (well documented) and then appeared in a porn film( not so well documented ). She was recently investigated for allegedly sending coded messages to terrorists (you can check this out online). Naturally, she has her own Wikipedia page.  For me this was definitely one of the most interesting pieces of work I saw.

Newcastle Brown Ale, ‘Band of Brands.’
When I saw this during the Superbowl, I just knew it would be a big winner at Cannes (view the TVC). A genius idea. Getting other brands to pay for their very expensive TV commercial. But this was in the integrated category so it went much further than the classic 30 second spot. Each piece of media adding to the story. Who says you need a big production budget to do something great?

My top 5 best experiences at the festival itself were:

GrahamFink_saatchi gang-thumb-300x225-190205
1.    I felt very honoured to be invited to sit on the Titanium and Integrated jury. I’ve been on a couple of Cannes juries before ( Film and Outdoor ) but this jury was by far the best I’ve ever sat on anywhere in the world. Just a small group of 10 people, gathered around a table discussing the work in perhaps greater depth than the other juries, as we had less case studies to see and a bit more time. Everyone seemed super-smart and made intelligent, insightful comments. The discussion, especially on the last two days, was a great learning experience. I wish it could have been filmed and shared.
2. Benjamin Palmer, co founder of the Barbarian Group and the man behind the Subservient Chicken creation for Burger King was sitting on our jury. Over the years, I’ve met him a few times and always love to hear his take on things. I guess we both like crazy shit, but Ben has a way of reframing it that makes you think about it in a new way. I reckon when he was young he was abducted by aliens who rewired his brain in this super intelligent way. Always an inspiration.
Sir Roger Moore signs CBs book-thumb-300x299-1902093. The Roger Moore lunch. About 40 minutes outside Cannes, in a beautiful picturesque town is the Colombe D’or. This is the famous restaurant and hotel where artists such as Chagall, Miro, Braque used to paint a picture in return for a meal or lodgings for a few nights. As you can imagine, over the years the art collection has grown into something really quite special. Even the art in the toilets is worth millions. Anyway, every year, my friend Simon Dicketts (who I worked with at M&C Saatchi), and I go there for lunch and do impressions of Roger Moore. I can’t remember exactly why or how this started, but the more we drink, the better ( we think ) we get.

One year, right in the middle of a monologue about Cubby Broccolli, Roger himself walks right past us. Works out he actually lives in a nearby village. I’d love to say he made some comment on our impressions, but he didn’t. We were shaken, but not stirred.

GrahamFink_robot-thumb-300x315-1902124. The robot.  On the final day I was walking towards the Palais de Festival when I saw a rather large woman sitting on a seat talking to a crowd of people. On closer inspection I thought it was a man dressed as a woman. She/he had a glazed look in her/his eye and then someone asked the woman a question. After a long pause the answer came, a strange voice with a hint of Stephen Hawking. It was then I realised it was a robot. A damn good one at that. This thing was eerie but looked pretty lifelike. It was then that some guy decided to give her a kiss and put his hand between her legs. Well this robot got the fright of its short life. Stuttered a few ‘that’s not nice’, before seemingly rebooting.  But you got the distinct feeling it won’t be long before the robots will be on stage picking up Lions. We’d better watch out.

5. On a personal note, it was nice to win some Lions of our own. A double Gold for our Visit Britain tourism campaign Great Chinese names for Great Britain’ coming out of the Ogilvy Beijing office. It’s been a tough year, but work like this makes it all worthwhile. Congratulations to everyone involved. 谢谢。
First Appeared on Campaignbrief Asia.

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