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The Official Unofficial Cannes Predictions 2014



The film festival is over. The porn film festival is over. Which means the beleaguered residents of Cannes can get ready for the ad festival.

Surely the ad festival should come before the porn festival ? Pun intended.

I wonder if the ECD’s of the world’s best agencies realise that they are unpacking their Tumi luggage in a room previously occupied by people who fling around body fluids with the abandon of, well, porn stars at a convention.

David Hasselhoff, who strangely enough has never been filmed having sex, will open this year’s festival. He will be the first in a long line of seemingly irrelevant celebrities lending their name to client and agency sponsored seminars.

The Hof will be talking about “Remaining relevant”, which is something he is clearly struggling to do considering he’s now speaking at a weird French ad festival.

OK, here we go, the one, the only, Official Unofficial Cannes Predictions for 2014.

1/ 2014 is a World Cup Year. This means, despite spending thousands of agency euro’s travelling halfway across the earth, most ECD’s won’t attend Cannes. They will instead watch football in Morrison’s, the Irish bar opposite the Palais de Festivals. They will, however, occasionally toddle across the road to the Palais and wander around the Shortlist exhibitions, but only so they can tell people at half time how “crap the work is this year”.

2/ Those people not interested in the Football World Cup (The 3 female ECD’s in the world, conscientious Japanese ad people) will be able to watch some cracking talks. Aaron Sorkin, the best TV writer of all time, will chat about storytelling. Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Dreamworks guy, will be hosted by Youtube in their seminar. Sarah Jessica Parker will talk in a ditzy, nasal, Californian accent about “Fashion, Sex and Celebrity”. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook will make us all feel dumb and like we haven’t achieved nearly enough and make us all lean slightly forward for the rest of the week.

3/ The best work will, very early in the week, begin to win everything. “The sound of Honda”, the magnificent, haunting audio recreation of Ayrton Senna’s record breaking lap in the 1989 Grand Prix at Suzuka, will be the big winner for the first half of the week. I see no reason why it won’t win Grand Prix in Outdoor, Direct, Promo and Activation and maybe even PR. The rest of the week will see the equally brilliant “Epic Splits” work for Volvo Trucks, featuring Jean Claude Van Damme, winning everything in sight. It will win the Film Grand Prix going away, probably Cyber too. I predict confidently that the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival will end with Jean Claude himself holding the Film Grand Prix aloft in the Palais. You read it here.

4/ Most people will take Thursday off. This is because Thursday is officially designated “Brazil Day” at the Festival. The program appears to consist largely of Brazilians talking about themselves and how wonderful they are. This is of course exactly what Brazilians do all the time, so nothing to see there then.

5/ This year’s hotly contested new category, the “Innovation Lions”, will be wildly celebrated. This new category is for agencies who actually manage to “make something”, like, a product or a gizmo or an App or a print ad that turns into a library and solves illiteracy in Africa. Quite why we need this category is beyond me, considering that right now agencies are struggling to make the stuff they’re actually meant to make – commercials, money – stuff like that.

6/ Your ECD will return from Cannes bleary-eyed with stories he gathered from buddies of his who were on the juries. The general gist will be “we got fucked over” by the Brazilian/Ukrainian/Australian/UK judge.

You will ask him questions about some of the talks, the standard answer will be that he “didn’t go to that one”. He may also remark that Cannes is “actually quite hard work” because there are “lots of meetings and clients and global stuff” happening. This statement is made despite the evidence of photos on Facebook of him photobombing Droga at the Gutter Bar, getting drunk during the day on a boat with Swedish people, and eating large platters of seafood with recruiters from Dubai. He will then say something about how it would be great “to send more people next year”. This will never ever happen.

So there we have it. You hardly have to go do you ? Cannes can come to you, especially if you hop straight from these predictions to the regular, soon-to-be-published sardonic updates from our “Mannes in Cannes.”

Best of luck to all the SA contenders this year, I hope we surprise ourselves again and do OK. I’m afraid the notion that South Africa “punches above its weight” at Cannes is just not true anymore. It’s become very, very difficult to win, despite the categories multiplying faster than Viagra crazed rabbits.

Votre mère sent baies de sureau.

Au revoir.

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