This year's Cannes will no doubt have many large agency meetings, where worldwide creative directors will request an increase in creativity from all their shops. At the same time, back at those very shops, hoards of loyal company employees are doing their best to undermine that very thought. I'll throw my personal plea in behind the creative directors and add that all the creative Johnnies in the world can't do it without great team support.
Enough preaching. How about a prediction or two? I predict that this year's Cannes will see some names do well. Like Danny Kleinman of Spectre, who directed the John West salmon "Bear Fight" spot, and Harry Nash with Fallon's Buddy Lee Campaign. My most serious prediction is that we will witness the final stage in the march of, or should I say pull of, Traktor. These guys are the fiercest of competitors, the doyens of creators and the nicest of people. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for continuing to make great ideas even greater. I personally await the Mike's Lemonade campaign, from Cliff Freeman &_Partners, with eager anticipation. Freeman creative director Eric Silver and the Traktor combo - phew! Hopefully, this will be the final piece of silverware that has thus far eluded their already overflowing trophy room. Also, it goes to show that nice guys don't always have to come in last.
jim ferguson President/Chief Creative Officer, Young & Rubicam/N.Y.
My biggest prediction: Fun will be had by all. And lots of champagne will be drunk. Illegitimate babies will be made. Chances are there'll be a paternity suit somewhere down the line. And some guy from the Netherlands will take all his clothes off and run into the water. That always happens during the DDB party. You'll look out there at a fancy party and you'll hear "Aaaah!" and it's a naked Dutchman.
The things I love most about Cannes are the surprises. There's going to be stuff like "Whassup," where you just know from the second you see it - you get that feeling in your stomach that they've hit it big. But my stomach hasn't churned lately. I think Fox Sports will do well, especially the spots with the fighting in the Middle East and the cliff diving. The VW work from around the world is usually very good, but we don't see it so it's hard to predict. I think that the new Budweiser spot with the white guys asking "What are you doing?" will play well. Last year, "Whassup" was a done deal from the time it came on the air, but usually something pops up unexpectedly. The year before, it was The Independent newspaper campaign from the U.K. My prediction for the Grand Prix for this year, without having seen all the international work, is the Nike basketball choreography. There's something about this that elevates advertising to an art form again. There's a hole in my ceiling from where I jumped out of my seat the first time I saw it, saying "Goddamn, I wish we had done that!"
Bob scarpelli Vice Chairman, DDB/Chicago
Well, I may have been paying too much attention to our own work and airline schedules this past year, but I haven't seen one particular piece of work that I can point to and say, "Hey, polish up the statue, we're turning over the Grand Prix to them!" And I haven't heard a groundswell of support for anything like we were fortunate to experience for our Budweiser "Whassup?" campaign both here and in Cannes last year. Having said all that, here are some things I think can, and should, bring home the Gold. Wieden & Kennedy's ultra-choreographed and sound-designed Nike basketball spot is mesmerizing. And it doesn't even need a translation for the judges. A sure winner. I think Bartle Bogle Hegarty's "You're a Family if you Have Dinner Together" campaign for Lipton's Sizzle & Stir has a chance. It's very fresh and surprising, and it's such an insightful idea, it should win. Having judged the Savory Foods category at Cannes, however, I can tell you it won't be easy to slog through that preliminary round.
I'm not sure which spots are eligible this year, but Cliff Freeman's work for Fox Sports, especially the ones that show those bizarre foreign sporting events to communicate that Fox specializes in covering local sports you're actually interested in, are hysterical. A really good idea, too. The judges and the audience at Cannes like funny stuff. Humor cuts across language and cultural boundaries. This campaign has everything going for it. So does Cliff Freeman's Fox Sports NBA campaign starring Alan and Jerome, the NBA wannabes. I don't know if all the judges will get it, but it's a great campaign. If the judges understand the references, Goodby's E*Trade monkey spot that spoofs the Pets.com sock puppet, among other things, is a definite winner. Fallon's PBS campaign is wonderful and will win in the Public Service category, if they enter it. And Arnold's Volkswagen work always does well. This year's Passat campaign, in particular, should win. I also very much like Neil French's work out of Ogilvy in Singapore for Borders Books in the Press & Poster category. They do what a print ad is supposed to do: they really make you want to read them.
Finally, I know I'm not supposed to tout our own work, but I think a few of our Budweiser and Bud Light spots have a chance again this year, particularly our "Whassup?" spoofs. In "Language Tape," you can learn to say "Whassup?" in 27 different languages. In "Come Home," even aliens get into the act.
I also wish Cannes included radio, because I think our Bud Light "Heroes" radio campaign, which has won everywhere else, would clean up. I'm sure there are plenty of other winners that I'm overlooking, and I know there'll be a few surprises. We'll have to wait until June to see how wrong I am. Right now, I have to catch a plane.
Tim Smith Executive VP-Chief Strategic Officer, Red Sky Interactive, S.F.
I don't expect any dramatic developments in the new-media industry, largely because the main catalyst for change - broadband - hasn't yet occurred. Since the industry remains in what I call the "middleband" space, most designers still rely largely on HTML and incremental plug-ins like Flash, simply because that's what most people have available.
It will be interesting to see what effects the market correction has on creativity. If companies begin leaning toward conservatism, will they compromise creativity? If so, we may see an increased focus on practical, safe deployments of messaging.
On the other hand, the shakeout may produce some truly innovative work. It's the old wheat-from-the-chaff argument. Maybe the industry will realize that good print design does not get the job done anymore, particularly with a public so willing to ignore advertising.
Hal Curtis Creative Director, Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
I don't know if it's because of the strike or the dot-com collapse or the presidential election, but there seems to be a shortage of great work this year.
There's certainly great work out there: Discovery.com, Volkswagen, Guinness, and E*Trade. I_really like Eric Silver's work for the NBA on Fox with the two kids superimposed on game footage. I like the Levi's karaoke campaign from TBWA Chiat/Day and there's also good Levi's work from BBH in London, led by the "Twisted" spot. It's been kind of a tough year, though; nothing rocketed to the top. There just doesn't seem to be the same volume of work. Hard to say how that will impact Cannes.
I do know that if you win, the trophies are really expensive. And a little over the top. I liked the old ones that came in the little velvet box much better.