Cannes 2010

Global Creatives Comment on Cannes

Tom Eslinger, John Hegarty, Marcello Serpa, Madhu Noorani Discuss Their Favorites at This Year's Competition

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TOM ESLINGER

WORLDWIDE DIGITAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR, SAATCHI & SAATCHI, LONDON AND SINGAPORE

Ad Age: What campaign is likely to do well at Cannes?

Mr. Eslinger: My Cannes experience has been on Cyber and Titanium juries, so I have goggles set on simple, connecting and Wow! Ideas like Monopoly [City Streets from Tribal DDB] played out on Google Maps, the Boone Oakley [YouTube] agency site, Ikea [Facebook] Showroom and cool augmented stuff like BMW [Expressions of Joy] Z4 all have those qualities. When I first served on Cannes juries, anything from Absolut and Nike seemed to be pre-printed in the shortlists. Now, Uniqlo looks to be taking over the Absolut spot with consistent work like Calendar and Lucky Switch.

Ad Age: What's the best use of social media you've seen in the last year?

Mr. Eslinger: I really like Nokia's World's Biggest Signpost (no more Farfar, sniffle) because it was simple and happened in the real world, making ripples through relevant media online and mobile -- and was way weird and wonderful. I love We Choose the Moon (from The Martin Agency to commemorate the first landing on the moon) which made Twitter feel warm and immediate and re-awakened inner little kids all over the world.

Ad Age: Which region or country most impresses you right now?

Mr. Eslinger: I've been lucky enough to have spent time in China over the last few years and have watched the work move rapidly into multilayered ideas like recent stuff from there for Adidas and our Beijing office's work for HP. Years ago, I jabbered on and on about how mobile from Asia was going to blow peoples' minds but surprisingly I'm still waiting for the jaw-and-phone-dropping work to match the gnarly hardware.

CANNES PREDICTIONS: Simple, connecting ideas such as Ikea's Facebook Showroom will fare well, says Mr. Eslinger.
CANNES PREDICTIONS: Simple, connecting ideas such as Ikea's Facebook Showroom will fare well, says Mr. Eslinger.
Ad Age: What would you like to see less -- or none -- of?

Mr. Eslinger: Technical tricks posing as ideas. The challenge is to pick out the hits from all that random noise that's blasting out at full volume. I can only imagine how many smartphone apps, Twitter-y things and augmented reality one-hit wonders are lined up in the judging jukebox waiting for a spin.

Ad Age: What's the biggest challenge you face?

Mr. Eslinger: The challenge when you work neck-deep in "digital stuff" is to find your place in the overall process and to spread the way you think into every bit of the core idea. Screens are the connective tissue in our work now and our job is to hook them all together. The challenge is getting our teams and clients to see us all, regardless of how we self-identify -- media, agency, all of the pieces in the puzzle -- as an ecosystem around their brand's ideas.

MARCELLO SERPA

PARTNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ALMAP BBDO, SAO PAULO

Ad Age: What campaign do you think will do well at Cannes?

Mr. Serpa: The first is overwhelmingly the Nike campaign "Write the Future." It's got so many small ideas that they explore. And it's the World Cup!

Ad Age: What's the best use of social media you've seen?

Mr. Serpa: "Dulux Walls" from Euro RSCG London about painting the world -- [ordinary] people paint different parts of different cities. It's a simple idea but an ambitious project.

Ad Age: Name some favorite campaigns from your region.

Mr. Serpa: BBDO Argentina's Pecsi, when they changed the name of the brand because that's how Argentines pronounce Pepsi. I like the work from Ogilvy Brasil for Whopper Face [where peoples' photos are taken as they order at Burger King and are stamped on their food].

Ad Age: What would you like to see less -- or none -- of?

FROM THE STADIUM TO SPRINGFIELD: Nike's 'Write the Future' Cup spot.
FROM THE STADIUM TO SPRINGFIELD: Nike's 'Write the Future' Cup spot.
Mr. Serpa: Flash mobs! I'm fed up with flash mobs. I'd like them to disappear.

And less small films selling someone's ideas to the judges. They've become an industry in themselves. Agencies are creating work to speak for their work. It's quite weird.

Ad Age: What's your biggest challenge?

Mr. Serpa: We have a huge amount of people coming up into the middle class. Trying to find language that speaks to all the different classes in Brazil and unite everybody is almost impossible. And to be creative at the same time.

JOHN HEGARTY

WORLDWIDE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, BARTLE BOGLE HEGARTY, LONDON

Ad Age: What's the best use of social media you've seen in the last year?

I personally haven't seen anything to match Burger King's "Whopper sacrifice" promotion on Facebook. I've seen lots of good, well-executed thoughts like the Ikea [Facebook photo tag by Forsman & Bodenfors in Sweden] campaign. Or the "We are all fans for the Grammys" or even the Nike "Chalk-Bot" campaign for the Tour de France. But has anyone rushed into my office with an idea that makes me sick with envy? No.

Ad Age: Which region or country most impresses you right now?

Mr. Hegarty: Sweden constantly turns out interesting creative people, with a grasp of technology and an appreciation of what an idea is.

Ad Age: What would you like to see less -- or none -- of?

Mr. Hegarty: The continuing spat between traditional and digital agencies. Get over it and start collaborating. And remember technology isn't an idea. Understanding how it can dramatize, liberate and expand creativity is important to appreciate. But we must remember it's ideas that change the world.

Ad Age: What was the most exciting work from your country?

WHOPPER OF AN IDEA: 'I personally haven't seen anything to match Burger King's 'Whopper Sacrifice.'
WHOPPER OF AN IDEA: 'I personally haven't seen anything to match Burger King's 'Whopper Sacrifice.'
Mr. Hegarty: One of the best pieces of work was the John Lewis commercial for this famous British department store. A superb demonstration of the power of TV. A medium that has been somewhat overlooked. But a medium that is able, more than any other, to capture the emotions that drive a brand and, of course, sales.

Ad Age: What is your biggest challenge?

Mr. Hegarty: Getting clients to understand how to stitch their communication program together. How to create work that their audience genuinely wants to engage with. And to understand that it's now a conversation, not a lecture. Despite clients complaining about agencies not getting the digital agenda, I think it's clients not getting the new world of engagement. I've always thought corporations were about 10 years behind their potential audiences. Today it's a problem if you're 10 months behind.

MADHU NOORANI

CHIEF CREATIVE PLANNER, LOWE INDIA, MUMBAI

Ad Age: What campaign is likely to do well at Cannes?

Ms. Noorani: The Old Spice campaign ... because it made boring fun. I love how they've gotten to the heart of what the brand stands for and used them for today's context ... and because it makes Axe look so silly.

Ad Age: What's the best use of social media you've seen in the last year?

Ms. Noorani: Take a look at the "pink chaddi" campaign [a funny cause-based campaign launched by India's Bangalore-based Alternative Law Forum to protest moral policing of Indian women by Sri Ram Sena].

Ad Age: What was the most exciting work from your country?

MEET THE ZOOZOOS: Vodafone characters have been a hit in India.
MEET THE ZOOZOOS: Vodafone characters have been a hit in India.
Ms. Noorani: Vodafone's work, because I think the zoozoos are delightful and endearing characters. I love their body language, and the execution is simple and inexpensive, which means they can literally do a spot for every feature and add-on they offer. People look forward to seeing what the zoozoos will do next. Execution aside, it's a fresh, clever way to say what everyone's saying, in a category where everyone offers the same thing at the same rates pretty much.

Ad Age: What's your biggest challenge?

Ms. Noorani: The unadventurous, uninspiring client who doesn't want to take any chances with his proposition, with the consumer, with his boss.

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