One Freak of an Awards Show in Coney Island

The Wrath of Cannes Promises Big Ideas, Clean Bathrooms

By Published on .

Recession woes mean your can't afford the flight to Cannes next month? No need to sulk. While big shots and fancy pants swarm the French Riviera for the biggest ad awards show of the year, Madison Ave. rejects can just hop on the subway to Cha Cha's on the boardwalk, where attendees are encouraged to "stay in tightly packed groups, don't wave money around and please do not go home alone."

New York indie agency Woods Witt Dealy & Sons is back with its anti-Cannes awards bash, Wrath of Cannes. After making its debut last year, the gang is taking the event to new and freakish heights, with the help of client sponsors such as IRO Bicycle and Butternuts Beer & Ale.

The silliness is slated to go down at Cha Cha's Club Atlantis in Coney Island on June 19 -- smack dab in the middle of the real deal, the Cannes Lions 2008 International adfest, now in its 55th year, taking place between June 15 and June 21.

WWD&S -- which opened its doors three years ago in Midtown Manhattan and works with marketers such as Hickory Farms, the Sundance Channel and New York Newsday -- isn't even trying to hide the fact that its hateration was born entirely out of jealousy, that the staffers really do want to don linen shirts and swill wine on Croisette with the rest of the uppercrust ad crowd (which, ahem, will include yours truly this year...sorry guys).

Says the website: "Is the 'Wrath of Cannes' a bitter response to the self congratulating, glad handing, marble bag wearing, Dom swilling, bronzer slathered soirees that fester up on the beach in Cannes? Quite obviously, yes. These are the very parties we would be attending were we finalists or had we an invitation."

The event promises to be everything Cannes isn't. There's no call for entries, no fees, and lack of experience is encouraged; the contest is only open to creatives with two years paid experience or less, including interns and recent graduates. Instead of never-ending reels of print executions and 60-second spots, submissions are restricted to "one great idea," offered on a thumb drive. Forget days-on-end of award presentations in abajillion different categories. At "Wrath of Cannes," all entries will be judged in real time. Oh and no "Grand Prix" or handsome Gold Silver and Bronze lions here; the winner -- and there will only be one -- will take home "The Grand Coney" a glorious statute of a man with his head up his own ass (damn funny, we think).

Also, the winner will receive an IRO bicycle.
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