Cyber Rattling

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In about 24 hours, the Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals will throb.

In fact, for the Grand Prize forTV commercials (or, as they call it here, "film.") the scene will be total throbosity. Once there are no more seats for all the hipsters in their studiously scruffy shirts hanging over their $200 faux scruffy jeans, the overflow be shunted into two adjoining halls, where 3000 souls will do what their target audiences increasingly don't bother with:

That is: watch the ads on TV

As we know, audiences are fragmenting and in some cases -- such as American network TV -- fleeing en masse. As we also know, 70% of those with the technology to defeet commercials (TiVo, etc) do so. And as we all should know, but which many of the artistes here don't seem to grasp, is that the whole model of mass marketing-sponsored mass media is at this very moment collapsing of its own weight.

Yes, the Gold Lions will duly honor the world's best commercials, but this exercise is increasingly like honoring the world's best carburetors.

This won't affect attendence, however -- anymore than it affected attendence for the combined print and cyber awards, for which the auditorium was...well, let's just say sitting-room only.

This has partly to do with the fact that watching highly produced itsy-bitsy movies is a lot more fun than watching still images and awkwardly patched together approximations of web experiences. But it has more to do with how emotionally and financially invested this crowd is in the 30-second spot. Sure there are seminars here out the wazoo on the Brave New World. but it all seems more like lip service than client service.

Obviously, revolution is not an orderly enterprise. Instinct tells you to carry on with the status quo until the mobs break down your door. But common sense dictates have an escape route all mapped out and provisions for a long, arduous journey. What they have here is suntans and hangovers. Next: the cyber winners
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