OK, technically this a different coast: not on the English Channel but on the Riviera, not GIs getting shelled but CDs getting bombed. That doesn't mean sacrifices aren't being made.
While the delegates to the International Advertising Film Festival don't have to risk everything in the cause of freedom, the Allies didn't have to watch any Brazilian condom commercials.
Good thing. Had those brave invaders known they were saving the world for TV conversations between a man and his penis, they may have turned back at the Channel Islands.
Yes, on the Cote d'Azur, it's the annual pilgrimage over the top: from Brazil, genital ventriloquism; from Finland, a woman smearing herself with margarine; from Brazil again, nuns doing the cancan. Only as Cannes can.
And that's just a preview, from the reel assembled each year by Leo Burnett Co.'s irrepressible Donald Gunn.
By the time a few days have passed in the screening rooms, kick-dancing nuns will look like a tearjearker. But then, of course, so too will there be delights:
A McDonald's Corp. spot from Burnett, Chicago, featuring a baby on a swing, always smiling on the way up, where he can see the Golden Arches through a window, and then always fussing on the way down.
"Good vs. Evil," for Nike from Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam. Astonishing production values in a soccer match pitting an international all-star team against a squad of underworldly opponents.
"Le Jardin Des Delices" for L'Air du Temps, from Opera/RLC, Paris. A typically lush, erotic, perverse screen fantasy by director Tony Kaye, featuring the usual Kaye cast of mutants and weirdos, yet somehow still tantalizing and evocative.
And then there is the Rolo candy spot, the stupid and pointless and wonderful Rolo spot from Lintas, Amsterdam, for Nestle.
(Not the stupid and wonderful Rolo spot about the young man in the movie theater, who offers his last Rolo to the pleasant-looking young woman next to him moments before an incredible bare-midriffed babe takes the seat on his other side, whereupon he puts his arm around the first girl and tries to wrestle the candy right out of her mouth.)
No, the true Rolo treasure begins with dated 8mm footage of a dorky little kid in an argyle sweater watching a circus parade. When a baby elephant marches by, the kid offers it his last candy, which little Dumbo reaches for with his trunk.
But the brat instead snatches the sweet away and then swallows it himself.
Next shot: the present, where a grown man in an identical sweater also watches a circus parade. The punchline is 7 seconds away, but you're laughing already.
You know he's the brat, grown up, about to be swatted by a grown-up Dumbo-and indeed it happens-and it's hilarious all the way.
Doesn't matter that you can see it coming. Doesn't matter that this has nothing to do with chocolate-covered caramels. Doesn't matter that it's yet another elephant commercial (joining Diet Coke, Snickers and a pachy others).
What matters is that an elephant never forgets. And, having seen this-even though it doesn't have the ultimate significance of say D-Day, or anything else of import-where Rolo is concerned, neither will you.