Nike’s Lions streak continues, Quibi’s $100M ad haul, Nix gets nixed: Cannes Nightcap Day Three
As Day Three of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity winds down, we’re going to take a moment to dis Day One and Day Two, which in retrospect seemed rather sleepy (beyond some announcements of some high-profile Lions wins).
But Day Three!—Day Three was $$$$. Mainly because it kicked off with Quibi cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman taking the stage at the Palais Wednesday morning to announce that their short-video service has already booked $100 million in advertising leading up its planned launch next April.
Joining them on stage in their victory lap was one of their most powerful patrons: Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble—and it turns out Quibi has also secured ad commitments from Anheuser-Busch InBev, Google, PepsiCo, Progressive and Walmart. Jeanine Poggi reports that the combined $100 million haul from those brands puts Quibi two-thirds of the way toward its $150 million first-year ad goal.
I’m your Venus
Another thing that made Day Three at least three times better than the last two days: Ad Age’s annual Cannes Lawn Party, which sources (us) insist is hands-down the best fête in town so far this year. We’re pulling together a slideshow of some of the hundreds of VIPs (e.g., Wendy Clark, Arthur Sadoun, Tim Leake) who shuffled onto the verdant expanse in front of Le Grand Hotel—always a merciful escape from the blazing sun—starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the party's guest of honor, Arnel Villanueva of BBDO Guerrero Manila, the winner of Ad Age’s 10th Annual Young Creative Cover Contest, in Ad Age Editor Brian Braiker’s “Why an ancient Venus figure is our Cannes cover girl.”
“Nike has scored another big Grand Prix win, this time in Media, for its ‘Air Max Graffiti Store’ campaign—which found new ways to fuse tech with creative while also tapping into Brazil’s niche graffiti culture to boost sales,” George P. Slefo reports. (On Tuesday, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” work featuring Colin Kaepernick scored the inaugural Grand Prix in the new Entertainment for Sport Lions, adding to the Outdoor Grand Prix the campaign snagged on Monday.)
And “Burger King’s ‘Whopper Detour,’ which directed McDonald’s customers to the nearest Burger King with the promise of a sandwich for a penny, won the Direct Grand Prix, as well as two Gold Lions in the category,” I-Hsien Sherwood reports of the campaign out of FCB New York that cunningly deployed BK’s mobile app and McDonald’s-detecting geofencing.
The first big Cannes controversy has already fizzled out
Alexander Nix, founder and CEO of the now-defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica, announced today that he’s backing out of a Thursday panel at Cannes, after assorted protests; Nix was slated to be interviewed by Gillian Tett of the Financial Times. More details here.
The disgraced Nix was an odd “get” for the festival to begin with, given how radioactive he and his former firm became in the wake of some grotesque revelations about the company's tactics thanks to some undercover reporting by Britain’s Channel 4 (e.g., as The Washington Post summed up in March 2018, “Cambridge Analytica CEO appears to talk about using bribes and sex workers to sway elections on secretly recorded news video”). Try, try again, Alexander. Maybe CES will take you. Or SXSW. Or the Coney Island Circus Sideshow.
Are the French punking us?, Cannes edition
I-Hsien Sherwood serves up this tale relayed by an undercaffeinated festival attendee: “I went to a coffee shop and ordered a café au lait. After some confusion, the barista left and returned with an ice cream. I tried to explain that I just wanted a coffee with some milk in it. He seemed to understand, took the ice cream, and came back with another scoop on top. I gave up and took it. It wasn’t very good.”
How do you say “shrug emoji” en français?
Even more roar
FCB/Six Toronto’s “Go Back to Africa” initiative for Black & Abroad won the Creative Data Grand Prix today, while Sweden-based Forsman & Bodenfors took home the Creative Strategy Grand Prix for Volvo’s “The E.V.A. Initiative,” also per George.
“The Tampon Book: A Book Against Tax Discrimination” snagged the PR Grand Prix today. “To circumvent Germany’s 19 percent luxury tax on feminine hygiene products, The Female Company packaged 15 organic tampons inside a 46-page book, which was taxed at the lower 7 percent rate for daily necessities,” I-Hsien writes of the project out of Scholz & Friends in Berlin.
And “‘Keeping Fortnite Fresh,’ Wendy’s in-game demonstration of the evils of frozen beef, won the Social & Influencer Grand Prix today, narrowly beating out Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy,’ which has been the darling of this year’s show,” also per I-Hsien.
Keep your eyes on the prize(s)
Here’s today’s reminder to keep checking “Cannes Lions 2019: Grand Prix winners,” our gallery of the brands and agencies making the big hauls. We’ll be updating it throughout the day, every day, this week.
As Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse reported last week as part of our Cannes preview coverage, “The number of brands participating in the content portion of the festival (speaker sessions, massive beach takeovers, etc.) increased to 102 this year from 85 in 2018 and 57 in 2017,” with direct-to-consumer brands making a particularly strong showing. On the ground in Cannes, Ad Age’s Jack Neff says he’s been hearing rumblings of interest—serious interest—in forming a d-to-c industry association. Stay tuned for more on that.
Some stunning news (at least according to the Daily Mail) from Cannes: a celebrity wore a nice dress!
That fawning take has us suddenly realizing that Cannes somehow seems less celebrity-infested than in years past. Like, we haven’t even run into Ryan Seacrest yet this year. Should we be concerned?
P.S. Ad Age’s Cannes editorial team—this year it’s Ann-Christine Diaz, Alexandra Jardine, Jack Neff, Alfred Maskeroni, Lindsay Rittenhouse, I-Hsien Sherwood, Max Sternlicht and George P. Slefo—is on duty to provide you with wall-to-wall coverage of the marketing world’s annual sun-drenched celebration of (professional) thirst. To find all of their coverage, visit our Cannes Lions 2019 page.