JOHN MCGEE

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

IN three weeks’ time, a large posse of Ir­ish mar­keters and ad agency folk will de­scend upon the beau­ti­ful French city of Cannes for what is seen by many within the wider mar­ket­ing world as the big­gest and most im­por­tant awards pro­gramme in the world. Dubbed the Os­cars of the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try, the Cannes Lions Fes­ti­val of Cre­ativ­ity cel­e­brates the very best creative ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing in the world and over 40,000 peo­ple will make the an­nual pil­grim­age to what ef­fec­tively draws the cur­tains on the an­nual awards sea­son.

While the awards take cen­tre stage, the week­long fes­ti­val also in­cludes a stel­lar line-up of guest speak­ers and celebri­ties drawn mainly from ad­ver­tis­ing, the arts and busi­ness. This year’s line-up, for ex­am­ple, in­cludes Dame He­len Mir­ren, Ali­cia Sil­ver­stone, Ian Mck­ellen and Face­book’s Sh­eryl Sand­berg.

The Dublin-based agency Rothco and its sis­ter agency Guns or Knives, mean­while, will fly the Ir­ish flag by de­liv­er­ing a work­shop while the for­mer will take to the stage to talk about its work for AIB’S The Tough­est, the bank’s creative con­tent ini­tia­tive that sup­ports its GAA spon­sor­ship.

This year, the Ir­ish del­e­ga­tion will also in­clude seven teams of young cre­atives and mar­keters, all un­der the age of 30 who will take part in the Cannes Young Lions, an awards pro­gramme aimed at a younger in­dus­try co­hort. Thanks to spon­sor­ship from sev­eral com­pa­nies like Core Me­dia, Shut­ter­stock, Wide Eye Me­dia and In­de­pen­dent News & Me­dia, pub­lisher of this news­pa­per, th­ese bright young things will get a first-hand glimpse of the best ad­ver­tis­ing in the world and hope­fully be in­spired by the creative think­ing and strate­gies that will flow as freely as the cold beers and rosé wine.

If ever there was a time in the his­tory of ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing when a true un­der­stand­ing of the power of cre­ativ­ity was needed, that time is now.

It was the Amer­i­can ad­ver­tis­ing legend Bill Bern­bach, the co-founder of Doyle Dane Bern­bach (DDB) who said that “if your ad­ver­tis­ing goes un­no­ticed, ev­ery­thing else is aca­demic”. And while he be­lieved pas­sion­ately in the power of cre­ativ­ity, his opin­ion wasn’t backed up by any ev­i­dence, em­pir­i­cal or oth­er­wise. It was just a deep-rooted hunch and per­haps an in­sight into the hu­man psy­che. It was years later after Bern- Con­tact John Mcgee at john@ad­world.ie

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