Abun­dant lessons

It’s our win­dow on the fu­ture

Finweek English Edition - - ADVERTISING & MARKETING -

AT­TEND­ING AN EVENT like Cannes gives South Africans the abil­ity to see into the fu­ture. What’s hap­pen­ing and on dis­play here and now at Cannes will be hap­pen­ing in SA next year. That means you can an­tic­i­pate the fu­ture and plan for it – though, of course, you still have to work out the tim­ing and the de­gree to which the South African re­sponse will be mod­i­fied.

The lessons of Cannes this year were abun­dant. Here are some: The re­ces­sion is over. Or is it? The num­bers of en­tries and of del­e­gates were at record lev­els, clearly in­di­cat­ing a re­turn of con­fi­dence. But WPP CE Sir Martin Sor­rell ex­pressed the fear that the world econ­omy is still frag­ile and vul­ner­a­ble to an un­ex­pected set­back. And while some coun­tries en­tered in record vol­umes, many of those in Europe cut back. Bri­tain, usu­ally a top win­ner of awards, trailed in with en­tries and wins both sub­stan­tially down. The East is on the rise. One in­di­ca­tor is the suc­cess of Far East­ern coun­tries in win­ning awards at Cannes. As they are wont to do, they have come, learned and con­quered. China won its first Grand Prix (in the press cat­e­gory) and Thai­land won two gold Lions in the same cat­e­gory. In­dia won a Gold lion in film. The United Arab Emi­rates, Korea and Hong Kong also took Golds. Other newly emerg­ing economies in East­ern Europe are also show­ing off their tal­ents. Ro­ma­nia won Grands Prix in both di­rect mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tions. Tele­vi­sion has en­tered a new golden era and the old-fash­ioned TV com­mer­cial has fol­lowed it back. The much-pre­dicted death of the 30-sec­ond com­mer­cial (by

SIR MARTIN SOR­RELL

tonyk@finweek.co.za

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