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Advertising. What do you get when snow melts? – togetherbe

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A blog by Damon Stapleton, chief creative officer, The Monkeys New Zealand.


“Life is travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.” – D. H. Lawrence

Here is the first moment.

Cannes doesn’t really know what to do when it rains. Nothing really works. The red carpets get soggy, the self tan streaks into the gutters and the ridiculous espadrilles you bought trying to look French (you really don’t) start falling apart. The only people that do well are the men in those little beach front cafes who magically seem to have an endless supply of umbrellas at 15 Euros each.

It was a Wednesday. I had bought an umbrella and felt quite smug as I watched American power joggers getting soaked. I watched as their ears got wet and their very expensive bluetooth earpieces slid and smashed onto the Promenade. You could see the panic in their eyes. What if Chicago calls in the next ten minutes?

Damon Stapleton: Advertising. What do you get when snow melts?

As much as I was enjoying this, I had to keep walking. Suddenly, I came face to face with one of my favourite scenes in my 20 years of coming to Cannes. And trust me, I have seen some weird shit. In the pouring rain, I found a man sitting in a steel deck chair. He was in a three piece suite that was soaked. He had no shoes on. In front of him was an empty bottle of Dom Perignon. Next to him, was a set of golf clubs. As I walked past he said good morning in that way you do when trying to appear sober. I started laughing. You just know there was a P.R person freaking out because of what three-piece guy had done last night. And I really would love to know about the golf clubs.

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The more I go to Cannes the more I look for moments like these. Authentic and without artifice. We all go to Cannes to be inspired. The brilliant work you see does it. The unbelievable people you can talk and listen to do it. But sometimes, it also the madness of the place. You glimpse or see something in Cannes that gives you fuel or a story. It reminds us we are all part of a weird tribe, but a tribe nonetheless.

Are there a lot of bullshit artists in Cannes that only speak in jargon that you would need an enigma machine to decipher? Yes. Is somebody talking about how advertising is about to die in the next 12 months? Since I started going. Are there people looking over your shoulder as they talk to you to see if there are more important people in the room? Yes. Are we now in a world where measurement has become more important than what is being measured? Potentially. Is there a new formula for foolproof creativity? Every year. Did some work not win that should have? Depends who you ask. Are there a lot of people that are not creatives explaining creativity to creatives? Definitely and late into the night. Is Cannes getting too big? That same question gets asked every year.

The truth is these questions don’t really matter because Cannes is just a mirror of us and our industry. We are looking at us. It shows us where we are at, whether we like it or not. Many have written about this in the last week. So, instead, I thought I would write about the second moment that inspired me.

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When you walk through Cannes there are lot of little tents. There are a lot of strange words on them. Words that tend to be made up of two older words. Adtech. Words like precision, engagement and platform.. Sentences that start with the words, the future of. You can see how things are changing. But, for me personally, I was looking for something different this year. A little old school inspiration. Passion and excitement. Words we don’t use as much as we should. I was looking for that feeling you get as a creative the first time you make a leap. You go somewhere beyond where you thought you could. That feeling of holy shit, that’s why I do this. On Friday night, I got it.

Here is my second moment.

Damon Stapleton: Advertising. What do you get when snow melts?

Jacques Seguela is almost 90 years old. But, he has more energy than all the Red Bulls consumed that week in tiny hotel rooms to make early morning meetings. He was winning the Lion of St. Mark. The highest individual accolade you can win in Cannes. He is a French advertising pioneer and the award is well deserved. He danced onto the stage. You could see the joy. He charmed the audience in his perfect French-English. He was inspiration in human form. He was positivity and freedom. Everything about him was saying forget the bullshit, let’s have fun, lets make something great. This is fucking exciting. Show your bloody passion. Jump. Go for it. A feeling advertising should never forget or underestimate.

During his speech he asked the audience a simple question.

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What do you get when snow melts?

A few people mumbled water in the audience. A couple shouted it it out more confidently.

Monsieur Seguela looked at the audience defiantly. He shouted no, no, no in the most french way possible.

And then, he gave a very simple, perfect and beautiful answer.

You get spring. Wow, wow, wow. You get spring.

Merci Jacques.

Merci Cannes.

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Miranda Cosgrove

My Miranda cosgrove is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, Miranda cosgrove brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece.

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