Cannes Lion Advertising Awards II

In addition to Obama’s campaign winning top awards, one of the most interesting items to come out of Cannes was a new potential partnership between classic advertising agencies and big internet companies, like Google and Microsoft.

The question I have is, what took so long? Did the recession finally give these guys the idea that they might be able to help each other? Is that what it took? A serious decline in online ad revenues?

What ever happened to the creativity and thought leadership that both of these classes of companies are supposed to display? My issue with this is that if revenue is all that is being sought here, that the partnership will produce product (in this case new classes and types of advertisements) that don’t really address the market’s needs.

From a small agency perspective, we need to constantly be producing strategy and tactics that can demostrateably create new or incremental revenues, awareness, sign-ups, or whatever the goal is. I can find nothing from either Ballmer nor Schmidt that talks about this; all they seem to focus on is to have new ad formats that the agencies can sell.

Is it just me, or is the entire focus of the “new partnership” missing the boat?

Cannes Lion Advertising Awards

With the conclusion of last week’s Cannes Lion Advertising Awards and Show, there is a lot of fascinating news that has great impact on the marketing and advertising industry.

The first item is the winning of both top awards, the Titanium and the Integrated, by Obama’s campaigns in 2008. The judges noted that this was not a vote for Obama, but an acknowledgement that his campaigns broke new ground and “redefined” the campaign, overall. This is an unprecendented move for the judges at Cannes Lions, who said that this campaign was a “game changer.”

It just goes to show that, at least at the highest levels of politics, media savviness is no longer a luxury but part of the soup you need to swim in. We all watched it happen–how the campaign combined the offline, online, social, and media aspects into one, single, story-telling machine. Did any of us realize at the time, just what an incredible feat that was? Perhaps it is with the perspective of time (in this accelerated world, that means 6 months), that we can start to truly appreciate just how this will effect every (at least, national) campaigns that will follow.  If any candidate in the future doesn’t run a campaign this way, no one will question why they lose.

Maker Faire, 2009

We’re all makers and once a year we get together to show off our craft. Here’s what I was able to capture at this year’s event. Robots, rockets, giant mouse traps, and plenty of colorful characters.