How to not get great work.
Started the day with a soul-destroying session at #wakeupCannes hosted by The Economist. Marc Pritchard, Global CO of P&G was trumpeting their new “fixed and flow” model with their agencies. Their number of agencies is fixed but the projects “flow”, so the agencies compete for every single project. According to Pritchard the work is better, faster and costs less. I’m typically a Pritchard acolyte but as a CD I’ve lived that world. He has created a world where everything’s a jump ball, the agencies are by construct adversarial and it’s a race to the bottom underpinned by the impossibility of staffing an agency properly. No thanks. Some clients wonder why agencies can’t meet their needs yet aren’t willing to pay for it or commit to a meaningful long term partnership. The other mantra on the Croissette is “inhousing” creative services. So much for the power of objectivity. However in all this mire there was some shining light: two clients charting a different course are Meghan Farren of KFC UK and Tor Mygren of Apple. They consider their agencies long-term strategic and creative partners. In a climate of agency swapping ,they hang onto theirs. . Sign me up.
Data is course correcting.
Many sessions flagged our misuse of data. We need to use it for improved relevance, not misplaced personalization. We also need to regroup and understand that creative should be the tail wagging the dog.
Judges at Cannes were briefed to disregard work guilty of stereotyping. Work seems to be starting to tilt the right direction. It’s getting less male, pale and hence less stale. However, the troubling stat remains, 70% of women say they do not see themselves reflecting in advertising. More work to do.
A different kind of gender inequity.
I was delighted to see the number of female CMOs participating in sessions this year, versus even three years ago. They dominated the festival. I remain disappointed by the rarity of female CDs but hope the seeds of See It Be It bear fruit.
Simplicity is difficult. And there is tremendous power in editing fiercely. That was a common thread between Apple’s Tor Mygren and SNL’s Lorne Michaels. They live in a world of a thousand nos for every yes. Strategy is sacrifice. Comedy is the brutal art of reduction.
Jargon Primer for 2019
We should all be “micro-stacking habits” and avoid “micro-aggressions”.
To be on trend, feel free to micro-ify anything you like.
Ads of the Day
Final Quotes of the Croisette
“Yachts are just a party that’s harder to leave.”
Overheard, by someone not on a yacht.
“There is no creativity without boundaries.”
“We not going on air because we are ready, we are going on air because it’s 11:30.”
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