A select bunch of the Nursery ventured down to Google for a Monday night drink and joined forces with the rest of the industry for ‘Planner’s Cannes’; an event put on by the APG. This time they skipped over ideas, briefs and insights to discuss the reality of our industry’s creative output and how this is impacting our favourite creative festival.
Matthew Heath kicked-off the evening with a discussion on the growing number of categories, multiple entries and the increasing difficulty of judging each piece of work as the boundaries begin to blur between each other.
While this confirms just how rapidly the ad industry is changing, these blurred boundaries mean that the big-budget multi-channel work can be submitted into many categories and threaten to overshadow the more traditional work; like smart-but less fancy-DM packs for example, that belong in singular categories.
Nothing our little researcher brains need worry about… for now. There was some interesting work shown though. Specifically the ‘Inglorious Vegetables’ campaign that got us thinking about all those poor imperfect potatoes and maligned mangoes that get ruled out before they even make it to the conveyor belt. Selling ugly vegetables for bargain basement prices was something we could all nod at.
Next up Rachel Hatton picked up on the idea (maybe fact) that planners are very different to the average UK citizen, particularly in terms of exposure and bias toward creative work. The problem here being that the work we dream of producing – often conceptual, doesn’t necessarily resonate with the general public, who tend to respond better to more visceral advertisements (e.g a youtube comments that read ‘FUCKING AWESOME!’ being the Holy Grail of consumer response)
The question at the heart of Rachel’s talk was an important one - how can we get passed our conceptual obsession and make more ads that people simply enjoy watching?
The main issue running throughout the entire talk was that the Cannes Festival is a form of escape for creatives each year, where they can be both awarded and inspired for the work that they do. However, in terms of the work being judged we have two different audiences; ad men who judge, award and go to Cannes to be inspired. And second is the general public – who the work has been made for – two very different kettles of fish (as explained earlier). The troubles here arise from what creatives want to see and be awarded for and the work that is made for real people on real client budgets.
This leads nicely onto the parting discussion introduced by Patrick Collister, Head of Design at Google: why is a party for creative people now filled with all kinds of other people? From entrepreneurs to celebs and clients – where can the creatives go to just err…be creative?
To answer this question Patrick showed a bunch of his favourite work from the festival. We weren’t entirely sure where he was going with it but turns out just showing a volley of good, creative work was enough to send us home smiling. That and those delicious goat’s cheese filled peppers… yum.