A (final) snapshot to the other side of Cannes

Campaign Brief asked Josh Edge to wander the streets of Cannes to bring you a different perspective to the annual global adfest. Here's are some of the things that caught Edge's eye  on the final day.

IMG_2254.jpgSo the Palais has been swept up, the Gutter Bar has returned to 72 Croisette, and the battle-weary delegates have begun wheeling their bags into the glaring Sunday sun. So long Cannes, I knew ye well. So what have we learnt? Here's some rambling thoughts on what went down this week:
1. Cannes second-time around can be an incredibly draining experience. If you step into it with memories of first-year adrenalin and euphoria, you best pack a lot of cold and flu tablets and several tubes of Berocca. This is a town that hands out bags of Red Bull and Lukozade tablets for a bloody good reason.
2. Meeting and networking is a lot easier once you've been around the traps in previous years. Friends beget friends and all of a sudden you're discussing creative excellence with several Gold Lions winners on the Carlton Terrace. Their shout, of course.
3. We live in an era where a Presidential race wins the two most coveted advertising awards in the entire world. I don't know how I feel about that just yet, but I think it says something powerful about how blurry the lines have become between ads and 'real life'.
4. Cutting the number of delegates in half makes getting into the Grand Audi for the Film and Titanium awards nights a piece of piss, not to mention grabbing a beer at the closing gala. Even the toilets had zero queues!
So, let's a have a look at what went on at the final day and night in Cannes:
Above - Even in the middle of a global recession, and with many of last year's trimmings vanished (no Dessert Tree? Sacre Bleu!), Cannes still found it in it's heart to set off some monster explosions in the sky.
Below, pic 1: First thing in the morning is a bad time to be giving a Cannes seminar, especially after 5 days of late-night nonsense, but I was completely inspired and reinvigorated by this cheeky talk from the boys at Lean Mean Fighting Machine. Based on the ideas of Edison, Einstein etc about the value of having fun at work, about taking breaks and taking the piss, even having a sleep at work. It was a welcome kick in the pants to an industry that's been taking itself a little too seriously lately. Here, one of the boys has apparently traveled back in time to give himself a good-talking too on a video link up with himself yesterday (!!). He later turned around to reveal that the arse was completely cut out of the back of jeans.
Pic 2: After cleaning up at the awards last year, Uniqlo has been omnipresent this year. Embarrassingly enough, I was actually wearing the previous night's shirt when I took this pic.

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Below, pic 1: I bet he was regretting the decision to stand out in 30+ weather completely tarted up in gold and a heavy suit. I gave him 2 Euros for his silliness.
Pic 2: After a few days of quiet stillness, all hell broke lose on Rue d'Antibes as people poured into town. It was a good thing I wasn't attempting to use the Hotel de France for any sleeping.
Pic 3: Not many ports find themselves hosting one of the biggest cruise ships and a giant tall ship simultaneously.
Pic 4: Yeah, you do feel a bit like a gimpy movie star walking up those stars. I waved, a couple of Frenchies booed.

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Below, pic 1: Inside the cavernous Grand Audi for the presentation of Film, Titanium and Integrated Lions. Giving that these happen almost every day in Cannes for the various categories, there was a lot of excitement to see if Obama would take out the top award.
Pic 2: I gotta admit, seeing the beautiful Boag's 'Pure Water' spot from Publicis Mojo getting the big screen treatment made this cynical old writer get a little misty-eyed.  Great to see quality Australian work being so well received around the world, especially being followed up by a silver for Clemenger BBDO's 'Woman Whisperer' Carlton spot.
Pic 3: At this point, you're literally surrounded by some of the most famous faces in advertising. Opening the door for the wife of some worldwide behemoth is a neat way to score a business card or six.
Pic 4: Gotta admit, I was loving the classy champagne holders on the side of the buffet plates. Unfortunately, most delegates didn't seem to get much closer than the entrée table with epic lines at either end.

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Below, pic 1: Cannes tip #47: Get in on the carbs early. It might feel weird flying halfway around the world to munch on bread rolls and water, but your stomach will thank you after the silly amounts of Heineken and Rose consumed over the next 7 hours.
Pic 2: Despite the obvious abundance of Michael Jackson hits getting airtime on the dancefloor, the band was loud, English, and full of champagne. My calves are feeling it this morning.
Pic 3: Probably one of the only places in the world where you're likely to get away with making bunny ears behind the head of Gary Shenk, Chief Executive Officer of Corbis and an all-round champion guy.
Pic 4: If everyone's looking a little tired in these shots, just be thankful the camera wasn't pointed in the opposite direction. Balmy Cannes nights plus long-sleeved button-up shirts minus one week of sleep do not equal a flattering shot of this photographer.

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So, that's it from Cannes, hopefully it's been somewhat illuminating, hopefully we'll see it all again next year. Good luck on next year's entries! I'm going to grab some sleep...

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