"I'm working, honestly" - A planner in Cannes

PaulYole.jpgPaul Yole is a planner with The Brand Agency in Australia. A third-time delegate in Cannes, Campaign Brief Asia asked him to bring a different perspective to our coverage of Cannes this year.

Day 1, Sunday
Sunday is normally arrival day for me so this was a new experience.
As I am working (honestly), even though it's a Sunday, I picked up a couple of contrasting seminars today.
The first was a complete waste of time. "Innovations in Online Advertising" promised a lot but delivered little. A stand in speaker who did her best but was only OK. Which in Cannes, is not OK. So I went for lunch (sat next to the Outdoor judges and the boss of Dentsu!) and returned later.
Kevin Eyres from LinkedIn gave some interesting insights about how social technology is making companies more transparent and how individuals using social network sites become their own brands. But I remain a LinkedIn and Twitter cynic that is hoping to see the light this week.
The best was left until last.
Andy Pimentel from Razorfish is a Doogie Howser-like guy who is a planner from a digital agency. His talk was about the future of TV and it reminded me of the chilli chocolate gift I was given earlier in the day. You think you know what you are getting but the actual experience is a lot hotter.
Razorfish has done some research including ethnographic techniques, youth design and bleeding edge studies.
They ran a deprivation study in which they had to bribe families $175 a day to go without watching TV. What they found was that people felt tortured and that TV, despite all the hype, still plays a central role in the lives of millions of people.
The overall study revealed 9 genes in the DNA of TV that Razorfish believes will not go away and Andy portrayed a future vision for TV that shows how, in his words, it will become more "internetty".
So, a digital planner guy talking about how a 'traditional' channel will have a real role in our lives using technology that already exists. If only some networks would listen.
The best thing was that the presentation was delivered without the usual platitudes and buzz-words that drive delegates crazy. Good work.
Tomorrow should be good. Press and Outdoor finalists, Go Viral and, yes, Twitter.
Which reminds me. I need to update my Twitter status. And my Facebook page.
It's getting too much.

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