Ted Royer's Cannes Diary - Day one

ted-ROYER-BEST.jpgDroga5 New York ECD Ted Royer is on this year's Cannes Lions Film & Cinema jury. In exchange for free beers he agreed to be Campaign Brief Asia's eyes on the jury. Here he gives his DAY ONE observations on the judging.

I've noticed that any time someone writes a "diary" from Cannes or The Andy's or wherever, they always start by subtly bragging. They say how intimidating it is to be on a jury with such great people, and how wonderful it is just to be in the presence of such talented creative. But what the writer really means is that by extension he or she is wonderful and talented. See how that works? So here goes:

It is such an honor to be among such great and talented creatives on the highly prestigious and intimidating Cannes Film Jury. Only the very best wonderful and talented judges here. Etc.

Now a few stats: film entries are down by about 1,000 over last year. Attendance is down by 40% or so. And everyone's talking about it being a "down" year. But if you think that attendance was even less in 2003 than it was this year, it doesn't seem so down after all.
That said, things have changed here, and they'll never be the same again. Film used to be the undisputed king of the show. And while it's still up there, winning other categories has pulled right along side in terms of prestige. Titanium is the one everyone really talks about (probably because of it's rarity).

However, a great film is still a great film. And still hard to get exactly right. And now we have web films, long form, ads, installation vids, the works. Lots of formats, lots of options.

For the first few days they've split the wonderful and talented bunch of us into three groups, so I haven't had a chance to see everything. But what I have seen is less than inspiring. And the judges in the other groups are all saying the same things.

There are a few formulas that get repeated over and over again, So I will list a few of these formulas in the hope that anyone reading this will never repeat them again. I urge any creatives out there reading this not to ever again write the following ads:

1. A product (usually a laptop or cell phone) magically transforms the world or a city (usually by using light) and everyone gets happy.

2. A person (usually a child) smiles and runs through a city. Then that person get joined by more people, all smiling and running, then a huge crowd gathers, all smiling and running, Then we see them begin to "create" something out of everyday objects. Then we see a long distance shot of the "creating " something, usually from a car window. Then a dog watches them. Then they step back and admire what they've created (usually a big logo).   

3. People are depressed. Then it rains a food product or drink product from the sky. People get happy.

4. A guy in an office wants a product so badly he does something really stupid to get it. Everyone else watches with deadpan looks on their faces.

Please don't write these ads. Please.

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