Celebrating, redefining direct creativity at Cannes

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The show last night was something to experience. Loud music. Lots of talented creatives. Gold Lions displayed on stage to make us all jealous and envious. And believe me it worked.

I realized last night how competitive I am. Watching other people go get the trophies and the accolades made me nuts after a while. The Direct Grand Prix went to the “Best job in the world.” A brilliant campaign that was promoting the Great Barrier Reef and Australia. They wanted to turn the location into more than just a one day trip. They wanted it to become an international tourist dream holiday destination. So they simply ran newspaper ads in several countries looking for an island caretaker.

The job had a six-figure salary and a six-month contract of living in a rent-free villa on the edge of this wonderful island attached to it. You had to create a video of yourself telling why you should get the job. The applicants started pouring in. I can remember someone sending me the video online that encouraged me to apply for the job of scuba diving and living rent free. The response was pretty incredible. There were 34,684 applicants from 201 countries creating 610 hours of video content. There were over 450,000 votes for the winning applicant. Blogs went nuts with it. News coverage was off the charts. The Web site had 6,849,504 visits and 47,548,514 page views and an average of 8.62 minutes spent per visit. If you want to see the video case study you can check it out at http://work.canneslions.com/direct/.

The thing that caught my attention last night was that direct doesn’t mean just an envelope anymore. Anything direct to consumer IS direct. I think direct gets a bad rap sometimes for being the least creative project in the building. Last night proved that very wrong. It was a great show with a lot of great work. I encourage you to go online and check out all the winners. You won’t be disappointed.

This morning I woke to a woman in the adjoining room screaming at what sounded like her boyfriend. Not a great way to start the day, although I was glad she wasn’t screaming at me. She went off for about 45 minutes. It did get me up and out so I made my way to the Palais to hear Michael Conrad, ex- Leo Burnett creative head, talk about how to be a better creative leader. Michael is the President of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. He and his partner Doug Guthrie gave an interesting talk about what makes great creative leaders tick -- from Keith Reinhard to Steve Jobs. I was glad the crazy lady next door got my butt out of bed.

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