And the queues to register on Sunday were long. Perhaps 300 people all in a line that stretched back out of the Palais des Festivals and into the sunshine of the Croisette, the promenade that runs all the way around the bay and its beaches.
The theme the festival organisers are promoting heavily is ‘women in advertising’.
Well, there is yet another new Lion to be won this year – the Glass Lion. This recognises and rewards “work that explicitly addresses the issue of gender inequality or prejudice, through the conscious representation of gender in advertising.”
Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, is said to have been the inspiration behind this. Yesterday, The Barbarian Group got Billie Whitehouse and Emily Baltz to talk about ‘Stretching Creativity’. Billie Whitehouse is an Australian entrepreneur whose company looks at the new connections between technology and fashion. She talked about her Navigate jacket, which vibrates to give its wearer directions as he or she goes out cycling. She won a Silver Lion last year for ‘Fundawear’. Created for Durex, the condom brand, this was vibrating underwear which couples could activate using their mobile phones when they were apart.
Emily Baltz talked about how she uses food in her art to create multi-sensory experiences, working as much like a chef as an artist. You can see some of her work at http://www.emiliebaltz.com
Today, the first shortlists have been published and tonight the first Lions get handed out – in Direct, Promo and PR. Most obvious contender for a Glass Lion is Leo Burnett Beirut’s ‘Vote for us and we’ll vote for you’ campaign for KAFA, a women’s rights group in Lebanon.
For years, the Lebanese parliament had been talking about a law to protect women from domestic violence but nothing had happened. Since women comprise 52% of the electorate, they had a power they had never used before – their votes. In the run-up to the national elections, KAFA let every politician know that women were prepared to use their votes either for or against them.
Brilliant. And successful.
I don’t know if this is exactly addressing issues of gender, but one campaign certain to win several Lions this week is ‘Security Mums’ by Ogilvy Brazil for the football club Recife. Plagued by violence at its home games, the idea was to employ the mothers of known trouble-makers as security staff. The insight being, you’re not going to get into trouble if your mum is watching. Genius!
Of course, the big winner of the week and, almost inevitably I would think, the winner of the Glass Grand Prix, is going to be #likeagirl, the P&G video for Always from Leo Burnett London & New York. This has had nearly 60 million views of YouTube alone.
Which is hard luck for BBDO New York, whose #useyourand for Gillette Venus is probably too similar to be given any awards.
I’ll let you know later who the big winners were on Monday. Now, back to the madness of it all….