The unofficial Cannes Lions winners

Picture 6After a long, long week in the South of France, Mumbrella Asia’s Robin Hicks has some awards of his own to give out.

The most inspiring presentation, the juiciest rumours, the biggest social media balls up, the best party, the weirdest stunts and most annoying distractions in the press room. Here are the unofficial winners of the 2013 Cannes Lions…

Vivienne WestwoodMost inspiring presentation: Fashion legend Vivienne Westwood. She got a standing ovation and was begged not to leave the stage by her adoring audience. She argued that people needed to strive to “be your best self, not your ordinary self”.

Ogilvy Brazil creative director Anselmo Ramos

Anselmo Ramos in interview

More tired individual: McCann Australia’s ECD John Mescall. Four media interviews a day for a week, half an hour’s sleep, endless job offers and up and down the podium like a fiddler’s elbow. The poor man looked like he needed a hug.

Most interviewed person (besides John Mescall): Anselmo Ramos, VP creative director, Ogilvy Brazil, the agency behind the multi lion-winning real beauty sketches for Dove.

Juiciest rumours: Campaign magazine owner Haymarket is taking legal action against Campaign Brief in the UK for using the ‘Campaign’ name. Campaign Brief could counter sue for Haymarket’s use of the ‘Campaign’ name in Asia. Also, the jury in the Cyber Lions did not award McCann Australia’s Dumb Ways To Die the grand prix, simply because it had won in other categories.

Oddest quote: Jack Sim AKA Mr Toilet, who is campaigning for clean sanitation in the developing world. “We need to turn shit into a media darling.”

British tourists have their picture taken by a Ferrari on La Croisette

Do we look rich now?

Coolest car: Either a Ferrari (which can be hired for €1,500 day), a Porsche or a Bentley. The IPG Mediabrands Jeeps were also objets de désir seen roaring about town.

Best delegate giveaway: A book titled, The best of Belgium 2012-2013: How we turn our weirdness into a strength.

Most honest admission: CNN presenter Anderson Cooper. “I don’t really know why I’m here and what this event is for. And there’s a guy in shorts in the front row. I’m thinking why the hell did I dress up?”

Grumpiest complaint: by media agencies. Why are there so many creative agencies swamping the media category?

Bob Jeffrey

Killer shades, Bob

Best sunglasses:  JWT’s global CEO Bob Jeffrey. Gold Ray-Ban Wayfarers, oh yes.

Most dominant theme: Cause-related marketing. Every brand – from Coca-Cola to NGOs – did not shut up about how advertising can be a force for good (as they drove ferraris up and down La Croisette).

Most thinly veiled pitch for advertising work: legendary British director and former copywriter Alan Parker, who praised Ridley Scott for never giving up directing TV commercials.

Yahoo party Most heavily guarded venue: Yahoo!. Its swanky space halfway down La Croisette rarely looked even half full, which is hardly surprising with a massive goon on the door with his Doberman sidekick.

Most modest statement: George Lois, one of the original Mad Men: “I look in the mirror and see the most intelligent person I’ve ever worked with.” (He also slammed Mad Men for being inaccurate and unrealistic)

Best party: French agency BETC threw an epic bash on their boat. No skinned bear sprawled on the floor of the lower deck like last year. Just big beats, a rocking top deck and a suspiciously long wait for the toilet.

Worst luck: Bertilla Teo, the head of Starcom North Asia, who had her wallet stolen. And Soomee Moon, the head of PR at Cheil Worldwide, who ended up in hospital after tripping over the Palais des Festivals carpet.

Least well-attended venue: Havas Café. The atmosphere and energy of a car park.

Restaurant foodBest restaurant: Les Moulin de Mougins. Amazing grub (apart from the play-food entrées made from flowers and a mysterious gelatinous gloop), stunning scenery and impeccable service.

Cannes Lions logoWorst logo: Cannes Lions’ 60th anniversary brand mark, created by legendary political cartoonist and Pink Floyd album cover designer Gerald Scarfe. His haunted lion looked like he’d just come back from a Pink Floyd tour.

Most disappointing result for Asia: No lions in the creative effectiveness category.

Most impressive result for Asia: Cheil winning Asia’s only titanium lion for the Bridge of life for Samsung Life Insurance.

Most honest summary of what Cannes is really about: Keith Reinhard, one the founding fathers of what is now DDB Worldwide. “Creative people are the most insecure people on the planet. That’s why we have these awards shows. We’re never sure we’re worth anything,” he told Mumbrella.

Karen Lim, Laurice Levy and Saurabh Varma

Lévy flanked by Lim and Varma

Most star struck people at a party: Karen Lim, the Asia Pacific comms director of Leo Burnett and Saurabh Varma, Leo Burnett APAC’s chief strategy officer, who met their boss’s boss, Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy at the Leo Burnett party (where Leo Burnett hats were party essentials).

Most excruitiating questions asked by journalists: “So Jenson [Button, the F1 driver], what are you doing tonight?”

And: “So, Lou [Reed], what is your perfect day?” Answer: “Today.”

And: “Lou [Reed], how do you stay creative [at your age]? Answer: “I masturbate every day.”

Biggest presence by an Asian sponsor: Korea. A tug-of-war for attention between Cheil and Innocean.

Best campaign by McCann Australia that didn’t win big: Impossible Orchestra for CareAware. It was lost on the judges. You just had to be there to appreciate it.

Best guess for how much money the festival made this year: €15m in net revenue, taking into account awards entries, delegates and sponsorship.

Bruna CalmonMost flamboyant journalist: Bruna Calmon, presenter on Brazilian TV show Reclame. A flurry of questions delivered with a flirtatious smile and vigorous gesticulation.

Best rant: Advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, the H in BBH. “If Asia is to become dominant force in advertising, it must kick the scam habit,” he told Mumbrella.

Coca-Cola promo girlMost conspicuous advertiser: Coca-Cola. Promo people giving out free bottles of Coke everywhere, a headline presentation that was the talk of twitter and the looming presence of marketing chief Joe Tripodi in conversation with Sir Martin Sorrell.

Most annoying distraction in the press room: Constant replays of Dumb Ways to Die (how many of its 50m plays happened in the press room?). The incessant chatter from the Brazilian contingent was almost as irritating.Lady on stilts in the Palais de Festivals

PandaWeirdest marketing stunt: Either the people dressed up as pandas outside the Palais (left), or a lady wandering around on stilts (right).

Most outrageous incident: Lou Reed press conference in the press room. After being asked four times – twice by the Cannes press team and twice by the man himself – not to take flash photography (because Reed has a sensitive medical condition), you can guess what happened. Right in his face.

Dodgiest social media advice: American comedian Nick Cannon, husband of diva Mariah Carey. Never apologise for anything you say on Twitter, otherwise you lose authenticity, reckons Cannon. Hmm.

Getty Images wallBest sponsored area of the Palais des Festivals: Getty Images. Walls covered with blank spaces for delegates to write messages and draw pictures, and an interactive digital wall that expanded when you drew close revealing Getty’s impressive picture stock.

Strangest way to get on side with advertisers:  P. Diddy (Sean Combs), who told a room packed with agencies and clients: “I hate watching TV commercials, just like everyone else.”

Most disappointing presentation: Coca-Cola. A reel of its most-known work interspersed with cheesy statements such as: “Coca-Cola believes there is good in everyone.”

Martha Stewart, Mel B and Nick Cannon

Martha Stewart, Mel B and Nick Cannon

Truest thing said about celebrities: Nick Cannon. “We all want attention. That’s what we want. We just want people to like us.”

Most revealing use for Twitter by a celebrity: Mel B, the former Spice Girl. “A picture of me in a bikini on Twitter could lead to a deal with a lingerie brand.”

Most sensible thing said about Twitter: Martha Stewart: “It’s very important to be authentic and tweet yourself, because they [fans] know when someone else is doing it,” she said.

Biggest love-in in a conference session: Publicis Group boss Maurice Lévy and his client Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, the chairman and CEO of Heineken. To prove his love for his client, Lévy opened a bottle of Heineken during the session and poured himself a glass.

Random sightingMost random sighting in the street: A cat lying on a dog.

Biggest statement of regret: Director Alan Parker. “I got a phone call from the producer of the Harry Potter film, without knowing I was being screened for the director’s job. I was told that ‘a lot of people want to do this film, you know Alan’. I said, ‘Why don’t you get them to do it then?’ They hung up. The film went on to gross $10bn.”

Worst social media blooper: Me. I accidentally tweeted from someone else’s account after hastily jumping on a computer in the press room. Sorry CNBC-TV18 journalist Pavni Mittal (‘dreamer, chatter box, insomniac’), at least your 636 followers now know that Sri Lanka’s young lions won in the marketing category

Robin Hicks


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