Dr Mumbo

Dr Mumbo’s Cannes questions

We’ve reached the end of Dr Mumbo’s favourite week of the year – the Cannes Lions, in which thousands of creatives head to the south of France and give each other awards for creating world-changing ideas that rarely, Dr Mumbo is perplexed to concede, seem to actually change the world.

Cynics say that too often work is created to win an award, rather than actually solving the problem or indeed being commissioned by the organisations later cited in entries as brief-writing clients.

Clearly the cynics are wrong, because nobody ever gets disqualified from Cannes.

And no doubt the questions Dr Mumbo sets out below can all be answered as soon as the various Asian creatives get off their flights home. (At least, he assumes that’s what they’re doing, as nobody seems keen to answer Dr Mumbo’s questions.)

Question: Why is there no online evidence that The Ammada Trust exists outside the awards entry?

Mumbai agency Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi won Gold in the Glass Lion category for its  #Giveher5’ campaign. The pro-bono, crowdfunded campaign, which the agency concedes had zero media spend, was made for an Indian charity called The Ammada Trust.

All the information on The Ammada Trust immediately available on Google appears to be in some way linked to the #Giveher5 campaign, as the first results show below.

The campaign’s website says the trust was founded by media mogul Ashok Kurien – the co-founder of Indian TV network Zee – in 2001. According to the site, the charity “helps the poor and needy, irrespective of caste or creed, in areas of health, education, self-improvement etc…” Mumbrella Asia asked LKSS for other initiatives the charity had run previously, but the agency did not comment.

Yet only this latest activity – with the encapsulated problem and solution of young women being unable to work or go to school for five days a month without access to sanitary products and the organisation providing them – seems to have made it to the web.

Jurors who looked at the #Giveher5 website must have found it very awards format friendly, what with the sections of the site headed “the problem”, “the solution” and “the campaign”, even if that’s not usually how one might appeal to the public.

And a final question on this piece of work: If “21,374,208 people” really have donated $2.50 each, as the site implies, what’s happened to the $53m raised so far?

Question: How do you promote French cinema in Singapore with Hollywood gotchas?

How did Singapore-based not-for-profit French cultural organisation Alliance Francaise De Singapour have the budget and contacts to send an Ogilvy crew to the United States and pitch movie ideas to Hollywood players? 

(The agency says they made the film “very inexpensively” by staying to shoot the film following an “unrelated work trip” to the US)

But most importantly, just how does this promote French culture in Singapore as per the brief?

Question: What do cheap mobile phones and organ trafficking have in common?

Publicis Shanghai is no doubt proud of its silver in the print category on behalf of budget mobile phone-maker Xiaomi.

But where exactly did those print ads run, and how exactly do they prevent children losing their organs to traffickers?

Unfortunately, Publicis told Dr Mumbo the person who could answer all of those questions was “unavailable” for the near future.

Quation Baidu Alzheimer glasses: is AI that advanced now?

Chinese internet giant Baidu and agency F5 won a  Silver Lion in the Pharma category for what they call ‘artificially-intelligent glasses’, which allegedly help  Alzheimer’s patients in China.

The devices, apparently use facial contour and speech-recognition technology to help patients recognise family members and pets. Those with a poor memory for faces everywhere, rejoice.

However, a day after their win, Thomas Chen, the head of marketing at internet rival Tencent, called the two parties out for “fooling” Cannes in a LinkedIn post. He said he could find “no information” about the glasses and said it was unlikely such technology would work on pets.

Dr Mumbo wonders why this breakthrough technology has not been more widely talked about if it really works as claimed.

Question: So just where did MullenLowe’s ‘Bullish Boss’ ad run exactly?

Singapore’s first Gold winner of the year sparked quite the lively response on this site’s comments section owing to the fact that the campaign for Clear shampoo appeared to have only obtained 1,600 views on YouTube. The agency says the ad also ran in cinemas, but declined to specify where.

No doubt there’s a great reason why such a beautifully crafted ad – albeit one where the product benefits are somewhat lost – has had such a small media spend behind it.

Nearly a week later, Dr Mumbo is still refreshing his inbox waiting for the agency’s reply. The stress of the wait is enough to cause dandruff…


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