Mary Beth Kemp

The French advertising trade press this week proclaims an end to frontiers and the blurring of the lines between categories – I read media – following the close of the Cannes Festival on the 21st. 

The Cannes Festival is about ideas, which should vibrate beyond the concrete fact of one media.  The problem is, the creative and the container are often closely matched.  It’s often the juxtaposition of the two which make the magic happen.  For example, the HBO ‘Voyeur’ campaign was clearly an idea working its delight in a specific media – in this case, outdoor. 

So, as we multiply media types and contact occasions, the prizes to value the creative and the agencies which know how to work them well will also exponentially explode. Do we really need more categories to take on board even more media types and the different ways to mix integration?    How do awards ceremonies deal with creative which could participate in multiple categories (besides hoping there’s more of it)? 

In the present debate about categories and frontiers, Cannes has found itself faced with the same challenges as many advertisers: 

What’s ‘better’?  A spectacular one-shot or a story/conversation that helps a consumer decide to buy. 

What is more creatively challenging?    An idea which is tightly knit to a situation or an idea which can be folded convincingly into different contexts and still be just.

Is it more important for advertising and agencies to best of class in one media or intelligently integrated across media/channels? Which will better convince, seduce and market to tomorrow’s consumer?

I think it’s time to align the awards to how advertising needs to evolve.