I attended the Outdoor and Radio Awards ceremony last night.
I was resplendent in brown and pink. In France it is quite acceptable to be resplendent in brown and pink. A rumour went around (as they do here) earlier in the afternoon that South Africa had won a Grand Prix for Radio and another for Outdoor. And we did. Network BBDO won the big prize in radio for their Virgin "Insanity" campaign. Then Hunt Lascaris Joburg won 4 Gold lions plus a Grand Prix for their Outdoor idea for The Zimbabwean newspaper. For those of you who haven't seen the Zimbabwean campaign - it's brilliant - they pasted trillions of dollars of worthless Zimbabwean banknotes onto billboards and gave them out as flyers to highlight the pitiful state of the country. There was much ululating and flag waving and tequila drinking. I hung around on the fringes of the celebration shouting Vrystaat every now and then in the vain hope that people would think that I to had something to do with all this brilliance. Alas our Finalists last night proved to be about as appealing as an SAA hot breakfast (the one with the dodgy sausage). Maybe tonight, as Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band once said. Here's hoping.
The previous evening, let us not forget, was the Promo and Direct awards ceremony. The final swansong of the great and glorious Cannes Lions 2009 Promo Jury. Cue rapturous applause and frilly underwear being flung and loud American golf spectators from Kentucky shouting "get in the hole", OK maybe not them. The work, the best of which we chose from 1300 entries, was well received.
The Grand Prix was a remarkable idea. A Promotional Campaign for the Japanese City of Yubari which uncovered a brilliant insight and had a fairytale ending. A real story for our times.
South Africa won nothing in Promo or Direct. Costa Rica did. Lebanon did. South Africa didn't.
If the Promo and Direct categories were Football we would be Andorra.
You can check out all the winners on Canneslions.com. There may also be photos of the glorious Promo Jury doing their work. I miss them. Its not often you get to hang out with 17 bright, funny people from 17 different countries. I have jury withdrawal already. I wish we could just be the Promo Jury for ever.
Anyhow, off to lunch now with Paul Smith (no, not that Paul Smith) the Creative Boss of Europe Middle East Africa Region of Ogilvy. He will drink 2 bottles of expensive, crisp, ice-cold Rose and then stare into the middle distance (which will be a very attractive middle distance, probably including a turquoise sea and a few large boats, this being Cannes) and then tell us that we haven't done well enough and that we are shit and that we will have to do better next year.
And we will.