With Cannes Lions a week away, the usual debate surrounding the merits of the festival are making their annual appearances. The latest in the annual salvo of discontent comes from Avi Dan
who, writing for Forbes, asks: "Should Cannes Be Canned?" Cute, Avi. Cute. It's the usual tripe about how
the awards focus too much on creativity and not enough on results and how Cannes "diverts attention from servicing the clients and building strong brands and, instead, much too often it’s about
self-importance." Well, of course it's about self-importance, Avi. Where else do you think the industry's creative babies are going to to get a pat on the back and a new binky to place in their crib?
Certainly not from their clients who make it their business to dumb down and kill every great idea with CYA committee-led approval processes. As long as awards are offered and as long as agencies can
afford the entry fees and as long as creative egos need to be stroked, Cannes ain't getting canned.
This past weekend, Arnold Worldwide won an Emmy for its work on the introduction to the Boston Bruins' "Behind the B" show at the Boston/New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Saturday, June 7. Produced by Travis Robertson and Greg Almeida of Arnold Worldwide and the Bruins Digital Entertainment Network, the “Behind the B” show intro was nominated in the Musical Composition and Arrangement category. The intro was created using still photography and then converted to a grainy/gray scale in order to create a raw look. Each photograph was treated with a combination of 2D, 3D, and After Effects Parallax to create moments that appeared to be frozen in time.
Agencies go to Cannes all the time. It's not news. But one agency, 123w.ca, is really, really excited to be going. And well they should be. The agency was founded and launched just one year ago in a suburban Vancouver garage. They then moved to office space in an industrial laundry facility, seemingly for the low rent. They've done work for 7-Eleven and Mercedes and have no problem tapping talent to help create the agency's gloriously kooky Web site. The agency is out with a video it will use to introduce itself during an appearance it will make in Cannes next week.
David Murdico, creative director and managing partner of Supercool Creative Agency puts forth a solid argument as to why startups should pay agencies more than brands do for the same work.
First of all, he notes a startup is an unknown entity and no one has ever heard of it before making it all the more difficult to create the necessary marketing program to achieve awareness and sale. He notes startups are generally more demanding than established brand marketers, often times because so much is at stake.
Perhaps the biggest problem area when it comes to crafting marketing for a startup is that up until the point the startup reached out to an agency, everything about the startup has, thus far, operated in an echo chamber with scant few nodding and bobbing their heads in agreement without truly vetting the idea or how the idea will be perceived in the real world.
Another challenge when working with a startup? They tend to change their mind a lot about, well, everything. And that can be a gigantic time suck. Check out Murdico's entire list here and file it away in your back pocket for use the next time you consider working with a startup.
This is gold! Gold, I tell you! And it's arrived just in time. As we all mourn the loss of our beloved Mad Men characters, they have been given renewed life, in the form of a Tumblr blog, as
digital natives spewing all the usual buzzword bingo that's so prevalent in today's marketing landscape.
Taking on the form of animated gifs, we have Don informing his secretary: "The future of advertising is socially integrated digital platforms." We have Peggy commending a co-worker saying: "Nice branded social post, bro." We have Don asking Peggy: "But does it work as a pre-roll." We have Don reacting to a proposed "Tinder-powered drone." We have Pete telling Don: "The CTRs need optimizing for behavioral targeting of Millennials."
And on and on and on. Brilliance.
Oh for f*ck's sake! Stop. Just please stop! Every ridiculous addition to the CxO title space just dumbs down the importance of the core four: CEO, CFO, COO and CIO. Maybe you can add CMO and CCO to
that list -- but chief data officer? Chief customer officer? And now...wait for it...chief native officer?
Yeah. Chief native officer. Or at least that's what Forbes Contributor Daniel Newman would like to see instituted. Newman argues that the merging of paid and earned media requires this CxO style oversight.
He furthers his point, writing: "The biggest reason to get a Native Officer is that while digital agencies and publishers work together, they don’t necessarily do so as a team. In fact, there are instances where they don’t see eye to eye. While publishers are great at creating content, they can treat branded content like a 'second-class citizen.' On the other hand, digital agencies consider themselves star content creators for brands. In such circumstances, there’s a pressing need for a 'dedicated task force' to exploit native ads to their fullest potential. The CNO should lead this pack, guiding the brand towards rewarding native advertising campaigns and best practices."
So what say you? Do we need the chief native officer?
Sort of like food brands still pimping low fat/no fat products when studies clearly indicate the human body needs fat, the office management world is still pimping open office space when many studies have shown it's a less productive solution than
more traditional office space.
That's not stopping the latest trend in office space, the Superwide. Superwide office space is large, one floor office space consisting of 100,000 square feet or more. Of the trend, Brookfield Property Partners Senior VP Duncan McCuaig said: “Large floors are absolutely in demand.” And “right now there is very little of this product in the city,” he added, referring to Manhattan.
Adam Kansler, managing director at financial data company Markit, loves the open office concept and says: “There’s something that gets lost” when a company is on multiple floors. You don’t get the same random moments of seeing someone from across the way, hearing that they’re working on a project, and saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to stop by.’ ”