Hacking Cannes, Russian Style

Oh, these people definitely deserve an award for creativity. And with Russia’s help, they just might get it.

With the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity coming up, Boulder-based creative agency WorkInProgress hopes Russia can help them win an “undeserved” title, too. As the pitch-meister who brought this item to our attention elaborated, “You know, just like they’ve helped other under-qualified candidates recently.”


Just to be clear, since the date on this column isn’t April 1, no one is suggesting that Cannes actually be hacked in any way, shape or form. (Although my guess is at least a handful of countries could do it).

But the agency really did place a billboard in the heart of a Moscow shopping mecca to make its case. “Your attention,” the copy reads. “WorkInProgress. Cannes Lions. Participant in nomination. Agency Network Of The Year 2018.”



Boy, there must be whole lot of head scratching going on by pedestrians who walk by the placement, which will be up through June 15.

And while the whole effort is very tongue and cheek, as the agency admits, it took three months of serious effort, working with Russian authorities and an outdoor agency there to get the project off the ground.

I wonder if Vlad Putin is on the joke? I mean, he must be, right? Or else the project wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

To pass through Russia’s strict censorship process, WIP worked with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation. The agency was quite serious about making sure nothing in the ad was factually incorrect (read: No fake news!).  The copy for example couldn’t suggest that WIP won an award, and had to be focused on their request to be considered for the top award.

“Truthfully, their edits made the ad better,” said Pete Sheinbaum, a partner and co-founder at WIP. “Even their censorship folks are awesome creatives.”  

Right, just ask Trump.

Any way you can read more about WorkInProgress at the link provided above. Suffice it say the agency founders are quite familiar with Cannes and winning awards there.



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