Chris Zander, managing director/partner at L.A.-based prodco Backyard, is here once again to regale you with a tale from the French Riviera. If anything, we like to get some sort of first-person perspective because we’re sure you’re keeping apprised of all the award show happenings anyways. Take it away, sir.
Wednesday sightings: The Arnold Pogo Stick in action. Joe Pytka deep in concentration. Tumblr branding on the Gutter Bar. Happy Americans with piles of Lions. Very happy Brazilians with even more Lions.
The Mill Villa party was mobbed. The pool was overflowing; beer bottles and empty wine glasses were stacked everywhere. The villa party to end all villa parties. Drop dead views of Île Sainte-Marguerite.
The Massive Music party: a Wednesday night tradition that tops itself every year. Picture this: it’s 11:30pm on the beach. A dancefloor. A blinding digital screen and a pulsating sound system. An androgynous white figure emerges and ascends to the rafters and starts to empty a feather pillow onto the dancing masses. Three oversized plucked chickens “dance” on the center platform like sumo wrestlers while they shoot balloon eggs out of their asses. Heineken bottles glow like fireflies.
And then the star DJ Cinnaman enters. The music reaches a pulsating crescendo. In an instant, the entire crowd begins to undulate. I spend 10 minutes lurking near Cinnaman and watching him manipulate his sound system, and watching our industry’s finest move with his every twist of a knob. It’s inspiring and humbling, and reminded me of why we are here:
We sell things. It’s as simple as that. There would be no advertising business if this weren’t true of everybody here in Cannes and all of you reading this. We sell dishwasher detergent and video game consoles. Some of it wins awards for creativity, and some of it doesn’t.
We are sold tangible goods and persuaded with ideas. A DJ sells us his brand of music, and we buy it by dancing. The Mill sold me on their brand: they must be doing gangbuster business, because from what I saw, they can afford that party! Even a PSA like the multi-Lion winning “Dumb Ways to Die” sells us the idea to be safe around trains…
I got into this business because it seemed like more fun than my summer job at a law firm where I interviewed retired shipbuilders who were dying from Asbestosis. I was right.