barrettSF Cannes Candid Preview

By Egotist / /

From: Pete Harvey
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM
Subject: god this is good
To: Jamie Barrett

forgetting your disease, if only for a second .

a novel thought, well executed, with just the kind of absurdity to make it memorable.

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From: Jamie Barrett
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 7:14 PM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Pete Harvey

big fan. public service advertising so often overreaches. i love that the goal here is small but also huge.. to deliver a moment of relief and happiness.

as long as we’re geeking out about ads we like, here’s one. what amazes me about this one is the performances they got, particularly from kids. it’s right on that line of, did they script that or is it just kids talking? i have to believe a lot of it was scripted, but the acting is so good it might as well be real.

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From: Pete Harvey
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 8:02 PM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Jamie Barrett

that make me think of FCB brazil’s language school video for CNA. where brazilian students learn english by talking to lonely old people at retirement homes in the states. it may be a late entry for cannes this year, but i imagine we’ll see this in the shows soon.

it’s a great example of a brand crossing over into the public service category in an honest way. you could also argue that the idea is itself a product: a new way of giving home-bound students an immersive language experience.

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From: Jamie Barrett
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Pete Harvey

loving this super spontaneous email correspondence we’re having. i think we’re successfully creating the illusion that we sit around at night and email each other about Cannes contenders. no one will suspect that it’s just a device we intend to turn into an article. no one.

back to that thing we love, ads. for me, the Volvo truck commercial with Van Damme may be the one piece of advertising this year that we’ll remember a decade from now.

i love that it’s just a great freaking commercial. no explanation required, no three minute video to package it for award show consumption. just a brilliant idea, impeccably executed. ad lightning in a bottle. even the Enya music choice is genius.

no chance you can come up with something better from the last twelve months.

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From: Pete Harvey
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 8:50 PM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Jamie Barrett

which brings up a very important question that i’m excited to see resolved (a bit) at cannes: what do we reward these days?

there are the beautifully-crafted human interest stories. there is subtle, new humor. there is the litany of product-as-ad. and there are emotionally biting PSA’s.

then there is the thunderclap breakthrough from droga5. not an ad, necessarily, as much as a new digital platform. do we consider it advertising because it came from an advertising agency? or because the mechanism itself advertises for its users?

either way, judging must feel like comparing apples to oranges to grapefruits.

personally, i like grapefruits. they’re great and tangy and go horribly with toothpaste.

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From: Jamie Barrett
Date: Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 7:35 AM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Pete Harvey

it’s a good point about grapefruits. award shows are no longer apples versus apples, or even ideas versus ideas. for example, i really dig this Guinness spot. it’s a beautiful documentary, flawless. but is it an award-worthy “idea”? for me, it’s an advertiser simply attaching itself to something compelling. it’s a human interest story with a logo stuck on it. it’s less an apple and more a kumquat. if there was a show called the Kumquatties, and it awarded brands that uncovered cool stories and filmed them brilliantly, this spot would crush. deservedly.

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From: Pete Harvey
Date: Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Jamie Barrett

agreed. it’s a beautifully shot story the world probably wanted to hear. not necessarily a conceptual revolution.

judging the AICP’s integrated category made something clear to me: spend time on that idea video. it’s got to be fucking great to win. too long a video and interest slips. too little polish and it feels small. too much set up and it feels complicated.

here’s a killer video for a recent andy winner. the website experience itself takes awhile to load and enjoy. and honestly, i had more fun watching the video. don’t get me wrong – it’s geek paradise, and i love melding those two brands – but the story is stronger than the execution.

it seems celebrating great work is just as much about convincing people why it should be celebrated as the idea itself.

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From: Jamie Barrett
Date: Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Pete Harvey

yeah. more and more, i feel like we’re advertising to ourselves. we want credit for using the latest technology or technique or tactic. it’s become more about doing the first of something, and maybe less about doing the best of something. this video is pretty classic and is all about that…

since we’re ping ponging, here’s one last thing i thought was great and kinda has it all. cool technology, check. cool idea, check. human and moving and memorable and relevant, four more checks.

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From: Pete Harvey
Date: Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM
Subject: Re: god this is good
To: Jamie Barrett

i’m thinking that great apotek hair idea takes us out. it’s solid, smart, easy to enjoy, benefits the consumer and has old people in it. can’t miss with old people.

if there’s a headline from all of this, it’s that contemporary advertising has made award shows broader and more elusive to define. or, more cynically, the shows themselves are rewarding agencies for including work that may or may not be advertising per se. from which both agency winner and show benefit.

interesting to see what comes out of southern france this year on top.

pete & jamie

  1. Anonymous June 18, 2014

    This is pretty great. Still wishing barrett nothing but luck as they continue growing.

  2. James Johan August 9, 2016

    Nice