- The meaning of ‘creative’ - 5. July 2017
- Creativity is Matthias Harbeck´s profession and calling - 17. November 2016
- Cannes: all correct. And all wrong. - 21. June 2016
Advertising has changed in recent years towards more responsible communication. Even in competitions like the one in Cannes there were many awards for works with a higher purpose aspect. Why are these predestined for a lion?
For a few years, there have been complaints about the fact that more and more Cannes winners have less to do with the advertisement of the good old product advantage, but put “social” issues to the foreground. I think the excitement about it is outdated and amiss. Cannes merely reflects the social prevailing mood, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, and that simply goes in the direction of social and sustainability issues. Even ten years ago, environmental protection was a marginal issue in the US, now VW is being pilloried. To stay with the example of cars: today it is not longer a question of how fast a car accelerates from 0 to 100, but how it helps to cope with the mobility and environmental challenges of tomorrow.
Generally, people today are rather discussing issues like the environment, refugees, terrorism, equality or integration than the question of how a particular product characteristic gives them a more comfortable life. Cannes takes up this mood pointedly. And therefore works with a higher purpose have high odds of winning. Undoubtedly some juries exaggerate by also distinguishing work, that in fact has a higher purpose, but does not really show an unusual idea, a really fascinating implementation. But that will settle in.
How useful do you think the festival is?
One can accuse Cannes of a lot. A parallel world of colourful extra ideas that have nothing to do with our hard daily business. A tremendous money-making machine that only makes the organizers rich. A party of vain self-congratulation rather than humble work in the service of the customer. All correct. And all wrong. Cannes is the most important platform for new ideas that truly advance our industry. After all, even the most conservative client asks at some point: Is that all you have to offer me? Then: Cannes is not only a huge money-making machine, but also a huge inspiration machine. Nowhere in the world will you be so bombarded within a week with so many ideas, so many lectures, so many conversations. You can feed of it for a whole year. And the topic of parties and prizes? Both are, beside all the tam-tam, the best motivation for employees that one can imagine.
In 2016, the category Digital Craft is new, amongst others. To what extent do the Cannes Lions of digital development in advertising accommodate the new category?
I am excited about the new category. Because what we are talking about when we talk about digitization? Which terms do we use? Clicks, shares, likes. Websites, moving image, banner. Targeting, conversion rate, ROI. Primarily technical terms that describe certain categories, functions and modes of action. We talk too little about beauty. Too little about how technically well something is made. And yet it is precisely this quality, especially with regard to the impact, that is an enormous factor. Especially against the background of limited spaces with a lot of information, with which one is often confronted digitally. The introduction of the Digital Craft category is setting a positive sign here.
Which creative factor can win a prize in Cannes (for example, humour, higher purpose)?
The most important is still the idea. How surprising, how new will something be sold to me? How surprising, how new is the Insight? Is it simple and understandable enough for the often-quoted Indian on the jury, who has no idea of the German market conditions? Very important: Does it move me? Especially us Germans indeed still have our fears in dealing with emotions. Higher Purpose? Helps. And humour? Can not hurt.
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