Pay attention so that you don’t miss the real point


Issue 67: Who’s Watching Who?

Watching You Watching Me

The Cannes Lions Festival officially kicks off this weekend. While media and tech companies are showing up more and more across the Festival, I still think the most important aspect of Cannes is seeing all the best ideas from around the world. Watching the work, learning and inspiring each other across the industry with ideas that bring it all together. Ideas that live at the intersection of creativity, humanity and technology. Ideas that touch us by telling a memorable story.

Isn’t that what it’s really all about? The latest technologies and research are things everyone needs – and is able – to access and learn about. But we can never loose sight of our true differential. It is the keen understanding of human nature and the artistry to reach people which we bring to our clients. That talent that can’t be taught, as Bernbach called it.

And we can’t get caught up in our own “brilliance” either – not if we’re doing our job. Our work must be centered on others and what they get out of it. It doesn’t matter how clever our idea is if it doesn’t make people really feel something, move them emotionally. Our audience has to be our focus, not just our message.

So in that spirit, I didn’t just ask some of our top creatives around the network to comment on a few of my favorite ideas for Cannes this year. I asked them to let us watch them watch each other’s work. That’s where the magic of our ideas can be seen.

DDB New York amazing film for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival is so beautifully crafted and told so well it brings tears to your eyes. DDB Paris and DDB Berlin used human insights in classic VW style to connect people to the Volkswagen brand. And our Brazilian agency Africa found a hilarious way to get the MTV crowd to give a fuck about the environment.

I am tremendously proud of the thinking you all do every day on behalf of the DDB network. It makes us shine. But it’s what in your hearts that means the most.

Cosmo & Marketa on IKEA

Cosmo Campbell, EVP Chief Creative Officer of DDB Canada, and Marketa Krivy, ECD Tribal Canada reflect on the subtle genius and humor of “Meet the Real Stars of the IKEA Catalogue” from DDB Brussels.

DDB New Zealand on MTV

Brazil’s idea for MTV seems to have touched the team at DDB New Zealand exactly as intended. Thanks to CCO Damon Stapleton and ECD Shane Bradnick for sharing with their team (and us): Christie Cooper (CD), Ben Pegler (CD), Aaron Carbines (AD), Zac Lancaster (AD).

“It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.”

Bill Bernbach

Luis Miguel & Monserrat on WCFF Dream

Alma’s Creative Chairman and CEO Luis Miguel Messianu and CD Monserrat Valera spared us their tears while watching DDB New York’s “Dream” for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival. They still seem a bit misty-eyed though, sharing their feelings after screening this beautiful spot.