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June 26, 2004
I Cannes Tell You Exactly What Happened
(CANNES, France, June 26) – Well, what can I say? It’s truly been a whirlwind week. My camera got confiscated by airport security in Nice, so basically all I can do is gather what’s left of my alcohol-soaked memory and report to you the highlights of this year’s Cannes Advertising Festival:

--7 Moroccan tourists were reported running and screaming in horror upon the discovery of a gaggle of beached whales. They were relieved to be told it was only a few pudgy, pasty middle-aged American Creative Directors out for a swim.

--This year’s press Grand Prix (print best of show) contained no words. This year’s television Grand Prix contained no dialogue. The copywriters credited for the ads, however, reported significant ego swelling.

--Although many countries were represented at Cannes, the language barrier was not a problem. According to international translators, 99.2% of all conversations at Cannes were summed up as: “You’re great.” “No, YOU’RE great.”

--1,897 unwanted sexual advances and innuendo-laced remarks were made by advertising men towards various women attending the show. No reverse scenarios were noted.

--29 client representatives reported feeling “cool” for the first time in their corporate careers.

--Of those 29 clients, 23 reported that “cocaine and hookers” were not acceptable line items in an expense report. However, they pledged to triple their “research” budgets in the next fiscal quarter.

--After some triumphant award wins, ad agencies in Malaysia and South Africa expect a flood of books from American creatives seeking job opportunities. The Kuala Lumpur Ad Club is now touting itself as “The Minneapolis of the Third World.”

--Interns and Executive Assistants all across America are now being told to provide hourly doses of Aloe Vera and Solarcaine to their bosses. Approximately 39 pounds of peeling, molting skin will be collected in wastebaskets throughout the Omnicom, IPG and WPP networks.

--Despite speculation to the contrary, no one at the Cannes Advertising Festival was reported to have actually said, “The ad industry is doing just fine! As long as I can continue to con my agency into sending me to this all-expenses-paid, week-long, alcohol-fueled, ego-stroking, self-congratulatory masturbation, the advertising business has no real problems whatsoever.”

Okay, okay, so I wasn’t really there. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t leave anything out.

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Since 2002, Dan Goldgeier has been writing the most provocative advertising columns about advertising and marketing -- over 170 of them, covering every related topic you can think of. Now based in Seattle, Dan is a copywriter and ad school graduate who's worked at shops big and small. 

Visit his copywriting websitesee his LinkedIn profile or follow him on Twitter.

And please, buy his book for 99 cents.


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