Seyoan Vela is executive creative director at JWT Dubai
“Once Cannes was a B-list festival. Not in the same category as the One Show or D&AD. Now it’s this juggernaut that dominates our industry. It has expertly evolved into this corporate beast, a global way of quantifying creativity, and this is probably why my feelings towards it are torn.
There are many things to love about it. Remember you are not in Gdansk. This is the South of France in June where the purpose is to celebrate and be inspired by the best work from around the world. And when it comes to the work that wins the grand prix in each category, it always feels like the best, boundary-pushing work rises to the top. This year the region has a good body of work that should win its fair share of metal, even if the top prizes still remain just out of reach.
So why the mixed feelings? I think it’s to do with the fact that even though it’s now more how I imagine Davos to be, it is still billed as the ‘Festival of Creativity’. And some part of me still questions whether you can actually judge creativity globally. Aren’t you just creating a different standard by which a certain type of crowd-pleasing work wins? Isn’t there a danger that you end up with the musical equivalent of Coldplay? I say this because advertising at its best is part of popular culture. Yet I don’t expect people to be able to judge Indonesian pop music, Iberian poetry or Ukrainian art house cinema.
However, we seem to expect a cross-section of the world’s creatives (and let’s be honest, they‘re not always the sharpest knives in the toolbox) to put aside cultural prejudices and come to a universally accepted standard of what’s good and what’s not. The same people who have a widely different opinion of what constitutes a funny joke, a beautiful woman or a great football team are expected to agree on what makes a great ad. And though people falling over, Angelina Jolie and Barcelona are universally accepted standards, they are in reality the grand prix winners. Everything else is just a matter of opinion. Part of the game that we’re in danger of taking far too seriously.”
Filed Under: 3.Blogs & Comment
Disclaimer: The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Campaign, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.