Nick Worthington's Cannes Diary

Screen shot 2012-06-21 at 3.35.34 AM.jpgNick Worthington, creative chairman of Colenso BBDO, Auckland, was president of the prestigious Promo & Activation jury. Worthington, along with most of the Australian and NZ jurors, is of course reporting exclusively for CB.

It's been amazing. 25 jurors, from every continent except Antarctica. No arguments just lots of illuminating discussion. It's a pleasure and a privilege to spend 5 days with some of the cleverest people on the planet. And draining.
Australia has held its head up high in our category. There would have been some happy people on the night. NZ has done well too. Let's hope we continue to do well through the week.

Our part of the world has always done well in the promo and activation category since it was established in 2006. We've won more than our fair share of Lions and award night was no different. The golds have come from everywhere, the US, Tunisia, Korea, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Holland, Aus, and NZ.

I have no photos to share, no tweets, no blog, but there are a few trends emerging which I can share.

No more vending machine's coming to life in surprising ways please, and everyone seems to be putting their customer's names on their products/restaurants etc.

But the useful stuff we're seeing is brands putting their customers at the centre of their campaigns, delivering them immersive experiences that they control, across lots of platforms. These campaigns can connect with people so deeply and hold their attention so long that they offer incredible value compared to traditional " us telling you about us" campaigns.

It's getting harder and more expensive to buy an audience, but they will come with you and stay engaged if you offer something interesting or useful.

That's the other trend, clients spending less on advertising and more on doing something good or useful for their customers.

But my advice is don't follow trends, understand the business problem and think of a devilishly clever solution, the rest will take care of itself.

One of my favorite ideas was for a solar power company whose annual report was printed in ink only visible in direct sunlight, it's magic, it would have to be the first annual report you can't read without the product and one everyone wanted to steal to show to their friends, kids, etc.

Leave a comment