Much ado about Cannes

Alan Kelly

By Alan Kelly

Chief Creative Officer

Date: 3 July, 2015

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Well thanks be to Jaysus that’s over.  Not Cannes, but the talk given by Richard, Patrick & Emer ‘Sex, blood and

storytelling’. Turns out Shakespeare was way ahead of his time. I watched the whole thing through my fingers. After all the rehearsing, the rewrites and all the nervousness I just wanted the guys to get through it. But not only did they get through it, they managed to keep a full house in the Audi A interested & entertained for the entire 45 minutes. (Only one woman left the auditorium during the talk and that’s because she had been in the her seat early to watch the previous speaker Kim Kardashian and had held off going for a wee for about 4 hours) Hats off guys. You were fab!




My second favourite talk was from Monica Lewinsky. She won a standing ovation from the creative elite after telling them in emotional speech to join her mission to ensure “public shaming as a blood sport must stop.” She told the crowd, “Like me, at 22, a few of you may also have taken wrong turns and fallen in love with the wrong person, maybe even your boss … Unlike me, though, your boss probably wasn’t the president of the United States of America.” Echoing her powerful message against cyber-bullying, and calling on the branding executives and creative leaders in the audience to help, Lewinsky said, “A marketplace has emerged where shame is a commodity and public humiliation an industry … Public shaming as a blood sport must stop. It’s time for an intervention on the Internet and in the culture. We need a return to compassion, online we have a compassion deficit, an empathy crisis.” She concluded, “We can lead each other to a more compassionate, more empowered place, we can help change our behaviour, we can all learn from mistakes … and we can together make a society where the sometimes distancing of technology does not remove our humanity.” Hear, hear.

And then there was the work. Too many inspirational campaigns to mention but my absolute favourite was ‘Hands off’ for Marc Dorcel. This idea dealt with the unusual problem the old school porn industry faces – nobody has to pay for it anymore. So the clever people behind the campaign created ‘hands off’ a free trial of high quality porn you can preview but only if you keep both hands on the keyboard. If one hand comes off the keyboard – the trial stops. You have to sign up and pay if you want the hands free version.


However, everything paled into insignificance compared to the highlight of the week which came on Tuesday night when Rothco won its first Cannes Lion for The Shred of Decency campaign!

   A tanned and always polished Juan Senior the night’s MC announced the winning countries in our section. All the winning countries began appear in a scatter gun effect on screen and there in the far right corner – Ireland! Rothco. Shred of Decency! I’d like to say that I played it all cool when they announced the winners but that didn’t happen. I sat between Ste and Shane when Mr Senior called out ‘Ireland’ at which point I grabbed Ste by the leg and tried to grab Shane by the leg but accidentally grabbed him in his special place instead. I apologise Shane but it was a special moment so it seems apt.


Back to Dublin and back to reality this week. You’d think that there might be a bit of a ‘job done’ attitude in the agency. Not a bit of it. There’s only ten months to next year’s deadline. We go again.


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