Sorry to be a late Latif on this one. One of the less talked about efforts during Cannes 2008 was JWT’s initiative in bringing ‘Cannes to the people’. It was a simple idea: use the available (free) social media networks for non-attendees to participate virtually. I would rather go to Cannes than sit in my grubby cubicle following the Cannes, you say? The point is, do we use the very same tools that we say are all the rage with consumers? This was an opportunity for JWT to make that point and I am sure it makes an impression with current & prospective employees, clients and industry at large. The effort, called ‘Cannes to the people’ has a Flickr stream, a YouTube channel, a Twitter feed and not surprisingly, a Facebook page. The YouTube channel has a few contenders from JWT, the Flickr page has print ads, the Twitter feed has some inane tweets and the Facebook page has well, the usual Facebook stuff. So all this is not really deeply analytical stuff that calls for your grey cells to work over time. Yet, the use of new media well has potential to be informative, while being entertaining. Not to mention the goodwill it generates for the agency. Rapp Collins, the DM agency too used the goings on at Cannes well. Yes, you had your Adweek’s and Adage’s covering Cannes, but beyond JWT, there was nothing much from the agencies. Rapp Collins, had some coverage through their Executive Creative Director’s blog.
Almost every big wig who returned from Cannes talked about the future being digital. The ones from India talked about the yawning gap in the quality of digital work from here. The ‘Cannes to the people’ effort shows that agencies must walk the talk, even if the ‘walk’ is only a baby step.