Ambient, don’t just sit there… do something!

June 19, 2009

Peter Bidenko, ECD of Impact Proximity and Integrated CD of ImpactBBDO Dubai, blogs on day two of judging with the Direct Jury in Cannes.

Pete Bidenko

If yesterday’s blog was about reality then this one’s about make believe. The worst kind of make believe… self delusion. I saw a lot of it judging the ambient section of the Cannes Direct today.

We all like to believe we’re the best looking, the most talented, the wittiest, the coolest. The reality is we rarely are. Sometimes if we believe it enough, we can talk ourselves into it.

In Cannes, it’s virtually impossible to talk 30 judges into your work being the best, the most relevant, the most interactive, the most engaging. They’ve got the shotgun locked, loaded and aimed right at any entry that steps out of line.

The brilliant ideas that got through to the shortlist had a little less wishing and a little more understanding of the category criteria. Even though it’s ambient, it still needs to create action from the people who see it, there needs to be some sort of response and meaning beyond just making noise in newspapers.

PR exposure has become the biggest cliché. Every entry has their section on how much it was picked up by TV, press and on blogs – and how much media dollar exposure it got. But that in itself is not a result. I can shave my monkey, grind my organ on top of the Burj Al Arab, and someone’s going to come and film it, photograph it, write about it and publish it. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to help me meet my marketing objectives.

That fluffy dog I was taking about in the beginning, I’m starting to suspect it can’t drive.


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