Leo Burnett Beirut makes Film Lions shortlist.

June 25, 2009

Leo Burnett Beirut is the only regional agency to make the shortlists for the 2009 Film Lions in Cannes with its work for client Pert Plus.

The spot for the shampoo brand is called ‘Stop the suffering’ and features animated hair strands grieving after falling from a scalp and being washed down a plug hole. The work has already been recognised at Dubai Lynx this year where it picked up a gold.

The agency has already enjoyed success at this year’s Lions after scooping a PR gold for its ‘Khede Khasra’ campaign. The much garlanded work attempts to empower the region’s women by highlighting the Khasra punctuation mark which denotes femininity in the Arabic language.

The winners of the film Lions will be announced in a ceremony on Saturday night in Cannes.


Yes you Cannes, says Obama’s campaign manager.

June 25, 2009

After a stirring introductory film put together by DDB Chicago, the applause was loud and long when David Plouffe, manager and architect of Barack Obama’s boundary pushing presidential campaign, took the stage at Cannes this morning.

David Plouffe in Cannes

After extensive media coverage, the tactic of leveraging new media pursued by Plouffe to galvanise the USA’s electorate almost needed no explanation. But the capacity crowd was keen to hear the facts, figures and risks taken by the team first hand; particularly as Plouffe had an oratory ease to rival the man he so famously helped to power.

 As Plouffe was at pains to make clear, it was the combination of grassroots empowerment, plus digital, that had propelled Obama to power; the technology being an aid to help voters interact personally, one-to-one. The tactic mobilised an army of volunteers to their cause, 50 percent of whom had no prior political campaigning experience. It was, said Plouffe, an exercise in “giving people the responsibility to change the future of their country”. Beginning as no hopers, as Plouffe put it, they felt able to buck conventional campaigning wisdom.

 He also conceded that rival John McCain was actually the first candidate to raise substantial funds on the internet when he’d stood against Bush four years prior, though he had, suggested Plouffe, seemingly forgotten the lessons he’d learned. Obama’s team used personal fundraising, no matter how small, as the bedrock to their campaign and gained an average contribution of 85 dollars per fundraiser, who numbered in their hundreds of thousands.

 The fundamental component to the whole scheme, said Plouffe, was Obama himself, whom he described as a “great product”. “Nothing is more powerful than authenticity,” said Plouffe, citing Obama’s ability to connect with voters, and that people had a “sensitive bull**** meter”. With this in mind, the campaign team used YouTube vlogs to reiterate the message, with Obama and Plouffe himself reminding voters personally of what they needed to do to engender the change they craved.

Obama in Plouffe's presentation

 At the beginning of the campaign’s two-year journey, the now eponymous Twitter didn’t exist and only became a factor in the final stages of the campaign. The majority of the work was done, said Plouffe, by people taking the cause into their own hands and producing content outside the official campaign. The most famous examples being by musician Will-i-am and graffiti artist Shepard Fairey, who designed the now iconic Obama posters.

 The most famous self-initiated part of the campaign for Cannes delegates, though, was “The Great Schlep” film featuring comedian Sarah Silverman. The work, put together in conjunction with Droga5 New York, has just collected a gold in the Direct Lions.


Should it be called the world wide women’s web?

June 25, 2009

According to findings revealed in Cannes yesterday by BBDO and Proximity Worldwide, the age-old battle of the sexes has shifted venue to cyberspace.

 Despite the web being designed by men, for men, said the speaker, the internet has become a largely female domain, leading him to suggest it be renamed the worldwide women’s web.  

73% French men

Their comprehensive internet survey revealed that 63 percent of online purchases are made by women and the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over the age of 55. According to their findings, the nurturing of relationships is the single most motivating factor for the web’s female users.

 Men on the other hand are inspired by point scoring and game playing, with 84 percent of online fantasy role-playing games participated in by men. Despite males being the majority in specific sectors like gaming, the broader web has stronger feminine appeal, with sites like blogher.com enjoying over 8 million female users worldwide.


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