Any creative or advertising professional worth their salt aspires to go to Cannes. No, strike that. Aspires to win at Cannes. But going is a very close second.
I have had the good fortune of winning Gold at Cannes, and last year, I was granted a career-long wish of attending the Festival. I was selected to sit on the Direct Jury, and it turned out to be the single most invigorating experience of my career. Truly. It was like a Taser to the chest. A thousand volts of electricity delivered in seminars, award ceremonies, chats with peers and luminaires on the Croisette, and party after party after party. I met so many wonderful people and saw such inspiring thinking. It reminded me why I got into this business in the first place. It was electric.
When I returned home, I made a promise to myself that I would return the following year. But this time, I wouldn’t be alone. I swore that I would bring others from my agency. And in full disclosure, I wasn’t thinking about creative people, because they always want to do great work. I wanted to find others with the same drive. I wanted to create creative evangelists in other parts of the agency.
And so I created a contest to identify the most creative thinkers in our company — those who take the ordinary and make it extraordinary in whatever they do. The winners would receive an all-expense-paid trip to the festival and a chance to be smacked upside the head by greatness.
The contest received broad praise and lots of interest from every department — account, project management, search, technology — even A&O. The entries were wildly imaginative and inspiring. I had no idea so much creativity was going on behind the scenes every day. My faith in humanity (or at least advertising) was still alive.
When the results were tallied and the winners ranked, an interesting thing occurred. The top three winners came from three different departments — account, creative and technology. How perfect! After all, you need all three groups to create and sell greatness. It was kismet. And then it hit me: My budget was only big enough to send two of them. But how could I pass up this golden opportunity to inspire people from such diverse but interconnected groups? How could I not send all three and show them the power and influence creativity can have in every part of our business — from strategy to execution, from media to technology?
So I did the only thing a self-respecting CCO could do. I gave up my ticket. Most people thought I was crazy. I, for one, knew I was. But I also knew that by giving up my ticket, I would be planting the seeds of a creative revolution within the agency. And it would start with these three young, energetic minds who were ready and willing to soak up some inspiration, if not a few glasses of rose.
Do I regret my decision? Every waking moment of every day. Every time I open my inbox and see another email from Cannes. Every time I read about another speaker, hear about another seminar or receive another rooftop party invitation at the Radisson Blu. But then I put my jealousy aside and think about what they will see and hear and experience. And then I smile. Because when they return, I will have my soldiers. Viva la Revolution!
Gary Scheiner is managing partner and chief creative officer of Rosetta, an independent interactive agency within the Publicis Groupe.
How newsroom unions intervene when members get laid off
Amid the recent wave of media layoffs, here are some of the ways newsroom unions are intervening.
Despite Q1’s slow start, publishers are bullish about events revenue for 2023
Publishers like BDG and Apartment Therapy are banking on events revenue to give them a leg up in 2023.
Media Briefing: The case for and against monthly and annual subscriptions in the battle for retention
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving retention in a subscriptions business. While annual subscribers might stick around longer for some, other publishers will have better luck with monthly plans.
SponsoredHow Rumpl and Replacements got creative with CTV ad production and media buys
Sponsored by MNTN This year, marketers are balancing multiple priorities, including the convergence of two trends: the growth of CTV advertising and economic uncertainty impacting ad budgets. To keep costs low while generating ROI, savvy brands are embracing innovative approaches to production and media buys. These tactics allow advertisers to continue reaching audiences on CTV […]
Digiday+ Research: The economy will hit the media and marketing industries this year, but differently
The economy will plague both the media and marketing industries in 2023, but the hit will be uneven between publishers and agencies.
Podcast ad buyers have yet to see a slowdown
Ad buyers have yet to see clients cut their podcast budgets – though the time of podcasts as the shiny new medium may be coming to an end.