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What SA can learn from Cannes ad festival

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At this year’s Cannes Lions advertising festival, South Africa scored many accolades – but not a single prize for digital work. This was hardly surprising, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

It took a flood of insults to point the way to a new trend in digital advertising. A campaign featuring supermodel Gisele Bundchen won a Grand Prix, the premium award, in the Cyber Lions, the digital category of the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The campaign began with the announcement of an unlikely partnership between Bundchen and macho brand Under Armour. It sparked a flood of both subtle and outright sexist insults in conventional media and social networks.

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And that’s when the campaign truly kicked in. Real comments were used in TV ads featuring Bundchen working out. Under Armour’s website used a custom “engine” to scrape the Internet for insults, and projected them on the site in real time – all accompanied by videos and images of Bundchen in action.

The message? Bundchen had both the physical and emotional strenght to block out even the worst of the insults. Not only did it send a message of empowerment, but also combined numerous platforms, sources and technologies.

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Most important, it delivered results: 1,5-billion media impressions and a 28 per cent increase in sales. The campaign won another two gold Lions and four silvers for its various achievements.

No one is suggesting that an equivalent campaign could have been created in South Africa. But it is noteworthy that this country barely features in the Cyber Lions, while having a proud history across the rest of the competition.

This year, South Africa took 16 out of 58 awards for Radio, a category

It has dominated over the years, proving there is no shortage of advertising creativity in this country.

So why does it fall so short in digital? One answer was suggested to this writer two years ago during judging of the annual Bookmark awards, which recognise excellence in digital creative work and execution in South Africa. Some of the best work on show was brilliant in its execution, but clearly followed in trails blazed by digital pioneers elsewhere.

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While such works were not necessarily derivative, they were also not particularly brave, given that they were built on well-established foundations. And they barely left a mark in the collective South African psyche.

The best of South African radio advertising, on the other hand, tends to be both bold and memorable. One senses creative decision-makers ready to stick their necks out, which is a sign not only of courage, but also of confidence. They know what they’re doing, and are always ready to try something new.

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In the digital category, on the other hand, we tend to be led by what is happening elsewhere, and what has been made possible by others. It’s a matter not only of limited technical knowledge, but also of failing to appreciate the boundaries of digital creativity – or rather, the lack of boundaries. Globally, it is a medium that is being reinvented every day, and slowly becoming more important than most other traditional forms of advertising.

Eventually, all advertising will be a sub-category of digital. Until a few years ago in Cannes, however, digital was a poor relation of TV, radio and press advertising. In South Africa, it still is.

* Arthur Goldstuck has been a judge in the digital category of both local and international advertising festivals. He is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee, and subscribe to his YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/GGadgets

All the Cyber Lions Grand Prix and Gold winners

Campaign Brand Agency Country Award
Gisele Bündchen – I Will What I Want Under Armour Droga5 New York USA Grand Prix
Hammerhead Hammerhead Navigation R/GA New York USA Gold Lion
The Other Side Honda Motor Europe Wieden+Kennedy London United Kingdom Gold Lion
Gisele Bündchen – I Will What I Want Under Armour Droga5 New York USA Gold Lion
The Berlin Wall Of Sound Soundcloud Grey Germany Düsseldorf / Grey Germany Berlin Germany Gold Lion
Gisele Bündchen – I Will What I Want Under Armour Droga5 New York USA Gold Lion
Look At Me Samsung Electronics Cheil Worldwide Seoul South Korea Gold Lion
Groceries Not Guns Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America Grey Canada Toronto Canada Gold Lion
#Likeagirl Procter & Gamble Leo Burnett Toronto / Leo Burnett Chicago / Leo Burnett London / Holler London Canada Gold Lion
The Other Side Honda Motor Europe Wieden+Kennedy London United Kingdom Gold Lion
Print For Help Hewlett-Packard Brasil FCB Brasil São Paulo Brazil Gold Lion
Dream On Adobe Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco USA Gold Lion
The Ice Bucket Challenge The Als Association The ALS Association Washington USA Gold Lion
#Likeagirl Procter & Gamble Leo Burnett Toronto / Leo Burnett Chicago / Leo Burnett London / Holler London Canada Gold Lion
Unskippable: Elevator Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippable Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippable: Family Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippable: Family Long Form Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippables: High Five Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Clever Buoy Optus M&C Saatchi Sydney Australia Gold Lion
House Of Mamba Nike Akqa London / Akqa Shanghai United Kingdom Gold Lion
Safety Truck Samsung Leo Burnett Argentina Buenos Aires Argentina Gold Lion

 

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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