David Wilding’s view from Cannes – Day 1

PHD UK’s Head of Planning is Cannes this week. Before he left, he promised to compose his daily thoughts for us. And here they are…

And so hello from Cannes.

I’m lucky enough to be here until Thursday with the 4 PHD young Lions and the plan is to send the odd update via this blog – hopefully highlighting some inspiring work and chucking in the odd thought as we go along. We’ll see.

Now because of my daughter’s 9th birthday yesterday I’m actually running slightly behind but it’s been pretty easy to follow proceedings so far on twitter. Almost too easy. In fact it’s been pretty difficult to avoid.

The idea that social media acts as an “endless echo chamber” reflecting our own interests back to us has rarely been more in evidence for me than over the last few days as 1st #twitter4brands and now #canneslions constantly re-echo around twitter to a drum beat of similar people tweeting similiar things.

There’s an interesting debate about whether such tweeting adds or detracts from these events.

On balance I’m not necessarily convinced that this is a good thing – either for delegates trying to listen and tweet simultaneously (and I realise I’m often guilty of that myself) or for those people not here who are exposed to a stream of micro commentary from an event they’re not at. Certainly it’s not great for my own fear of missing out on things from seminars happening simultaneously.

But that aside, and in no particular order, here are 3 other top line thoughts so far…

1) It really doesn’t mind which country winning entries are from.

For me the whole “UK agencies over / under perform” angle that many journalists take at Cannes misses the point. The whole point of the festival is to take inspiration from great work wherever it happens and think about how to apply it to our own work, markets and clients.

Indeed I’d argue it’s better from a UK perspective for most of the winning work to come from other markets. It’s a lot harder to be inspired by work you already know.

2. “Reframing” will lead the way (again). Last year Cheil in Tokyo brilliantly reframed waiting times on tube platforms as mobile shopping opportunities to take the Media Lions’ Grand Prix. This year we can expect to see train timetables reframed as menu waiting times, bus shelters reframed as heating devices and a low tax agenda reframed as a celebration of burning library books.

3. The person who organised the Media Lions awards tomorrow night so that they clashed with England v Ukraine in Euro 2012 isn’t my best friend.

That’s it for now, more tomorrow I hope.

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