Thursday, June 24, 2010

Notes from Cannes.

I've been busy of late, running hither and yon and was delayed getting to this year's Cannes. I flew out around 4 yesterday afternoon on a specially recommissioned Concorde and arrived in my suite early this morning where I found some time to write this missive.

Though I do not usually succumb to the siren of nostalgia, I must say that I thought back to my first trip to Cannes some 22 years ago.

My partner and I were the creative team on Gorton's Fish Sticks. In Gorton's we knew we had inherited a legacy, a tradition of great work, and we had to do more than just another emotionally moving spot for reconstituted and breaded fish. We had to raise the bar.

The particular fish sticks we were to advertise were of the "Lite" variety. They had 15% less cholesterol than the our arch competitor Mrs. Paul's. "How 'bout we make Mrs. Paul the Whore of Babylon?" I ventured to my partner, Craig. We weren't just thinking another pretty commercial with a cut-away of a crispy fish filet, we were already thinking epic. "No," rejoined my partner. "Mrs. Paul is a Nazi dominatrix. With a leather cat o-nine tails she forces innocent victims to eat high cholesterol fish sticks."

"Wait," I said. "Wait."
"The Seventh Seal," said Craig.
Simultaneously, we said "The Gorton Fisherman plays chess with death."

The rest, of course, is advertising history. We got Ingy Bergman to shoot the spot and it blew the judges at Cannes away.

I missed the place. And glad I'm back.

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