Monday, June 24, 2019

Questioning the way things are.

I understand the importance of winning awards. And therefore I understand the importance of awards shows.

But that doesn't mean I like them or respect them.

Mostly because when it comes to awards shows, there is a pretty pronounced subject-object split.

But first a little background.

In 2018, Cannes received 32,372 entries. That's down from 2016's high of 43,101 submissions. Cannes grosses from those submissions between $50 million and $75 million a year--depending on how many submissions are subject to late fees.

[* BTW, that $50 million to $75 million is the agency cost of entry fees only. My guess is you can double that if you account for billable hours, hotel bills, expensive wine, cheap wine, yachts, expense-account purchased swim-wear and more.]

I wonder two things.

1. Does anyone believe that there were over 32,000 great ads last year? If there were, how come I don't think I've seen ten great commercials while watching TV. 

All I seem to see are horrible ads with "real people," for Chevy. A Toyota affront about 12 times an hour. Cell-phone and cable company commercials that make me hate the brands sponsoring them even more than their service does. And of course pharma ads, which often make me wish I had one of the diseases those ads claim to cure, just so I could die and never see another pharma ad.

Am I watching the wrong kind of TV? If there were 32,000 great ads made in 2018, where do they all run? Is there a closed-circuit Cannes network? 

Even if each ad is entered ten times, were there really 3,200 great ads last year? Without doing any research whatsoever I can tell you there weren't 3,200 great movies, plays, operas, novels, short films, comic books, fortune cookies, stand-up comedy routines.

Now, #2. Some thoughts on the money we spend.

According to, $530 will educate one female child in India for a year. $530 will cover tuition, books, notebooks, uniforms, health supplements, transportation and lunch.

So at the low-end of the money agencies spend on entries alone, we could send almost 100,000 poor girls to school for a year.

That's a pretty dumb thought, though.

We're too busy creating ads and experiences that will change the world. Why would we actually want to change it?

No comments: