CannesLions

Tim Bradshaw

The Cannes Lions International Advertising festival is upon us. Once again, agencies, advertisers and tech companies are vying to out-geek each other, to prove they’re on top of the latest digital trends.

Delegates are welcomed to the Palais des Festivals by a giant “touchwall” – a 12-foot by five-foot screen by WPP unit Schematic, showing seminars, 3D maps and other interactive goodies.

SapientNitro – the digital agency which caused a stir last year by buying a traditional agency and scooping several awards for its “best job in the world” campaign for Tourism Queensland – has unveiled what it claims (and who could say otherwise) is the world’s first smile-activated ice-cream van. The van dishes out Unilever treats from Ben & Jerry’s and Wall’s to passers-by in return for a photo of a big grin, which is (inevitably) uploaded to Facebook.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is crowing about its first advertiser to use Kinect, the motion-sensing camera for Xbox 360 that was unveiled at E3 last weekRead more

Tim Bradshaw

A boy lies on his back on a boardroom table in a high-rise office block in Toyko. He pulls out his Nokia, takes a photo of the setting sun – upside down – and sends it to his girlfriend in New York, where dawn is breaking. “Now I know we share the same horizon,” says the voiceover. “My sunset is your sunrise.”

It’s a brilliant Nokia ad – the sort of simple, well-executed idea that agencies charge six-figure sums for. Only this one wasn’t made by an ad agency – it was made by Hiroki Ono, a 23-year-old film student from Yokohama, Japan, who’d never made an ad before. The film, “Feel the globe”, took just two days to make. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

It’s renowned as the most digitally savvy election campaign yet. The story of how Barack Obama used social media to build grassroots support has become the stuff of social-media legend.

But when David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, took to the stage at the Cannes Lions  International Advertising Festival today, the surprising message for marketers was to keep  it “old school”: email and TV are still critically important. Read more