The trouble with satire is that it can be a rather blunt tool.
So I think it is worth writing a short postscript to what has been a rather successful edition, if judged by visitors alone, of my last blog. (thanks for visiting)
It just shows that controversial works. Some people thought it rather harsh, which wasn’t actually my intention. (Well, maybe a little…just for the mischief of it)
And it wouldn’t be the first time an idea of mine has been taken the wrong way.
So I feel it’s worth stating that I categorically love lions health. I think it is inspirational and prestigious and a shot in the arm for our sometimes forgotten corner of advertising.
I am not backtracking.
My point, such as it was, is still valid.
And that point, for those who thought the acidity was somewhat obfuscating, was that the work that won was (by and large) remarkably removed from what we all do day to day.
I know you all know this but you know, some people may not have.
Every conversation I had with agency people in Cannes seemed to revolve around this one point. Great work, but people saw no reflection of the work that they do, day in and day out for Pharma clients.
Now, does that mean we should all feel dejected and give up entering actual product work and only go for the pro-bono cool stuff?
Quite the opposite.
And do I feel the juries at Cannes should reward mediocre work just because that’s what most clients want and that’s what we mostly do all week?
Not at all.
I guess what I was trying to say was that the real challenge is in the mundane. How do we make those detail aids sing? How do we create HCP portals that transcend the ordinary? How can that next banner ad be the next Gold?
Is that even possible?
By all means if that brief to empower women lands on your desk, go for it. By all means if that extraordinarily worthwhile task of helping the health of Mexican communities lands on your desk, grasp it with both hands. There’s your chance to win big, don’t cock it up.
But let’s not forget the real test of whether pharma agencies deserve to sit at the same table as our swanky consumer cousins is whether we can elevate the everyday, the mundane, the boring.
Make that extraordinary and you will inspire an entire industry to improve.
(Maybe I should have just written this version instead)
Primates in classic tailoring, Olly. Seriously. http://www.harryyeates.com/2014/08/is-this-relatively-compelling/
i have no idea what you mean by this, but thanks for the comment.
I think he’s saying that a well-dressed delivery primate is one way to elevate day-to-day healthcare work all the way up to “relatively compelling.” On an unrelated note (except to this blog entry), I found the Cannes Health pharma winner to be so underwhelming as to need TWO well-dressed delivery primates. Besides being incredibly derivative (talking fish are to American advertising what flags are to the Brazilians), the campaign wasn’t even particularly compelling or well-executed. The judges laid an egg with this one. Or caviar, as the case may be.