Judging from the 2015 Cannes international advertising festival, last year was a good year for commercials. Every year, a month after the Cannes film festival, there is the Cannes international festival of creativity where more than 4000 commercials from all over the world compete against each other for a coveted “Lion”. These are like the Olympics of advertising films as the prizes come in bronze, silver and gold. I’ve been coming to see those commercials for a very long time, and I thought they were fun. But, for the last few years, the quality and fun was just not there. Commercials have changed a lot in the last twenty years. Commercials used to be shown exclusively on TV where most of them were 30 seconds. Then we started seeing them in a cinema before a movie. Now, we get ads almost on every website we visit or when we watch a Youtube video. When companies and organism can produce commercials to be shown on their websites, they can be very long. The longest we get this year is from the web based show Between two ferns with Zach Galifianakis. His guest is President Barack Obama coming to joke around with the comedian, but also to promote Obamacare. The President’s charisma and sence of humor is very appealing. As always, I find there are too many ads about cars, and they are dreadful. One of the problem I have is that I sometimes remember the content of the commersials more than the product they were selling. The funniest one has actors pretending a to be in a freeze frame of a nice family having dinner, while the dog jumps on the table and eats what’s on their plates. There is a cute one with a boy who has a penguin as an imagenary friend. He notices that his friend is getting lonely. There are three ads that had the strongest impacts. The first one is from Quebec. It shows a drunk man pick up his car keys to drive home. A rope is attached to his wrist, and the rope is also attached to a policeman with a breathalyzer, the zipper of a body bag, a judge’s gavel, his prison cell bars, ect. In one commercial set in the US, a store employee tells a teen he can’t skasteboard, then a mom is told she can’t bring a bottle of water in the store. Yet, a man freely walks to the cash register with a semi-automatic gun strapped to his back. The best ad is also about gun control. Hidden cameras filmed people entering a fake Mahattan gun store. Every guns sold there killed someone, either on purpose or accidentally, like the semi-automatic used in Sandy Hook. I’ve read that the clients in that commercial are played by actors. Even so, it works and this ad is the most effective. And I think this collection of commercials is very good.
Cannes international ad festival