Act like a lamb and you won’t be among Lions

Cundari's Andrew Simon on why small budgets are no excuse not to be brave with creative.

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By Andrew Simon

The fact that you’re reading this Cannes blog tells me one of two things: you already hate me and you’re looking for a reason to truly despise me.

Or, you’re interested in a perspective from someone experiencing the festival first-hand. Either way, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Everything in Cannes is big. Beyond the magnum bottles of rosé, the litre beers and the inevitable massive hangover the next morning, it’s the ideas themselves that really prove my case.

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There should be a category in Cannes called “Oh No You Didn’t!” (Actually, given the continually expanding number of categories, there may already be one.)

Sending a heartfelt message via Hyundai to astronaut dad, recruiting 30+ moms of Brazilian soccer hooligans to serve as stadium security during what was historically the most violent game of the year, projecting children’s choking faces on pollution in China to promote air purification – this is brave and substantial stuff.

And this isn’t a new phenomenon. In recent years we’ve seen a space shuttle being towed by a Toyota truck, famous cartoon characters losing their hair in solidarity with young chemo patients and a dude jumping to Earth fuelled – at least in spirit – by Red Bull.

Go big – really, really big – or go home.

I personally love seeing creatives and agencies with the cojones to put it all on the line to do something epic. It’s like channelling Michael Bay, except with quality content.

Now I know what you’re thinking – we’re Canada and we don’t have the budgets to support something of a larger scale. Get over it. It’s still more about the size of the idea than the size of the budget.

Does it always work out? Of course not. But dreaming big can be the difference between bringing home a Gold versus a suitcase full of bitterness.

So, can we be as courageous as Honey Maid’s “This is Wholesome” campaign? That’s a tall order. But the more these kinds of big, brave efforts are fêted in Cannes, the better our chances of these kinds of ideas being culturally accepted by clients at-large.

My dear friend Pharrell Williams put it best the other morning: “I’m overly ambitious because I know it can be done.”

Big is beautiful.

ANDREW SIMONAndrew Simon is chief creative officer at Cundari

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