Terry O’Reilly

A few notes from near (not by)

A few notes from near (not by)

the pool in Cannes…

This was my first time at Cannes. And I had the incredible honour of experiencing it as a judge. And not just a judge, but a judge in the inaugural year of radio. Being part of that jury was a fascinating experience for a number of reasons, which I’ll get to. But first:

Heart Attack/Stroke/Aneurysm/Chaser: The sequence of physical effects you experience when you get your first bill at Cannes. It cost 35 Euros just to sit by the pool at my hotel.

Good News: Lots of Toplessness: Lots and lots.

Bad News: Everyone topless was an orange-skinned octogenarian.

Sign of the Times: At the judges’ dinner, the festival CEO told us entries were at record levels for all categories. Except TV, which was down. The shift begins.

Solitary Confinement: For the first three days of a four-day judging session, we listened to over 1,000 spots with headphones at our own separate tables. Result? No bonding. No camaraderie.

Which was the bravest radio ad?

For me, it was a 15-second ad that asked: ‘When you have a headache, what medicine would you take to get rid of it? [BIG PAUSE] Thank you for your trust.’ That was it, no product mention whatsoever. But I knew it was Aspirin.

Does Canada stack up?

Yup. Four Lions in radio alone. Not bad.

Is Cannes worth it?

Everyone who comes back from Cannes is an evangelist. I never understood it. Now I do. It’s a week fully dedicated to advertising on a scale and level of intensity that I’ve never experienced. The electricity is incredible. The winning work is awesome. It is inspiring, mind blowing (like the closing night fireworks), exciting and pushes you out of the Palais feeling like you love the business and that winning a Lion next year just might, maybe, can be, possible.