Over on my other, company-sponsored blog, Marketing With Meaning, I shared perspective from my trip to Cannes, France last week for the largest and most important awards festival in the advertising business - The Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Check out my posts here, here, here and here.
Overall, this annual competition of advertising was further evidence that challenge drives improvement. The most entertaining and thought-provoking advertising in the world was weeded down from something like 28,000 entries to a few thousand short-listers, and then to a couple hundred bronze, silver, and gold winners. There were a few controversies, but I can say that some truly great work was honored. And the winners not only entertained consumers, they seemed to sell product at the same time.
The Cannes Lions competition is clearly one where the challenge is opportunity. Winners get the most important trophy in the business - something to put front-and-center on their resumes for life and likely the starting point for a lot of promotion and bonus conversations.
But at their hearts, advertising creatives are artists who wish to see people fall in love with their work. So a Lion also gives them deep personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. These things are much more important than money.
So now I'm off the beach and back in the real world. But I'll take the lessons from Cannes back to my own agency, in hopes for us to step onto the stage next year - yet another challenge that I hope will lead to improvement and success.