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2014 Cannes International Advertising Festival

It’s easy to hate advertising on television and in the cinema. No-one likes the interruption, and many resent the intrusion. Advertising is commonly accepted only as a necessary evil.

Poster art for Cannes International Advertising Festival 2014Whether or not it’s evil, advertising can be very good. Very good writers often collaborate with very good actors and filmmakers to create sharp, concise and entertaining mini-movies that have the power to move us to laughter or to tears. 

This year, the quality is better than ever. From over 4,000 entries, judges of the 2014 Cannes International Advertising Film Festival selected over 90 prize winners, representing the absolute best commercials you’ll see all year.

There are spots from all over the world, including ads from the U.K., France, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Canada, Argentina, and the U.S. (of course). Some are lavishly produced, some are miracles of simplicity. To put the ideas across, bold new ideas mingle with innovative twists on tried-and-true techniques. (Guess what? Sex still sells.) One interesting trend is a return to lengthier ads: with many campaigns being launched on the internet, longer ‘narrative’ commercials are possible. The edited versions you see on tv are poor renditions of these gems.

All over the world, advertising agencies know that one way to make an impression on you (and to keep your finger off the remote) is to make you laugh, and the Cannes jurors seem to enjoy a good chuckle, too. Audiences who return every year to the Cannes International Advertising Festival for the laughs won’t be disappointed with this year’s collection. From the sly social commentary of the Heineken why-not man to the faux-doc fun of marmite adoption, from deadpan hilarity at a gravesite to a pet with an astonishing secret, there are grins and guffaws galore.

And it’s pretty hard to hate that.

– Bruce White, ByTowne Programmer 

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