I’m seeing a lot of frowns on facebook and twitter from creative people in advertising who made entry videos that didn’t win anything at Cannes this year and, to be honest, it upsets me to see so many incredibly talented people so depressed about something that shouldn’t really matter.
I’m reminded of a day at advertising college when my lecturer (after I’d presented him with a fairly odious, distasteful piece of work) told me to go and read a poster outside with a quote on it from a guy called Bill Bernbach, which, if memory serves correct, goes something like this:
“All of us who professionally make entry videos are the shapers of society. We can vulgarise that society with our entry videos. We can brutalise it with our entry videos. Or our entry videos can make it look like we’re lifting it onto a higher level.”
That was the day I decided that professionally making entry videos was a nobler profession than I’d ever dreamed and that it was perhaps, dare I say, a higher calling.
The truth is, if your entry video didn’t win anything, at least you made it. In fact, many creative directors these days are more than aware of the politics that go on at Cannes and the other entry video award shows and are simply looking for the best possible entry videos, not necessarily the amount of awards they won.
How does the old saying go? It’s better to make entry videos that deserve awards and don’t get them than to get awards for entry videos that don’t deserve them.
In-between the grunt work of brochures and retail ads that actually pay the bills, there’s a whole year ahead of you to find the perfect editor, desperate young director and gullible orphanage administrator that’ll allow you to craft the absolutely perfect entry video, the video which will finally show the judges all over the world that you’re really serious about pretending to care about society on behalf of a large multinational corporation.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t spend your life miserable, waiting for that one moment when your existence is finally validated and you’re on stage accepting the award for your entry video in front of a thousand people who secretly hate your guts because their entry videos didn’t win.
Please. Let the joy be in making the entry videos.
If that doesn’t lift your spirits, consider this: One day, when you’re on your deathbed and your grandchildren ask you,
“What did you do when you were young granddad?”
You can look them proudly in the eyes, through your cataracts, and say
“I made entry videos that made it look like I helped poor black children across the planet. And I’ll be damned if those entry videos didn’t make it look like I changed those blessed little angels’ lives forever.”
So chin up cupcakes. Like I said, there’s always next year.