THE CREAM OF CANNES: From ’whassup?’ and hillbillies to E-Trade’s dancing monkey, this year’s Cannes showcased some eclectic work Caroline Marshall looks at the creative highpoints.



Titles: Whassup?/True/Call waiting/Girlfriend/Pizza guy/Wasabi

Advertiser: Anheuser-Busch

Agency: DDB Chicago

Copywriters: Vinny Warren, Charles Stone III

Art directors: Chuck Taylor, Justin Reardon

Director: Charles Stone III

Production company: Storm Films, New York

Having created the hottest catchphrase in the US practically overnight,

Budweiser’s ’whassup?’ campaign conquered the ad world by capturing the

grand prix for film at the 47th annual festival. The concept came from

Charles Stone III, a director with Storm Films in New York. Stone has

exchanged the ’whassup?’ greeting with his friends for years and in 1998

he created a short film called True in which he and said friends sit in

an apartment exchanging the greeting.

DDB Chicago saw the film, presented the idea to Budweiser, and

collaborated with Stone to adapt the concept for the campaign. Why are

these ads so hot? Partly because they moved Budweiser on from its image

as ’your dad’s beer’, but mostly because they are simply very



Title: Beautiful

Advertiser: Nike

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland

Copywriter: Mike Folino

Art director: Jeff Labbe

Director: Frank Budgen

Production company: Gorgeous Enterprises

This challenging ad celebrates sporting injuries and their proud


The pictures aren’t exactly repulsive but to see them is to wince - a

wrestler with a cauliflower ear, a runner’s mis-shapen feet, a

shark-bitten surfer and a rodeo cowboy who turns up his eye-patch to

reveal where he has been blinded. The ad is shot to a background of Joe

Cocker’s You are so beautiful which, at first, seems ironic. But there

is no irony intended here, merely a genuinely felt hymn to athletic true

grit. Nike advertising at its very best.


Title: The morning after

Advertiser: Nike

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland

Copywriter: Chuck McBride

Art director: Hal Curtis

Director: Spike Jonze

Production company: Propaganda/Satellite Films

A millennium commercial where a guy gets up in the morning to go running

and all hell is breaking loose. Mobs attacks cash machines, cars crash

as traffic lights fail, but nothing breaks the stride of the runner who

is just getting on with the everyday task of jogging off a hangover. The

runner passes a fellow jogger and they cheerfully exchange ’Morning’ and

’How ya doin?’ like any other day. While there’s no connection between

Nike and the year 2000, Nike’s tradition of highlighting personal best

shines through in this superbly produced spot.


Titles: Jukka Brothers/Sexy dance/Intro/Wrong shoes/Fashion check/Xmas


Advertiser: MTV Channel

Agency: Fallon New York

Copywriter: Linus Karlsson

Art director: Paul Malmstrom

Director: Traktor

Traktor is at its nutty best with these hilarious idents for MTV

featuring a hillbillyish quartet known as the Jukka Brothers. The eldest

three brothers torment the youngest because he doesn’t watch MTV, as

they do. Little Jukka, whose crimes include ’totally unsexy’ dancing, is

punished by having the MTV logo beaten into his bare behind with a bat.

Heartless victimisation has always had its jolly side and MTV’s teenage

audience must be familiar with it. The message? Watch MTV and stay in

touch with what’s cool.


Title: Dandruff

Advertiser: Government anti-drugs

Agency: Leo Burnett Columbiana, Bogata

Copywriter: Juan Carlos Ortiz

Art director: Harold Trompetero

Director: Rene Gonzalez

Production company: Nova Films, Santiago

Leo Burnett’s anti-cocaine commercial won a gold lion, although some

questioned whether the shock tactics employed would prove effective. The

ad shows a man on a crowded train irresistibly drawn to the dandruff on

the shoulder of a fellow commuter. The man snorts up a line of dandruff

with all the accompanying mannerisms of the long-standing cocaine


However, the question remains: would committed users find the spot a

deterrent or a bit of a larf?


Title: Anthem

Advertiser: Fox/Liberty Networks

Agency: Fallon New York

Copywriters: Kevin Roddy, Bobby Pearce

Art director: Neil Powell

Director: Frank Todaro

Production company:

At a funeral, a man gets up to deliver the eulogy. He looks around sadly

and says: ’At a time like breasts, beer, football, centrefolds,

big-screen TV.’ The other men in the church are feeling the same way,

getting teary-eyed, especially at ’hot, sweaty animal sex’. Finally he

gets too choked up to continue, and says: ’I’m football, I’m football.’

The endline explains all: ’The X Show. We know what guys are really

thinking.’ Acting and direction so spot on that for a moment you

actually think real sentences are being formed.


Title: Johnny Foreigner

Advertiser: British Airways

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Copywriter: Paul Hodgkinson

Art director: Malcolm Poynton

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous Enterprises

A minute full of the American satirist PJ O’Rourke taking the piss ever

so gently out of the British: ’Still, you must be doing something right,

since 17 million of us Johnny Foreigners like to fly with you.’ An

incredibly well-written and directed commercial from M&C Saatchi that

hinges on the casting of O’Rourke, who commands huge respect for his

political insights.

The commercial certainly got people contemplating British Airways’s

image and success overseas in a more positive way than those damn

tail-fins ever did.


Title: Blanket

Advertiser: COI/Army

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Copywriter: Howard Willmott

Art director: Duncan Marshall

Director: Paul Gay

Production company: Outsider

From the thoughtful ’be the best’ campaign, ’blanket’ opens on a

mountain-side in blizzard conditions, viewed through the eyes of an Army

sergeant stuck there as night falls. His team - medic, mechanic, driver

and navigator - must spend the night there but they have no cold weather

gear. All they have is one tarpaulin which could be used as a blanket.

The viewer is asked who should get the blanket. Three incorrect answers

lead to the solution: the blanket should be wrapped around the engine

which otherwise will have frozen by the morning.


Title: Scramble

Advertiser: Multiple Sclerosis Society

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Copywriter: Mike McKenna

Art director: Greg Martin

Saatchis struck a one-off deal with The Independent to print parts of an

article upside-down and some of it on its side to disorientate


The ad - the first of its kind in a national newspaper - showed the

trauma experienced by Multiple Sclerosis sufferers, and was timed to

coincide with Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. The specially designed

article appeared in The Independent’s Health section on the same page as

an ad that asked: ’How would you cope if your life was as unpredictable

as the opposite page?’ A clever insight into how MS affects its

sufferers and a brave use of the newspaper medium won this ad the media

grand prix.


Titles: Car/Chair/Stereo/Scooter/Guitar/Table

Advertiser: Whitbread Beer Company

Agency: Lowe Lintas & Partners

Copywriters: Mick Mahoney, Andy Amadeo

Art directors: Mick Mahoney, Andy Amadeo Photographer Jenny Van


This year’s press and poster grand prix winner shows design icons used

as impromptu bottle openers. The idea is that people love their Stella

Artois so much that they are prepared to ruin their other precious

possessions by opening a bottle on them. These possessions include an

Eames chair and a vintage Lambretta scooter. A stylish print development

of the ’reassuringly expensive’ Stella Artois TV campaign that could,

and hopefully will, run and run.


Title: Monkey

Advertiser: E-Trade

Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Copywriter: Gerry Graf

Art director: Dave Gray

Director: Bryan Buckley

Production company: Hungry Man, New York

A bizarre spot for an online discount broker featuring two weirdos in a

garage clapping along with a monkey and the most talked about dotcom ad

created for last January’s Super Bowl advertising extravaganza. The

commercial seems to be going nowhere until the killer endline: ’Well,

we’ve just wasted two million bucks, what are you doing with your

money?’ As the wasting of two million bucks line could speak for the

entire category, here is a classic case of absurd advertising imitating



Title: Heaven

Advertiser: Volkswagen

Agency: BMP DDB

Copywriter: Andrew Fraser

Art director: Leslie Ali

Director: Walter Stern

Production company: Academy Commercials

This commercial promotes the Volkswagen Polo as a little piece of heaven

on earth. Citing the virtues of driving incidents that would normally

irritate the hell out of motorists - such as a traffic jam, a ’sparkling

and cascading burst water main’, a ’majestic’ spilled load - makes this

spot, literally, a prayer to the ’new, more comfortable Polo’. The

writing is stunning, the commercial boasts superb production values and,

once again, BMP DDB has managed to move car advertising up another