Nicky Bullard is executive creative director at Lida
Nicky Bullard is executive creative director at Lida
A view from Nicky Bullard

The story of a tangerine and why Direct is not dead

It's been a cracking day. Not because of the weather. Or the fact I'm writing this from a hilltop villa, with a cracking pool plus sea views, and glass in non-typing hand.

Oh no. It’s because of two things.

A big rant and a small glimmer of hope.

My day started in the basement of the Palais.

No, that’s not where I woke up, but where I met with Gary Smith, the charming Cannes Daily News Editor for an interview about the event happening today at the LIDA London villa: Direct is Dead.

Of course we know it isn’t, it’s alive and kicking, but in awards shows, pure Direct  work appears to be an endangered species. And the interview allowed me to kick off (I was surprisingly lucid despite the night before).

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Before I arrived at the Croisette, I’d, like many, had a manicure, a pedicure, a wax , a hair colour, a blow dry, and 12 shopping trips.  But none of these activities can be blamed for the massive red patch on my forehead that appeared at about 11am yesterday.  (Luckily this was after my interview and accompanying photo.)

It also had nothing to do with 27 degree heat, my new sun cream, or a tight sunhat. It was because I’d been slapping it, and repeating insanely, "What the @*+!?" as I looked at some of the shortlisted Direct entries.

Have we all gone bleeding mad?

A coffee jar lid that is an alarm clock. An Abortion Café. And the tangerine.

Ok, so the tangerine didn’t win.  It wasn’t even entered. But next year it’s going in.


Because when I walked past the fruit bowl last week it was sitting there shining at me, which led to me picking it up, peeling it and eating it. 

A massive response. 

A phenomenal bit of Direct don’t you think?

There is some dubious Direct winning.  Not just here, in all shows.

But what is truly heartening is that, amongst the spurious charity work and product design, big brands are breaking through.

In particular, three automotive brands:

  1. Volvo – Epic Split
  2. Audi A8 – Test Drive Cube.
  3. Honda  - Ayrton Senna.


Because the customer has always been truly at the heart of everything they do. Because of their constant investment in future tech. And because they aren’t afraid to start in a place that isn’t TV.

What do you reckon my chances are with that tangerine?