'Sheet Metal' or 'Cog' tipped to win Cannes Grand Prix

CANNES: The Saturn commercial "Sheet Metal" from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, or the two-minute Honda spot "Cog" from Wieden & Kennedy, London, have emerged as the front runners for the Grand Prix at Cannes.



However, there is a general sentiment that the general output of advertising worldwide was disheartening to watch. Many of the commercials are simply terrible, says an adage report.

An adage report quotes Bob Garfield as saying that these two ads are far and away the two best commercials made in the world in the past 12 months. "One is a witty and surprisingly beautiful look at people going about their automotive lives, minus only the automobiles. The other is real-time photography of an extravagant Rube Goldberg device, composed entirely out of Honda car parts," says Garfield.

Garfield notes that each ad is a dramatic demonstration of its brand's overarching message. (Saturn: built around people. Honda: it just works).

A disappointed Garfield says that nothing else among the 5,000-plus film entries has even a glimmer of hope. He adds that Nike has "Streaker," from Wieden, London, but Nike won't win again. And Reebok has the gut-busting "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker," but that's just comedy, not advertising. The adage report also says that there may be some sentiment for the latest laugh-out-loud calamity spot from Result DDB, Amsterdam, for Centraal Beheer Insurance.

Well, there are the 1,000 or so spots from around the globe we've been forced to look at all year long, not 10 per cent of which we'd even have sent into production, much less an awards show. And, of course, there is the annual Leo Burnett Cannes Predictions Reel, which culls 50 favorites from festivals the world over and each year manages to encompass the lion's share of the Lions awarded.

The following is Garfield's list of ads that could win gold Lions:

* Ikea (Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami): A sad little lamp is taken to the curb with the trash, its neck bent, its head hanging pathetically. The music is bleak and sentimental. We find ourselves pitying the poor lamp -- until the voice-over reminds us that it's just a lamp and there's much nicer stuff to replace it with at Ikea.

* Sinaf (Brazil Comunicacao Carioca, Sao Paulo): Family members toss a loved one in the air repeatedly, singling "For he's a jolly good fellow." Turns out, he's dead -- but was well-insured by Sinaf.

* Safex (Faulds, London): A frightened bloke is at the urologist, having the nitty gritty details of a vasectomy explained. Male viewers everywhere do a groin cringe. The solution: Safex condoms.

* Bridgestone (BBDO, Bangkok): A bit vulgar, but weirdly brilliant nonetheless. A dog finds his bitch making love to another mutt and tries to commit suicide by walking in traffic. Alas, he's saved by fast-braking Bridgestone tires.

* California Map & Travel (Colby & Partners, Santa Monica): The team will believe this is a real spot when it sees the media budget, but it sure is funny: A guy innocently approaches a woman for directions only to get clobbered. See, there's an easier way to find your way.

* COI/Road Safety (Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London): On split screen, two messages come at us at once -- neither of which we can quite make out. Separately, one says cell-phone users have more car accidents. The other says it's difficult to concentrate on two things at the same time.

* California Milk Processors Board (Goodby): Among the best "Got Milk" spots. A creepy clairvoyant kid foresees tragedy on the way to a birthday party. There he warns everybody not to eat the chocolate cake. Sure enough, the hostess is out of milk.

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