Interruption advertising on the outer: Cannes

At long last, it's official.

Interruption advertising is over.

Television is not the future.

That's the conclusion many marketers are taking from the 56th International Advertising Festival at Cannes in the south of France, where some 6000 advertising specialists gathered for the week of 21-27 June 2009.

Commenting on the trends seen at Cannes, the chairman and chief creative officer of BBDO North America and president of the film and press juries, David Lubars said, "the way the world is heading is towards voluntary engagement". In other words, we are moving away from interruption.

The long list of award winners at Cannes was dominated by innovative attempts to engage consumers and deeply involve them in brands. Not blast them.

The most coveted prize at the festival went to an ad that wasn't made for TV.

Plus, as if to ram home the point, a PR campaign broke the record for winning the most awards at any one festival.

The expert jury at Cannes bestowed the festival's Grand Prix Award to the Philips interactive film "Carousel", created in Amsterdam by the global agency, Tribal DDB. With a three day shoot and five weeks of post production, the film promotes the latest entrant into the television market from Philips, the CINEMA 21:9.

In PR, it was a simple campaign for Tourism Queensland - which became a worldwide story - that grabbed the festival's first PR Grand Prix Award, as well as the top prizes in the direct marketing and cyber categories.

Probably every reader of The Scoop became aware of the "Best job in the world" campaign that was created by the Brisbane agency, Cummins Nitro. This PR effort began with world-wide classified advertising seeking applicants for an "island caretaker".

The Cummins Nitro campaign attracted tens of thousands of candidates who uploaded video applications saying why they should get the job.

Tourism Queensland claims that the campaign generated the equivalent of more than $80m worth of media advertising. (BTW the job went to "ostrich-riding, bungee-jumping" charity worker Ben Southall, from Hampshire in the UK.)

"The idea had so much scalability to be a global idea that all the judges had seen and heard of it, no matter where they came from," said one of the judges, MaryLee Sachs. Sachs is US chairman and worldwide director of marketing communications at Hill & Knowlton.