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Cannes, Day Three: Steve Ballmer, Media Visionary?

Perhaps the official attendance numbers at Cannes this year are down, or maybe the conference pass-sharing maneuvers are up due to tough economic times which is my bet. Regardless, the venue was packed last night for the interactive, print, and design awards.

steve ballmer

Perhaps the official attendance numbers at Cannes this year are down, or maybe the conference pass-sharing maneuvers are up due to tough economic times which is my bet. Regardless, the venue was packed last night for the interactive, print, and design awards.

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I’m not typically a fan of award shows. They tend to be more popularity contests than creative competitions in my view. The fascinating bit about Cannes is the contradiction between the vanity out in the Cossette with the humility you feel by the great work featured inside the auditorium. In there it is all about the work. Cannes, is in my opinion, one of the only festivals where honestly only the best stuff gets accepted.

Then my respect for these guys gets crushed with the announcement of the “Media Person of the Year.” IAF, the organizers of the Cannes Festival, bestowed this honor on–get this–Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. Yep, Ballmer was named media dude of the year at the Microsoft Advertising-sponsored event. Seriously, Ballmer is many things–including an all around nice guy–but a media visionary he is not.

I got past the Microsoft thing quickly as the event moved on to some great design work. I was very impressed with Brazil’s showing. One great project after another. There is a hell of a lot of great talent down there. We did well that night —especially our new Australian crew winning its third Grand Prix for Queensland Tourism’s “Best Job in the World” campaign–so we went out to celebrate. Perhaps we’ll get lucky, find Ballmer out and about and compare Lions.

Related Stories:
Nitro’s ‘Best Job’ Campaign Wins Cyber Lions Grand Prix in Cannes
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Read more of Gaston Legorburu’s Creative Think Tank blog
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Executive director and worldwide creative officer of Sapient, Legorburu has been a driving force in the evolution of the interactive marketing business since co-founding Planning Group International (PGI). Under his leadership, PGI became the largest privately held interactive agency in the United States and was acquired by Sapient in 2006.

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Throughout his career, Legorburu has spearheaded some of the most successful online campaigns in the history of the Internet. He has partnered with clients in industries ranging from financial services and travel and leisure to technology and food service.

He has helped clients gain unparalleled insights into effectively marketing their products and services in today’s increasingly complex marketplace. Legorburu continues to provide clients with forward-thinking answers to overcome their critical business challenges.