Rahul Mathew
Jun 20, 2011

Rahul Mathew's blog: Observations of an executive creative director. And that of a cab driver.

Free t-shirts, bags, candies, passes to parties handed by pretty women, alcohol and much more

Rahul Mathew's blog: Observations of an executive creative director. And that of a cab driver.

And it starts. The award festival that...well, started award festivals. One week at the sunny shores of the French Riveira. Where we shall stumble from seminars to award nites into drunken stupours and into advertising greats. Not necessarily in that order.

Like many I arrived on Saturday. Gave the legs a feel of all the walking to come. Gave the eyes a roll of the untainted blue of the skies above and the deep blue of the sea ahead. And the liver a taste of the week to come.

Come Sunday. Come registration time. Time to get that pass with your mug shot that'll let you into the Palais everyday for the next whole week. (Considering I never think I look like my picture I have always wondered why they let me in.)

Clutching onto my official Cannes goodie bag I nudged my way out of the registration area. Here would like to point out that this year's bag comes all the way from Bangladesh. Apart from announcing their presence it also makes a social comment against plastic bags; this one is made from jute. It also had a little trivia along with it - Bangladesh is one of the only two countries in the developing world where Jute genome sequencing was decoded. Suddenly the bag seemed even more precious. The most genetically advanced bag in the developing world. I can see Magneto and Prof Xavier fighting over it. Ok I'm losing focus here. Back to the registration area.

As I made my way out a guy stuck a cap in my direction. Quite handy in the sun, so I took it. And since I did, I heard his piece about what he wanted me to attend. A thought struck me then. The Palais in some ways has become a giant supermarket. Luring us ad folk with its freebies. Oh yes! freebies. The same things that they use in supermarkets to lure the fat Punjabi aunties in Delhi and the Gujju ones in Mumbai.

Free t-shirts. Free bags. More free t-shirts. Free candy. Free passes to parties handed by pretty women, so a promise of free eye-candy as well. And then the ultimate freebie.... Free alcohol. How can any self-respecting advertising person ever pass such a deal by? And so we go gathering them all by the armful, in return for our attention, our attendance and our contact details.
Someone just remind me of this the next time I laugh at a free katori offer driving sales through the roof.

Anyways that was the just my observation. Some may agree. Many may not. But here's what the guy who dropped me had to say when I asked him what he felt about the adverting festival. He said the city just suddenly changes into a minefield of people. They just seem to explode out of nowhere onto the streets. Specially at night and especially around the Martinez area. Aha.. I wonder why?

Well it's time for me to head out. Now where did I put that free t-shirt I just got from that production house?

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