Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Azienda Sengiari. Hmm...

Not a bad place to taste some delicious wine. It's their last of the season so we were pretty lucky. They gave us four varieties that were each paired with a range of cheeses, breads, prosciutto, salami and greens. The air was fresh, the view spectacular and my tastebuds are still thanking me. I can think of worse ways to spend an afternoon in Italy.

Italy's Joseph. Hmm...

Except his name is really Mario Angelo, a local tailor here in Abano and that's his favourite jacket. You can see him sporting it on any given day, strutting about doing his thang. Oh, and get this, he's also the town's best opera singer. Gotta love Europe.

Hmm... of the day

I flippen dig the new Diesel campaign: BE STUPID. I spent quite a bit of time and moolah in one of their stores yesterday being just that. This is their fitting room area. I love the elephant pic.

Oh, I just heard that the ASA in the UK have banned the Diesel campaign! They really are wankers over there. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Instant Oil Spill. Hmm... helps you devastate any website. Thankfully, it's only virtual.

Hmm... of the day

This is the control panel next to my bed. I can turn various lights on or off, move the blinds up and down, signal for my room to be cleaned and best of all, and this should be in every hotel room on earth, there's a DO NOT DISTURB button, so that if I want to sleep in, I don't have to climb out of my super comfy bed to place that silly door hanger thing outside my door. I just flick the switch and a light turns on outside my room. I'm left to sleep off whatever needs sleeping off. In today's case, it's tiramisu.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Abano. Hmm...

Sorry for not posting as much as I should be. See, I'm in Abano Terme, a small town built in the middle of a volcanic crater about 40 minutes outside of Venice. I'm staying at the Hotel Presidente Terme (massive thanks mom and dad) where, I swear to all that is good in this world, it's hard to imagine a finer lifestyle. Not only is it the picture-perfect idea of 5-star Italian elegance, there seems to be a never-ending supply of courtesy, pampering, gourmet food, and my favourite, wifi! I can see myself getting very fat here both in body and in mind. There's just so much to take in. So far, I've just chilled by the pool, done a little shopping, had a spa treatment and eaten more than should be allowed by law. Wednesday I'm going wine-tasting up in the hills. Thursday I plan on biking through the countryside. I'll try to take some awesome pics to share with you guys in the hope that they convince you to visit this special place. Sure, it's a little dated, but once in a while it pays to stare back in time and tip your hat to the old school. They really know how to live. 
This is the surrounding countryside. I can't wait to get lost here.

Waiting for me in my room when I arrived was a chilled bottle of champagne, some robes for my spa treatments and a delicious seafood lunch w/salad. Oh, and my TV had already been turned to the Germany vs England game! Have I convinced you to come visit yet?

This is the buffet table strictly for hors d' oeuvres. And yes, that's a dude in a tux at a grand piano. I believe he was playing a selection from Gershwin. I can't be sure. I was too busy filling my face with food!
This little beauty is called a canarino. It's basically tea made with lemon rind and it's flippen delicious! Especially after a heavy meal. Something tells me I'll be enjoying a lot of these babies.

And this is the best cup of coffee I've had in weeks. Thank you Italy! The French can learn a lot from you, though probably nothing football related.

Hmm... of the day

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baggage Roulette. Hmm...

This was my baggage carousel at Marco Polo Airport in Venice. As an ad guy, it's pretty clever (it's for a local casino). As a traveler who's had his bags "misplaced" on more than one occasion, it's pretty friggen brilliant. I guess my luck was pretty good too. My bag came out first!

Hmm... of the day

I wasn't too pleased to see that the plane I was taking from Nice to Venice was an old, tiny prop plane painted to look shiny and new. I was even less pleased to read the words "FlyBaboo" on its side. Yup, that's the airline's real friggen name, even though I booked Alitalia.

To my absolute surprise, it was an amazing flight! I stepped onto the plane and the delicious scent of fresh baked muffins just filled my entire being. The seats were huge, the passengers were few and a ton of leg room awaited me in the back row. Oh, and not a bump of turbulence in the sky.

Even the barf bags were awesome.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hmm... of the day

Yoko Ono is a lunatic. We packed the Palais yesterday to watch her seminar (thanks Grey Advertising btw) and all she did was read bad haiku's, molest the host, yell randomly into her microphone at the top of her voice and dance around like an idiot asking for everyone to chant for peace. No wonder The Beatles broke up. Can you imagine being trapped on a tour bus with her? And I thought Martha Stewart was a crap speaker. Joko Oh No is by far the worst.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cannes through the lens. Hmm...

Write The Future on a building in Joburg. Hmm...

Smile for ice-cream? Hmm...

Ola has this rad digital vending machine at the Palais in Cannes. Basically, it has a built in touch screen with a webcam above. They call it Share Happy. All you do is smile into the camera and if your smile is big enough you get a free ice-cream. Your photo is then uploaded to facebook for everyone to laugh at. I've had two Magnum's already. Smiling is delicious!

At the end of the day. Hmm...

I've been very privilaged to be here at Cannes. I've attended intimate seminars and masterclasses with some of the world's greatest ad people. Yesterday was Jeff Goodby. Today was Chuck Porter and David Droga, who spoke about how to start an ad agency from scratch. They are all highly respected the world over and successful and they all had the same thing to say: for an agency to succeed both creatively and in business whether it's already established or just starting out, it has to have a purpose and a set of ideals and stay true to them absolutely, not just on paper. It has to have a workforce of believers in both the company and its mission and above all, the agency and those within it from the mail room to the CEO, the junior creative to the ECD, have to continuously challenge the status quo. And it doesn't mean late nights and weekends. It means working smart and hard in the right ways. Sure, we've heard it all before but here is proof that this kind of thinking works, that it has always worked. Hopefully there were enough South African agency reps in the audience to take note and instead of merely agreeing, perhaps they'll act and follow suit.

Hmm... of the day

I'm not a fan of Microsoft. But I am a fan of their new XBOX. They have an "experience" tent here in Cannes where they show off all their latest toys and let me tell you, the XBOX Kinect is kick ass awesome! No controllers at all. Your body's movements control every part of every game. I have video of us trying it out that I'll post on here soon. I gotta run to seminar.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Awesomeness That Is Jeff Goodby. Hmm...

About 100 of us were really lucky to attend a masterclass with Jeff Goodby today. It's hard to imagine someone creative not wanting to work with him. Seriously. He gave us such great advice and insight into what he believes makes a successful creative business... everything from hiring debate teams to be client service people (genius!) to demanding that creatives actually live outside the agency so they can do great things inside. He really is inspirational. It's no wonder Goodby Silverstein & Partners remains my favourite agency ever!

Oh, and here's a radonkulously funny rap video featuring Jeff Goodby that he made with one of the writers at his agency as a holiday card of sorts last year. It's cheesy but super cool. 

Hmm... of the day

Shot at the same time in neighbouring bars in Cannes during the France vs SA football match. French fans are kinda lame.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

White Men Can Yulelay. Hmm...

Gutter Bar Blowface. Hmm...

My friends and I have been doing this for years and it just seemed apropos at the Gutter Bar in Cannes last night. Everyone from young creatives to CEO's couldn't get enough of the blowface otherwise known as the ghost punch.

Okay, this one isn't a blowface. It's just Serg's face after seeing the bill for 6 drinks at Gutter Bar (R1500). Thank you company credit card.