Equality – for everyone, please

Some facts about gender topics at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

1. Gender Awareness and/or Equality for Women are still important topics at Cannes Lions. There is even a special category in the award competition. E.g. for commercials such as TBWA Melbourne’s ‘Pocket Money’ which shows girls’ and boys’ reactions when receiving different sums of pocket money.

2. Madonna Badger (famous for her Calvin Klein ad featuring Mark Wahlberg) moves the crowd to standing ovations and tears with her great #womennotobjects #istandup campaign, that made people think about the objectification of women in commercials. At the end the whole audience stands up against it.

Provocative question: If all festival guests are against it, why is it still a thing? (And why does it obviously still work and is constantly used in so many ads?) And: is Iggy Pop the only man admitting that he actually loves it…? See below.

4. The digital agency Vayner Media makes an apology for their party invitation seeking ‘attractive females and models only’. No comment.

5. The massive amount of emails featuring special events for women only (recieved by women only, obviously) feels almost like being harassed – or yet being „gendered“ too aggressively.
Fun Fact I: It takes place in a penthouse at the fancy Martinez hotel, called ‘Girls’ Lounge’.
Fun Fact II: The invite looks like one for a baby shower – quite pinkish and decorated with lots of sweet pink hearts. (I don´t even dare thinking of the PR company „Pumpkin“ that sends the invitations…)

Provocative question: Why isn’t there a „Boys’ Lounge“ in (pale) blue, decorated with little moustaches and tiny beer bottles?

6. Iggy Pop admits that he always skips advertising (‘Do you like advertising?’ – ‘Do I like what?’), except the one with a lady in a bikini eating a burger. Exactly the same ad, that Badger denounced in her camapign. Another topic the Godfather of Punk really likes: Kim Kardashian’s ‘big Armenian butt’.

Provocative question: Is it a good thing or a bad thing for that Iggy shows his ‘boobs’ while saying these things? Is it a good thing or a bad thing for gender awareness that Kim loves to show the world her ‘big Armenian butt’?

5. Anyway, it seems to be a good thing that Nils Leonard, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Grey London, shows his bare chest, too. Objectifying himself in a way. Not only because he is a big fan of Iggy Pop but to raise money for charity.

Last provocative question: What´s wrong with this world that we still have to discuss these things? Just think about the term for a second: g e n d e r  a w a r e n e s s. Full stop.


Live from Cannes – Valérie Hasenmayer