Friday, June 27, 2008

Bronze Lion, Epoch hardly knew ye

So the J.C. Penney debacle has reached its ignominious end. Cannes has withdrawn the Bronze Lion awarded last week to production company Epoch Films, which created, and submitted, the unauthorized J.C. Penney ad "Speed Dressing" to the award show. (A clip of it is above, which, like the first one, will probably get taken off YouTube.) There are many dumbelinas in this tale of award lust, but I'd give the top award to Epoch for actually thinking they could get away with this, although it's surprising that the commercial didn't raise a little bit of an eyebrow with the people who run the Cannes Ad Festival or with the jury which judged it. The premise of the commercial is completely implausible coming from an advertiser like J.C. Penney. Abercrombie & Fitch, maybe, but J.C. Penney? And even if the commercial had a less racy subject matter, you have to wonder why Epoch would submit it to an award show. If it won, it was only going to put a spotlight on the fact that the production company acted without the ok of its agency, Saatchi, or the client, J.C. Penney, and that can't help its reputation with them or with other prospective clients. There was no upside for Epoch for winning a statue over this commercial, even if it didn't feature teens in states of un-dress. As for the jury, they may be least responsible, though they also shouldn't feel good about this. As Cannes jury contain people from all over the world, they may not have gotten how discordant this commerical was for this particular brand. OK, time to move on.

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