Back in Paris after two very inspiring days in Helsinki at Eurobest, the European Festival of Creativity. We have already published and commented on this year's results, which saw Volvo triumph with its viral movie Epic Split, starring Jean Claude van Damme.
Looking back at these two days in the northern kingdom, I must say that perhaps even more than at last year's event in Portugal, the festival managed to create space for in-depth networking and meaningful conferences. These were assiduously attended - although that could have been because of the cold. Having said that, I saw a few invitees shopping around in Scandinavian design stores and even I couldn't resist on the last day.
If I had to cite one conference it would be the talk by Rob Reilly, McCann Worldgroup's global creative chairman, entitled "Creativity is the Only Way to Survive". He evoked a future without television, in which agencies will fight on the battleground of reactivity and agility. Rob was also the Film jury president this year, and he commented: "Where the real opportunity lies for Europe is in the Integrated category. The best ideas are the ones that surprise you in different ways and in different places. It’s hard to do but when it is done well, it does so much more than just winning an award.”
In addition to the conferences, the Eurobest organization managed with its partner Sanoma to place creativity at the heart of the event. Around the themes “Vision”, “Thought” and “Insight”, the festival invited a wide range of speakers, sometimes outside the traditional frame of advertising creativity, such as the controversial artist and photographer Alison Jackson. Google was also present with a demonstration of its new VR device, while announcing that its Glass product was being moved outof Google’s experimental Google X labs to become a stand-alone product.
Creativity was everywhere, even in the most unexpected places, such as this mens' room equipped with a TV screen...
...or in the main hall of the event where I came across a weird group of dancers in underpants.
It was also an opportunity to meet people I didn’t know that well, such as Ami Hasan (founder of the local Hasan & Partners) who hosted an amazing party at his office and personally invested a lot of resources - including a memorable welcome clip ffeaturing himself in a sauna, wearing only a towel - to promote the event in his own city.
Hasan & Partners also created a special PR operation for this year's edition. Developed with our friends from Perfect Fools, it was a device that poured Carlsberg beer when two phones are charged at the same time!
Ami Hasan commented: “We want to welcome Europe’s most creative minds to Eurobest in my home city of Helsinki, and ensure they get the most out of this inspiring event. By encouraging delegates to interact and share a beer while charging their phones, we can ensure that not only do they have fun, but also that they meet some great people.”
Ami will participate in the next AdForum Summit in London, so hopefully we will have a lot of beer during his presentation.
Next year Eurobest will be in Antwerp, but I hope it will retain the Nordic spirit of this year's edition.