Off Brief: Your very own virtual Cannes

M&C Saatchi group creative director, Andy Flemming
By M&C Saatchi group creative director, Andy Flemming | 26 June 2016
M&C group creative director, Andy Flemming

This article first appeared in AdNews in-print. Click here to subscribe to the AdNews magazine or read the iPad edition here.

So Cannes has been on and our Facebook feeds are full of people checking into Qantas First Class Lounges. (They’re not really; you can check into those from home if you want. A few months ago, I checked in at the summit of Everest and received all sorts of congratulatory messages, presumably from people who’ve never seen me attempt stairs, but I digress.)

If you’re not one of the chosen few, it’s quite easy to simulate the entire experience with just a sun lamp, a case of cheap rosé, beer, a plastic chair, a small side plate and a life–sized photograph of David Droga’s face taped to a pillow.

In just a few hours, my virtual Cannes experience will whisk you to a heady mix of severe head pain, massive disappointment and sunburn.

Start by sticking a terrible passport photograph of yourself to the plate and hang it around your neck. If you have a lanyard, make sure it’s from a famous London production company. Only Cannes virgins use the official one. Now sleep until about 10pm.

Start drinking the beer and rosé heavily. Mix your drinks; I can’t stress this enough.

Keep going until at least lunchtime then boil some cheap penne until al dente while gently frying some chicken pieces until golden. Add some peas, garlic, leek, lemon rind and fresh cream. Mix into the pasta, drizzle with olive oil and a handful of parmesan and plate up. Keeping the gas on, burn a €100 note and eat. Lose your receipt.

Meander to your pre-placed plastic seat in the centre of your living room and screen any TED talk whatsoever. It doesn’t matter what subject, you’ll sleep through this stage.

After a couple of hours, clear your head by ramming at least €500 up both nostrils and loudly shout into the ear of the David Droga pillow photograph.

Make sure you speak rapidly so you don’t give him a chance to make a polite exit. Mention his work in a rather embarrassingly reverent way until you stumble backwards over the plastic chair. Sleep underneath the sun lamp for a few hours until nicely crisp.

Now turn off all the lights and play Europop at a deafening volume. Sprinkle a little water over your nose and dip it gently into a bag of self-raising flour until thoroughly covered.

Attempt to dance until your full bladder makes it near impossible to walk. Assume the toilet is completely out of bounds, but keep drinking the beers regardless.

Over the pounding beat imagine meeting someone you haven’t seen for years (preferably attractive.)

In-between unintelligible and vaguely flirty grunts, try to shout words like ‘virtual’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘programmatic’ at them while slowly doubling up with severe bladder pain and self–consciously attempting to wipe the flour off your nose.

Evacuate bladder behind rubber plant in living room. Sleep in your clothes. Wake. Spend the next few minutes curled up in abject horror as the worst of your evening’s activities starts to slowly appear like one of those Magic Eye images.

Finish the rosé and remaining beers. Burn another couple of thousand euros on the stove and pretend you’ve won a bronze.

Your virtual Cannes experience is now complete. Now seek immediate medical attention.

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