Cannes 07: This Used To Be A Football Club…

“Manchester United is pleased to invite brand, marketing and communications leaders to a relaxed drinks occasion in the presence of their legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson CBE”.
So read a full-page ad in yesterday’s edition of Lions Daily, the Cannes advertising festival newspaper. Perhaps irked by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich ‘s conspicuous swanning about on his super yacht, the self-styled “world’s greatest football club” now have a big boat of their own, and they have parked it in Cannes for the duration of the ad festival.

Bobby Charlton

“Manchester United is pleased to invite brand, marketing and communications leaders to a relaxed drinks occasion in the presence of their legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson CBE”.

So read a full-page ad in yesterday’s edition of Lions Daily, the Cannes advertising festival newspaper. Perhaps irked by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich ‘s conspicuous swanning about on his super yacht, the self-styled “world’s greatest football club” now have a big boat of their own, and they have parked it in Cannes for the duration of the ad festival.

The party aboard the Motor Yacht Manchester United Opus is part of a concerted effort by the club to woo the major clients who now routinely hang out at Cannes. Earlier in the week club director and former star Sir Bobby Charlton had taken to the stage in the Palais for a seminar entitled “Creating the future of a legendary brand” along with group commercial director Lee Daley. The latter also had a letter printed in the Cannes special edition of Ad Age in which he reminisiced about his days working with agency chief John Dooner (and I quote “Dooner, what a guy, what a leader”. Yikes.)

Previosuly, Daley had been the UK chairman of Saatchi & Sattchi and so, we presume, is well-versed in the opportunities it affords to schmooze big marketing spenders. United, it seems, have recognised that this is where the fat wallets hang out and they want to help thin them out.

There are lots of legendary brands at Cannes – Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nike – with all its talk of “customers” and “brand” Manchester United is just one more. Didn’t it used to be a football club though?

More from CR

I Baked The Skoda Cake-Car

Skoda’s ad The Baking of… shows a group of white-coated home economists busily making a full-size car – out of cake. Gavin Lucas talks to art director and production designer supreme, Brian Morris, about his role in making the ad.

Build’s Cutting Edge Workflow Management System

There are numerous hi-tech workflow management systems available for the busy designer. Some studios have complex critical path analysis computer programmes, others use bespoke, intranet-based systems. Build has two black lines and some Post-it notes.

Fresh off the Factory Floor

Behold, the FAC51-Y3. No, it’s not a late addition to the musical catalogue of Mancunian record label Factory Records, but a highly limited trainer from Y-3 (the brand created by adidas and Yohji Yamamoto), devised especially to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of legendary Manchester nightclub The Haçienda

Diesel Show: Underwater Magic

Diesel’s Spring/Summer 08 catwalk show, staged a few days ago at the Pitti Immagine Uomo fair in Florence, was nothing short of stunning. While regular human models paced up and down the runway, a host of polyp-like CGI characters appeared in mid-air to interact with them within an underwater landscape. And in a unique twist, these animated holograms were entirely viewable from both sides of the stage. But this was no Paul Daniels Magic Show trickery – more a perfect blend of cutting edge digital art and performance.

Senior Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency

Head of Digital Content

Red Sofa London