StorySLAM / My Worst Day in Advertising
Advertising legends Harvey Gabor and Bob Pasqualina both held court at the inaugural Cannes Worst Day in Advertising StorySLAM
The legendary creators of Coca-Cola's 'Hilltop' commercial and Alka-Seltzer's 'I can't believe I ate the whole thing' spot each stepped up from the crowd to share long-buried memories of adland misadventure.
In town to take part in Google's Project Re:Brief seminar, Harvey and Bob went head to head with a competitive field that included Tom Morton from Euro RSCG NY, Laurie Coots, CMO at TBWA/Worlwide, Movember co-founder Adam Garone and itinerant Google creative Tom Uglow.
Over the course of the evening, we relived the stomach-churning factory tour that culminated in Laurie's conversion to vegetarianism, sniggered at Morton's hip hop caper featuring Busta Rhymes, jazz cigarettes and a toilet, and actually teared up at Shane's spontaneous tribute to his late grandfather. Truly, we were unprepared for genuine, palpable emotion. Hats off to Shane.
Playing to a home crowd, Uglow not only relived a potentially career-limiting email fail, but in doing so laid to rest many an assumption about how clever you have to be to work at Google. Perhaps the two key themes that emerged from the event, though, were firing and hiring, and a deep sense of appreciation for the blonde girls of Berlin.
What did we learn? That live storytelling is skill. That there is an art to holding a room. That there is always somebody having a worse day than you are.
And you're never too smart to 'Reply all'.