Every year in Cannes, the ad industry has a kind of circle jerk. It’s called the Cannes Lions, and awards campaigns deemed the best in the industry for that year by judges.

The winners acknowledge the importance of the awards, whilst the losers say that agencies shoud focus on client goals. Each party is right in his or her own way in the assertion.

There’s a PR category, but PR agencies never win it. This is probably becuase the category was only invented because, a few years ago, ad agencies could see the future and it looked PR-shaped. This was when most research said that people stopped paying attention to advertising. So ad agencies could kind of partially reinvent themselves as PR agencies by winning PR awards which were judged to be PR successes by ad men. A typical ad land approach and the one that led to the need for the category in the first place. Maybe.

Anyway, whether you like ad campaigns or not, to publicise itself a ‘social media agency’ has organised some of the winning Cannes Lions awards by themes which it calls trends into this handy slide show. Though none of the agency’s work appears to feature in the slide show, and despite not winning anything at Cannes, or even being there, it is perhaps basking in the glory reflected by the winning agencies.

Anyway I like looking at these sorts of things, even if they somehow seem anti-climactic compared to the passion pursuit of a new idea. Maybe you like them too. Well here they are, and thanks to the agency that took the time and effort amidst the ‘flurry of pitches and projects’ that stopped it from attending Cannes to post this analysis.

12 Trends from Cannes 2011 View more presentations from The Social Practice

"Most reviewers only visit an establishment within days or weeks of it opening and then rarely follow up with a subsequent review. This is another way in which bloggers can offer a more comprehensive account of a restaurant’s progress, none more so than the elusive Food Snob (foodsnobblog.wordpress.com), who is well known in foodie circles to be a Turkish investment banker based in London. He recently wrote a follow-up review of Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, which has overtaken El Bulli as the top restaurant in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. This means that Food Snob’s site now has 10,000 words and dozens of illustrations just of the dishes served at Noma. Obsessive? Assuredly, but his accounts are remarkably well researched and full of fascinating minutiae."

Bruce Palling on Food: Have Food Blogs Come of Age? - WSJ.com

Ascension Eagles and the rise of Cheerleading in the UK

Forget what you knew about cheerleading - according to a Guardian article today, it’s the country’s fastest-growing competitive sport.

And the manager of the UK’s top team, the Ascension Eagles, is in the running to be Woman of the Year.

Many of us know cheer leading as NFL bimbos jumping around with pompoms and wearing little more than short skirts and rictus smiles. So what happened?

Somehow the sport has manged to transform people’s perceptions, in what is an incredible bit of PR. Thinking of it as a brand, this new, updated version has changed its positioning to attract young folks.

Cunningly, it mixes athletics with elements of street dance. And it’s totally co-ed - rare to find competitive sports in the UK that offer such mixed-gender appeal.

By Scot Devine