On Copacabana Beach
As the Wave Festival gets underway in Rio de Janeiro, Campaign takes the creative temperature of Latin American advertising.The location is Cannes writ large. With the long expanse of palm-fringed beach and La Croisette-style road separating it from the Copacabana Beach Hotel, Rio’s answer to the Carlton, the Wave Festival definitely brings to mind that certain week in June in the south of France.
Yet, something is missing. I was going to mention the expanses of empty rooms, save for legions of beautiful, smiling attendants, on hand, seemingly, to service your every whim. The elegant – but virtually untouched – swimming pool area. The acres of stunning hotel terrace, bedecked with flowers, swathes of luxuriant fabric and sumptuous sofas, which lies pretty much vacant for much of the day…You’ve guessed it – there ain’t many people here.
But to judge Wave on that would be churlish. This is its first year and 200 delegates is perhaps not bad going. Give it the 52 years Cannes has had to stick its flag in the sand, and Wave might just be topping 11,000 attendees also.
More than that, the absence of heavy networking of a morning might be more to do with the Latin temperament than anything else. In fact, the seminar hall was rammed on the afternoon of the first day, with people standing or sitting on the floor.
Wave might take heed of Goafest, the Indian ad festival, that in only its third year attracted 3,000 delegates last month, making it the world’s second biggest ad festival after Cannes.