The Future Of Advertising: 'Brand Presence,' Robot DancingLet's say up front that the super-prestigious Cannes advertising awards are, like most awards, a bit of a scam. They're a for-profit operation that charges ad agencies a lot of money to enter, and in return bestows something that the agencies can use in their own marketing materials. Plus they gave an award to those crazy sexist beer ads this year, so their judgment is obviously fallible. Still, the ad industry considers them a big deal, and they're a good guide to what's considered important in the field. So it was extremely groundbreaking when an online campaign (rather than a TV campaign) won the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes this year. On the other hand, maybe it was just because people love Japanese dancers?

The big award went to work for Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing retailer that creepily resembles a Far East version of American Apparel. With "Uniqlock," you can watch many Japanese people doing dances while wearing Uniqlo clothes, and that is too revolutionary to be put into words, almost!

"The industry is always talking about viral," said Titanium jury panelist Jean-Remy von Matt, Founder & Member of The Board. "The Uniqlo work is viral branded utility. It's so simple, smart and beautiful. All over the world people have it on their desktops, giving them a brand presence in countries where their products don't even exist."

Just what every company wants: huge popularity "in countries where their products don't even exist." The future is about brand presence, not about making money! Here's a YouTube clip of Uniqlo's [Robot] dancers in action. At least American Apparel ads have naked people.

[Portfolio]