Why Twitter’s Titanium matters

I decided to keep out of the whole ‘Twitter winning at Cannes‘ debate a couple weeks ago. But listening to the Mumbrella podcast yesterday, I couldn’t help but think we’re slightly missing the point.

The thing is, Titanium is meant to be the best idea in the world of advertising, marketing, and brands from the past year. And this year, Twelpforce won it.

The best way I’ve heard to judge ‘the best’ was that while gold might be an idea that makes you jealous because it wasn’t yours, Titanium is an idea that makes you humble. I like that, and I really believe it’s true (and not just for creative awards).

Nike+ does that. The Unicef Tap project does that. The Million Project does that. Obama for America does that.

So does Twelpforce make me humble? To be honest, it doesn’t. But it does makes me excited. I don’t have a problem with Twelpforce winning Titanium. The thing is, the discussion shouldn’t be around whether the judges were right to award it Titanium. The discussion should be around what this means. It’s a signifier that the advertising landscape has changed. And if we’re to believe the best minds in the idustry that are assembled into the judging panel, this is the idea that truly humbles them.

What an ace time to be in this job.

Because Twelpforce has nothing to do with a big idea. There’s no helicopters, no world-renowned director, no multi-million dollar budget. There’s simply a bunch of guys in an agency that saw what was happening on twitter, and sold it to their client.

So this year’s Cannes Titanium was a signal to the advertising world. The true talent and genius in your agency is not the awkward aspiring filmmaker who turns up at the agency at 11am, half an hour after getting out of bed. The talent is now found in the guys that can see opportunity in how people are communicating, and how to leverage it. And crucially, they can then sell that opportunity to clients. Make them comfortable, make them believe it, and execute it without backing down on anything.

- July 2010