The idea: take a lightbulb to Cannes, give it glasses, a German accent, and a Freudian transcript. Put it in a miniature chair, with a miniature porcelein cat and doll-size chaise longue. Have ad men and women rest their heads on said chaise longue. Film each resulting conversation, splicing in clips of advertising projects and conversation topics.
“Sometimes traditional interviews and people’s egos obscure what is really behind the idea. Fortunately, Dr. Sigmund Bulb’s psychology techniques are able to open the hearts and minds of creative professionals,” said Mauricio Alarcon, founder and creative director of The Conquistadors Collective, one-half of the brains behind Sigmund Bulb. The other half of the brain belongs to the Art Directors Club, who partnered with The Consquistadors Collective to take Dr. Bulb on the road to Cannes. Starting July 1, the Doctor will have a permanent office at the ADC headquarters in Manahattan.
It’s all kind of charming. Typically glam ad people look awkward when cut off at the neck by a camera lens, filmed from a double chin-enabling angle. We get to learn about creative professionals’ family lives and their childhood dreams, moving past traditional interview fodder.
And, at its root this project seems to be another bizarre manifestation of the self-indulgent nature of Cannes. A lightbulb pretends to treat marketers’ fake problems—what does this accomplish? “People are pulling their hair out trying to figure out if they were ‘digital’ or ‘traditional’ and then, before you know it, ‘social media,’ Ignacio Oreamuno, executive director of the Art Directors Club, says, adding, “Creatives have been psychologically traumatized as a result of this, so we contacted The Conquistadors Collective and enlisted the best mental physician money can buy, Dr. Sigmund Bulb.”
Dr. Sigmund Bulb is a joking poke at the “traumatic” world of creative advertising celebrated at Cannes. But when all the project produces is more navel-gazing material, I can’t help but think the ADC and Consquistadors Collective could have spent their money on something more useful, or at least something new.