Ship Song missed out on glory in Cannes because it was ‘lost in translation’, says The Monkeys creative director

Scott Nowell

One of the most popular Australian TV ads of the last year, The Ship Song Project for the Sydney Opera House by The Monkeys, failed to make even the long list in the Film Lions at Cannes because it was “lost in translation”, says The Monkeys ECD and Cannes juror Scott Nowell.

“The lost in translation factor played a role in why it wasn’t chosen, although obviously I wasn’t in the room when the jury looked at our entry,” said Nowell.

“People don’t know the song. They don’t know the artists in the ad. And they don’t know the history of the Sydney Opera House. The significance of those things would have been completely lost on the jury.”

Nowell added that he didn’t think the ad’s similarity to the BBC Perfect Day spot was why the ad was not favoured. “It didn’t play as big a role as the lost in translation factor,” he said.

The Ship Song Project was chosen by Mumbrella as the best ad of last year in the Mumbrella Annual at Christmas time.


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