Cannes 2022 is just days away, so to make sure your anticipation, excitement and nerves are sky-high, we asked some top creatives and leaders from a range of agencies, production companies and more to share their last-minute expectations for the awards, talks and surrounding social events.
From the “schmoozing in the sun” to debating campaign effectiveness metrics, LBB’s Ben Conway found out what next week’s temporary residents of Cannes what they were looking forward to, fearing and everything in between. Sharing their thoughts from Europe are representatives and leaders from Serviceplan Germany, AMV BBDO, M&C Saatchi London, McCann Health London, mSix&Partners, Wolff Olins, Stink Films London, Media.Monks and KODE.
Read on to hear all of their thoughts and predictions for the Cannes Lions Festival 2022. And for a North American perspective, check out this article.
Personally, I am excited to dive into the ‘Cannesverse’ this year. To meet everyone IRL again. To get inspired by the talks, the work and the people. And sure, the metaverse will be omnipresent, and it’s exciting because nobody really knows what it will be and can be yet - but everyone is betting on it. That next generation of the internet will be our playground to explore and define. I am more excited to have discussions about talent. On the one hand we work in the most incredible time of possibilities for our industry: the metaverse, endless opportunities to create, work that can help change the world, you name it. But on the flip side, nobody wants to really work or join our industry anymore. So, what can we do as an industry to make us attractive again? To be the industry people love to be part of?
Glass of Rose half empty:
More business and networking, less creative conversation. More declarations that the future is only one thing. The Metaverse/DCO/NFTs/AI… No Carlton Terrace so more queuing at more bars.
Glass of Rose half full:
The talks on search, gaming, community and culture, more attention on new thinking, ideas, and originality. The talks on Chipotle, Disney, IKEA and Netflix, more thinking about brands themselves and how to reappraise and reinvent them. And after the last couple of years, more conversation, positivity, emotion and even gratitude that we work in a fantastic business and that Cannes is back.
I’m sure we will see agencies schmoozing CMOs in the sun, tech giants showcasing the amazing opportunities in the metaverse, ecommerce platforms and NFTs. But what has always excited me about Cannes is seeing the work. Spotting new trends. And seeing which ideas drove real business change for brands. For us, ‘creativity changes everything’, and over the past few years, we have certainly seen so many brands using creativity to pivot and transform their businesses, embracing and accelerating new technology and data to reach and connect with audiences in innovative ways. And I hope award juries recognise this work.
I also think we will see the trend for more purpose-driven work continuing, with amazing ideas that place greater importance on representing the unrepresented and being more sustainable. I just hope these brands do it in a more authentic and impactful way rather than just to win a Lion - seeing meaningful change as a long-term brand strategy, like Dove, Nike or Lego, rather than just a one-off.
What’s great to see in a recent study about ‘The State of Creativity’ by the LIONS, is that 67% of brand leaders recognise the importance of creativity as a business advantage. And I certainly think creativity is about to have its time in the sun once again.
Plus, thanks to technology we have an even bigger palette of colours to play with.
The pandemic brought health into immediate focus, and in turn, raised the importance of healthcare advertising. Just look no further than the increasing profile of healthcare award-winners at all shows, including Cannes. As more and more agencies move into the arena of health, expect wider debate around the nature of health ideas and what constitutes effectiveness in healthcare campaigns. And definitely expect healthcare agencies with the scientific knowledge, creative skills and know-how to keep creating breakthrough healthcare communications, not standing still. Expect us to push creative boundaries and constantly strive to raise the creative bar across everything we do.
The creativity that we are seeing at this year’s Cannes Lions feels like we are witnessing a monumental change of bottled-up topical conversations over the years coming to the fore. An array of incredible work that has come from unexpected adversity as we confront the monumental challenges in the world today, including DEI and sustainability. I’m looking forward to being part of some big, vitally important discussions about our role as an industry in driving positive change for the planet. To be able to connect and recognise this work together in person is something to celebrate.
As a designer and non-traditional creative, I’m excited by Cannes’ extending remit beyond traditional advertising and recognition of how creativity surfaces in many different ways. Google’s ‘Real Tone’ Pixel 6 work, enabling users to capture and highlight the nuances of all skin tones, is awesome and outstanding. Likewise, I’ve enjoyed L&C’s ‘Piñatex Initiative’ - simple and smart, it’s creativity that goes way beyond the traditional campaign to truly invent the future in an interesting, lasting way. These – and others that play in the sweet spot stretching the intersection between tech, design and narrative – will be talked about well beyond 2022.
Cannes 2022 feels like it’s going to be an opportunity for a lot of us to reconnect after a strange couple of years (afraid there’s no Stink pool party this time though - sorry about that). I think a lot of talk will be around the war in Ukraine, how our friends are doing there, what we can do as an industry to support those fleeing conflict, what the consequences mean to us, and how it will affect the work we create. Speaking of the work… like all MDs I want our company to win, but I’m always interested to see who and what takes the plaudits. Hopefully, the winning work challenges the status quos of advertising, takes us all on unexpected journeys, and establishes new heights for us all to aspire to.
I’d like to see more joy (and maybe even a bit of real silliness being awarded). Over the last couple of years, we've spent a lot of time celebrating the ‘power of purpose’ but I’d also like to reward brands that have delivered the fun that people have missed while spending two years staring at zoom calls. Cannes loves to reward work on emerging platforms and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of ‘metaverse’ in 2022. But like any new technology, I’d like to see juries awarding the ideas that connect the innovations to real people’s needs, not just awarding the technology itself.
The real world turned upside-down with the pandemic, the DEI endemic and of course Brexit - this has meant that the UK has been at its most challenged, creatively. We couldn’t fly so we went remote. We couldn’t meet in real life and we turned to Zoom. QR codes were being used and new apps like Houseparty gained notoriety. Since adland was last in Cannes, we’ve faced some of the toughest challenges in decades and we can’t wait to celebrate with our friends and winners.
We’re even more keen to get out to Cannes to meet the new movers and shakers of the post-pandemic, warzone world. There’s some AMAZING, conscious work that’s come out of this Cannes Lions - proof that we have the power to do good! We’re conscious of the fact that politically this might not be the right time to be there - however, we do appreciate that whilst the world is burning the creative wheels are turning. And fast.
See you on the Croisette.