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What Did These Cannes Lions First-timers Think of the Festival?

Awards and Events 504 Add to collection

MEC invites 13 of its young talent to experience Cannes for the first time

What Did These Cannes Lions First-timers Think of the Festival?

This year MEC sent its Talent Thrive Team to Cannes; 13 young people from around the MEC network who’ve received an invitation from MEC’s Global CEO, Charles Courtier, to join him at the Cannes Lions Festival. It was a busy week filled with creativity, inspiration and learning, so what were some of the key trends coming out of the sessions during the event?




Day one – Monday 22nd June

Abi Morrish, ‎Digital Engagement Director (UK)

Daily theme: Creativity solving problems 

The sessions from today were geared towards how creativity can solve challenges. Firstly Samantha Morten, a famous female actress and director, spoke about how her creative work transcended obstacles that were in her way due to gender. Inspiring the audience she told us how by taking creative risks, while sustaining much pressure from investors, her work achieved success.

The next session I attended was led by Marilyn Manson who spoke about how we can overcome boundaries, most of which are self-induced. He used creativity to carve out an identity in order to break into the mainstream, planning and building his brand. For him, planning was key - he even had his costume sorted, trademarked his show name before ever writing a song and wrote his Autobiography all before becoming famous. 

Award-winning creative agency Africa used local creativity to solve problems of making global content relevant. Playing on language, they use local celebrities and cultural beacons to ensure relevance for a local audience. A really nice example is Carlos Alberto Parreira, the Brazilian football manager, who struggles with speaking English when interviewed. Africa, the creative agency, recognised the comical value in Carlos’ inability to speak English and used him as an ambassador for Head & Shoulders – another brand that is difficult to translate and pronounce in Brazil. 



Day two – Tuesday 23rd June

Maria Cerenzia, Account Director and Ninia Azzopardi, Account Manager (UK)

Daily theme: Acts of daring

Today’s sessions were full of inspiration from leading figures in science, music and sport. My first session was led by Pharrell Williams who taught us that unleashing creativity through collaboration is the ultimate way to authentically communicate with our audiences. The artist, being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, argued that those within the creative industries have to work hard for success, we cannot ‘wait for the stars to be aligned’ instead we have to ‘reach out and rearrange them’, ultimately creating our own constellation. 

Next up was a session with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who highlighted that we have only started to scratch the surface on artificial intelligence (AI). Although products such as Siri show the progression in AI, this is just the start and soon AI will impact our daily lives, from driverless cars though to global business. 

Diana Nyad was also a real inspiration, having swum from Cuba to Florida at the age of 65 after five previous attempts. What made her final attempt a success? Perseverance and understanding that the human spirit can out-predict maths and science.


Day Three – Wednesday 24th June

Marcela Picos, Digital Operations Leader (Mexico)

Daily theme: How imagination and creativity can change the world 

Today was a great day at Cannes, starting with a session looking at how the worlds of Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley are colliding. The session, led by R/GA’s Global Chairman Bob Greenberg and Techstars’s co-founder Dave Cohen, demonstrated how an agency-led start-up accelerator can harness disruptions in content, data, and technology. Using examples from R/GA’s Accelerator start-up’s such as Owlet, the smart sock that alerts you if your baby stops breathing and Hammerhead, a simple, smart and social navigation platform for bicycles that also includes local route discovery, the session showcased the impact of agencies that work with new technology solutions. The session also highlighted the power of young talent, showcasing the different projects at Young Lions including Uber-aid, Heineken SafeStamp and Chromebook type. 

The next session featured Kim Kardashian West, looking at trends in digital storytelling. The session was really inspiring, showing how celebrities who invest in digital projects can retain engagement with audiences, moving with them at the speed of ‘digital innovation.’ It’s all about moving fast and storytelling, something we know a lot about within agencies. 


Day four – Thursday 24th June

Fabiola Brumby, Senior Account Manager (Germany) 

Daily theme: Innovation and art

The opening of the inaugural Lions Innovation was definitely an additional source of inspiration for me. A personal highlight was MEC’s interactive installation, #Emoticannes, displaying data intelligence in an absolutely beautiful way. Created in collaboration with the iconic interactive design and art company, Jason Bruges Studio, the installation was made from 180 mini screens which displayed the live emotion of Cannes, using data drawn from social media. 

Our neighbours from Doubleclick equally used art to draw awareness to their business. Using street art from all over the world, the exhibition analysed the art according to its likeability from several target groups, based on demographics and fields of interests. The first take-out showed that people’s favourite street art is brown, but the data collection has only just started.

Lunch took place at the Instagram photo gallery, while a few meters away artists created graffiti on a nearby wall. It seems that advertisements, creativity and art are never far away from each other!

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Wavemaker UK, Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:15:37 GMT