Cannes Lions is thought of by many as an awards show. Agencies and clients in particular think of the number of lions they’re going to get this year. And this is where you get the first glimpse of the campaigns that are going to haunt you the rest of the year. Over and over and over again.
The seminars – a delight for the brains & the hearts In the shadow of all the glitz and glamour that comes with the awards shows, there are the seminars. They come intensively packed in all the senses of the word: there are a lot of them, in different locations, happening simultaneously, each sporting an incredible amount of talent. I mean, do you choose a fashion icon that revolutionized not only the industry, but the entire social spectrum – or an advertising legend with incredible charisma that speaks about “the good ol’ days”? Yes, I know: first world problems – that’s the kind of issues you get confronted with in Cannes!
It’s not about advertising, it’s about Creativity Speakers come in all shapes and sizes, emphasizing the fact that this festival is not about just advertising anymore, but about Creativity. Actually, it’s about the state of the world in all its inter-social glory.
There are a few names it’s impossible not to have heard of if you lived on planet Earth the past few years: Pharrell Williams (a ten-time Grammy Award Winner and Academy Award Nominee, producer and artist, whose “24 hours of Happy” won 8 awards last year, including a Grand Prix in Cyber), David Guetta (the most downloaded music artist in Europe), Natalie Imbruglia (actress, songwriter, performer, but also an advocate for Women’s Health issues in Africa), Marilyn Mason (self-described “rock and roll demagogue”), Norman Reedus (best known as Daryl Dixon in “The Walking Dead”, also an accomplished photographer and director), Lars Ulrich (co-founder and drummer of Metallica), and even Kim Kardashian (the one who broke the internet) – to name a few. Those are the entertainers, the public figures whose faces you know and whose names you’ve heard.
Meet the people that changed the world
But maybe your role models look a bit different. What about the geeks out there? If you’re amongst them, you’ll be pleased to know Professor Brian Cox is coming (ex rock star turned mad scientist, currently The Royal Society’s Professor for Public Engagement in Science). Also joining: Tim Berners-Lee (otherwise known as “the man who invented the internet”), Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro (his hobbies include sensor networks, interactive robotics, and android science), Davind Shing (AOL’s Digital Prophet, who doesn’t carry a staff or wear a robe). Therefore, it’s safe to assume the IQ level will be pretty high.
Ok, but what about the advertising people, after all? Don’t fret, there’s plenty of those: Nick Barham (Chief Strategy Officer for TBWA\Worldwide), Jerry Buhlmann (CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network), Mike Cooper (CEO of PHD Worldwide), Susan Credle (Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Chicago), Jessica Walsh (art director, designer and partner at Sagmeister & Walsh), Sir John Hegarty (founder and creative at Bartle Bogle Hegarty), Matt Eastwood (Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson), Laura Desmond (CEO Starcom MediaVest Group), Bob Greenberg (Global Chairman, CEO R/GA) and the list could go on and on, and it’s still not finalized.
People from the future
Other names coming to the stage, that may sound familiar? Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart, Christiane Amanpour, Monica Lewinsky, Al Gore. However, what you really should watch out for, are the young entrepreneurs, the unheard-of creative geniuses, the “underground” talent that sometimes surfaces on this ample stage. Every year, there are a few surprises. So don’t get over excited by the big names, but try and get ahead of the pack and discover the names you haven’t yet head of.