Cannes Lions: The meet up for irreverent talent, regardless the discipline

Creativity, Festivals & Awards

With less than a month to go to the Cannes Lions 2016 edition, the big names that challenged the status quo and redefined hierarchies have already started to roll in.

After all, Cannes is at the forefront of the industry and here you learn about the trends and breakthroughs, sometimes even before they happen. If you only had a week to evolve yourself in the creative industries, bet all your chips on Cannes Lions (in the Palais, not at the Casino next door). Therefore, what sort of content can you expect, depending on your area of interest?


J Walsh Cannes 2015

Two words: Stefan Sagmeister. If last year Jessica Walsh, the other half of Sagmeister & Walsh, honoured us with her presence, this year it’s the turn of the man himself. In a seminar hosted by Adobe (double points here), they are expected to “explore how risk-taking, fighting against industry norms and breaking out of silos are critical to delivering breakthrough experiences.”

POLITICS in our lives

Politics poster

Political campaigns are eyesores & all-round boring fests across the world. The last great one we’ve seen was Obama’s, years ago. But this past year, a new political star rose: Justin Trudeau. The recently appointed Canadian prime minister is now an internet sensation and appears to have a natural-born charm. However, he started out as the 3rd place candidate with little to no chances. It will be interesting to see the mechanisms behind this win, as presented by David Rosenberg, the Chief Creative officer of Bensimon Byrne.

Trudeau poster

Also on this topic, another seminar called “Creativity on the Stump: Communications and American Presidential Politics”, will bring together world-class communications and media experts from Burson-Marsteller and POLITICO for a thoughtful, lively and entertaining conversation about how radical changes in communications are shaping the current campaign.


anna wintour

The gate-keeper to the world of fashion herself, Anna Wintour will take central stage, in conversation with Burberry’s CEO & CCO Christopher Bailey, on subjects such as “what does digital-age innovation really look like at a time when everybody has instant access to the same lures and hooks online?”
Cannes has a history of bringing huge fashion voices on stage, (see Vivienne Westwood), but miss Wintour is in the position of giving an overall, bird’s eye view perspective on this world, probably more business oriented than the designers have before. It’s sure to be a full house.


There have been talks considering the parallels between stand-up comedy and creativity in advertising at Lions festivals for a few years now. And they are always one of the most relaxed, mood-lifter sessions of the day. Therefore, Creativity is the Only Way to Survive is expected to be a fresh seminar, where the speakers, as comedy “actors, writers and producers, will flip the script on comedic storytelling and sound off on the power of humor to shine a light on important issues”.



VICE, which was once a print punk magazine (back in 1994), is now a global media brand. This was made possible by Shane Smith, its founder and CEO. Named this year’s “Media Person of the Year” by Cannes Lions, Shane will speak in a seminar with Spike Jonze, co-president of VICELAND and Academy-Award winning filmmaker. This isn’t Smith’s first time on the Cannes stage. His last presence was highly admired and this year’s talk on how to create relevant content that the youth likes is sure to spark up some interest.