The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity just took place on June 17 – 21. Does Cannes sound familiar? That’s because the luxurious International Film Festival and Yachting Festival also occur in this French city. Celebrities are spotted at all of these festivals, but creatives should care the most about the Cannes Lions. Beginning in 1954, the Cannes Lions is a five-day festival where all of the most powerful and influential people in the creative communications industry come together. As a small agency, we love to see what comes of the competition – it gives us ideas to apply to our clients within their budgets.
So, what actually happens at this festival? To start, there are lots and lots and LOTS of speakers. This year, the festival answered ten big questions, like, “ how do we strike the right balance between purpose and profit?” Another question was, “how can modern technologies improve the art of storytelling?” Some of the 2019 speakers were Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard, Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer at LEGO Group and Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer Dunkin’ US. That was only naming a few… As you can see, the festival was jam-packed with influential people.
Radhika Jones, Editor and Chief of Vanity Fair, joined Actress Laura Dean to talk about how to make influential and prestigious content in the age of streaming. You may recognize Dean from HBO’s show Big Little Lies. Haven’t watched it yet? Do yourself a favor and stop reading this. Go binge watch now, it’s that good!
The festival consists of many awards. Cannes Lions breaks them down into nine award tracks: Reach, Communication, Craft, Experience, Innovation, Impact, Good, Entertainment, and Health. This year there were 30,953 entries from 89 countries, so the competition was steep.
The 2019 Design Lions Grand Prix went to Google Creative Lab, New York for its use of AI technology for its creative tools in drawing, music, and more. Wieden+Kennedy Portland won the Outdoor Lions Grand Prix for ‘Nike Dream Crazy’ — the billboard featuring athlete Colin Kaepernick. The black and white billboard, part of the ‘Just Do It’ campaign, was a close-up of Kaepernick’s face with the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” This year’s Direct Lions Grand Prix went to ‘The Whopper Detour’ for Burger King, which was done by FCB New York. Using geofencing technology, people within 600 feet of a McDonalds received a deal for a one cent Whopper. This campaign showed targeting, a clear call to action, and results.
There were also PLENTY of networking and interactive brand opportunities at the festival. In partnership with Samsung, Cannes Lions had a Networking Lounge featuring chill-out zones, a bar, bookable meeting rooms, and interactive tech displays. Some of the networking opportunities were in cabanas ON THE BEACH… I repeat ON THE BEACH. Brands in the Riviera cabanas included Pandora, Adobe, Target, LiveNation, eBay, and Hulu.
It sounds like a really cool festival, right? I am now taking donations for my Cannes Lions Festival 2020 Pass Fund, please consider sponsoring (only half kidding).
Photo Credit Cannes Lion Facebook Page