This summer I was fortunate enough to attend the Cannes Lions Creative Festival for two days. No, that’s not the film festival (although that would have been amazing too.) Never heard of this one? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either before I attended.
The Cannes Lions Festival is a giant creative meeting of the minds where the best of the best in our industry get together and celebrate the past, present and future of advertising. Every year people come from all over the world for this weeklong event to network, view presentations, attend workshops and quite simply, to be impressed.
Celebrities, CEOs, small agencies and independent firms are all welcomed with open arms. That’s the great thing about Cannes; no matter who you are or where you are from, creativity doesn’t discriminate against you. Everyone is welcoming and inviting because they’re all here for the same reason; they want to be inspired. They want to see what other people are creating, thinking and doing.
In my two days at the festival, I sat in on a discussion with the Marketing Director of Flipboard on how mobile advertising is the next big thing; watched Joe Pytka, the director of Space Jam (among many other accolades) discuss his career and how certain brands have left their mark on advertising; had my senses overloaded with the Saatchi and Saatchi Directors Showcase, an hour long set of the year’s best ad campaigns; chatted personally with Anthony Burrill, the creator of this year’s Google Beach; and was completely blown away by Marc Pritchard (Global Brand Building Officer of Proctor and Gamble) and his presentation, “The Creative Brief”.
If I had to describe the Cannes Festival in one word, I would go with moving. And I mean that with every sense of the word. Everyone there is constantly going, looking for the next event or to meet someone. On the flip side, I also mean it inspirationally. I have never, ever in my life, been to something so incredibly awe-inspiring. When you’re surrounded by so many great minds, the room crackles with electricity. You get the sense that you’re surrounded by something that’s much bigger than yourself. Which, let’s be honest, you are. This festival is bigger and more amazing than anything you can possibly imagine.
The biggest thing that I took away from the festival was that advertising isn’t just about selling anymore. What we do every day is more than putting a price tag on something, it’s telling a story. It’s making a memorable experience for a consumer. It’s creating a feeling, a moment where our consumer is totally and completely in love with whatever we are selling. But most of all, it matters.
For more information on the Cannes Lions Festival, visit http://www.canneslions.com/home/