hmmh | Cannes Lions

The whole world of advertising in one place

As the winners of the BVDW “Challenge Award”, we (Laura & Christoph, designers in the Creation division) were out and about at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity from 14 to 22 June. On the one hand, Cannes Lions, are, of course, the “Oscars of the advertising industry”, in which the coveted golden lions are awarded for the best ideas and campaigns in 17 categories and four feature-length shows. But Cannes has now also become the biggest get-together for the entire creative industry, with approx. 13,000 visitors from all over the world and all different areas – whether they are customers, agencies or freelancers. It is one of the most important dates on the industry calendar, and is much more than just shows, parties and “seeing and being seen”. It’s about networking, inspiration and knowledge transfer. Because, apart from the awards ceremony and exhibition, the Cannes Lions are, most importantly, an impressive conference. Over six days, more than 300 speakers shared their knowledge with us as part of some 200 presentations, seminars, workshops and forums.

David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff, Bono and Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive were, of course, also highlights on the stage for us, but what we remember most were the excellent presentations with relevant topics, real insights and sample applications, which were delivered in an entertaining, charming or humorous manner. One such example is the storytelling workshop with Tyler Crowley, who taught us how to inspire investors with a start-up idea. Or Intel, which showed us how 3D printers are helping war victims in Sudan make their own prostheses, while Hakuhodo from Japan explained to us what agencies would look like in future. Colour-blind Neil Harbisson, the real “Cyborg”, was just as impressive, converting colours into shades via an antenna in his head. The topic of “Big Data” was also finally made more accessible through some excellent presentations by Richard Frankel (Rocket Fuel) and Andy Lippman (MIT Media Lab).Big brands like Coca Cola, Beats by Dre and Procter & Gamble wowed us with relevant content, bold campaigns and great emotional ads, while McDonalds only managed to achieve the same impact with their free drinks in the “Young Lions Zone”… ;)

We were also blown away by the happenings away from the big stage: Cannes is loud, colourful, and perhaps even a bit crazy. We enjoyed being there and, along with all the work for our blog, the social networks and articles for “Lead Digital”, we still managed to find a bit of time to visit Google’s specially leased stretch of beach, known as the “Creative Sandbox”, and attend the festival’s galas. This was where we encountered the full Cannes experience: DJ sets, fireworks, drinks and a giant buffet right on the beach – all inclusive, of course.

After eight days, we were overwhelmed by the masses of information, impressions and people, and would have loved to stay a few days longer just to have a holiday... In any case, we returned with a whole heap of inspiration and a desire for new, creative ideas. We would ideally like to get going on these immediately ourselves and spin our own “golden ideas” so that next time we can go to Cannes in our own right rather than just as spectators. Even though some topics previously only occupied a small part of our everyday work, this week certainly gave us some great impressions of the international advertising industry as a whole, and allowed us to join in the conversation just a little.

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