Category Archives: Cannes Lions

Until Next Year, Cannes

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is always a frenetic and fun week for DGC and the industry. It’s a unique opportunity to bring together creative minds across the world to celebrate terrific work, focus on challenges, and how to give back to the world.  As we recover from a week of hard work, lack of sleep and amazing views, we wanted to share a few takeaways.

  • Business happens when you least expect it. Always be prepared to talk shop, even when you’re walking from the Carlton to the Palais on the Croisette. You never know who you’ll run into and when the conversation will turn from the quality of the rosé to solving business challenges.
  • Madison Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard are intersecting more now than ever before. Much of the short and long-form content that won Lions was on-par with short films and documentaries typically generated by Hollywood studios.  Branding took a backseat to storytelling – with compelling content and incredible visuals. If you didn’t know you were at the Cannes Lions, you could easily have thought you were at the Cannes Film Festival.  [insert this link http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en.html]
  • Be Clear. Be Honest. Words taken from the session of healthy-cooking advocate Jamie Oliver rang true throughout the week.  Consumers are now more than ever attracted to brand messages that are sincere and honest.
  • Know your audience. It was clear throughout the week which speakers knew their audiences and which were speaking to serve their own agendas.  Facebook executive Chris Cox gave an excellent presentation that spoke to the larger issues of cultural sensitivities in communications.  In one of his many examples, Cox gave advice about brand messages in India–don’t use the word “password,” he said, because while that word is such a part of the day-to-day lives of Westerners, it is entirely meaningless even to English-speaking Indians.  Knowing your audience and what they need from your brand has become increasingly crucial to gaining consumer receptivity.
  • Strike the right balance of work and play.  There’s plenty of work to be done at Cannes – handling the press, networking, going to sessions and identifying new trends, etc.  Yet, time spent with your clients and colleagues – at dinner, at drinks, on a yacht, etc. – is just as important.  Loosen up a bit and take a moment to get to know the people you partner with a bit better.   You’ll find that a few days in the south of France can equal a year’s worth of relationship building in the States.
  • Be a better global citizen. One of the themes that resonated throughout the week was that we need to use technology to be better citizens, a message that also came through in some of the work that won big at Cannes. From the ALS Bucket Challenge and Like A Girl to Twin Souls, it was all about being more compassionate and sympathetic to one another. Monica Lewinksy, Jamie Oliver and DDB’s Amir Kassaei all spoke to how we can use our skill-set to do good.

Au Revoir!

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#CannesLions — Everyone is a Creative Director

How and from whom is creativity generated?  At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, it may seem odd that something this fundamental is actually being asked.

Yet, in an industry where mathematicians, statisticians and engineers now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with art directors, answering that question is not as straightforward as one would think.

For the first time, Cannes Lions today unveiled its Lions Innovation event.  Described as a “festival within a festival,” Lions Innovation is a two-day event where data, technology and creativity intersect.   On its site, Cannes Lions describes itself as the industry’s “mirror” – acknowledging that “data and technology are driving creative solutions in ways never seen before.”   It’s a theme that has permeated much of the week’s programming.

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In fact, during a Microsoft/Fast company panel  yesterday entitled “Creativity That Matters – How Brands and Agencies Drive Impact” Wendy Clark, President, Sparkling Brands & Strategic Marketing, Coca-Cola North America, said something that really struck a chord.  Strategists – not artists – are developing the most incredible creative work.   Panel participants, Kathleen Hall of Microsoft and Sophie Kelly of The Barbarian Group, were in full agreement as well.

Driving home the point, Audi’s Luca De Meo told a packed audience during his talk “The Moon.  Land  of Quattro,” that the most creative people play not just with words, but with numbers as well.

Today’s creativity comes from some unlikely places.  From data.  From technology.  From strategy.  In the past, that may have seemed more than a little counterintuitive.  But at the 62nd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, it’s becoming abundantly clear.  Everyone in the industry – whatever their title – is a “Creative Director.”

Six Things We Learned from Pharrell at Cannes

Pharrell is “happy” by nature, not just because he wrote and sang the 2014 Oscar-nominated mega-hit but because, according to himself, he goes after what he wants.  He truly embraces collaboration through creativity and is unafraid of working to get the creative mix of people he knows will win.

American TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest sat down with Pharrell at the Cannes Lions Festival on June 24 to talk about collaboration and creativity.  Pharrell provided some crucial advice about bringing one’s “A” game to creative projects.

Here’s what we learned.

  1. Intention is essential. When Ryan asked Pharrell to give the young creatives in the audience advice, he emphasized “intention,” noting that if you are going to create something, make sure to “write some intention in there.”  What is your intention for a given project? Intention should be the number one ingredient in everything that you do and, if it isn’t, consumers won’t buy into it.
  2. Multitasking is important. Multitasking allows you to diversify projects without “blurring the lines,” Pharrell said. It’s important to have your hand in different things to get the creative juices flowing.  That said, you don’t want any crossover between your projects because it will keep them from being truly fresh and unique.
  3. Have a “second element.” A song isn’t great just because of the way it sounds, but because of the way that it makes you feel.  Just like a movie with all great actors and no plot – you may think that you’re going to like it, but it fails by not providing consumers with the second dimension they need and crave.
  4. Creativity and commerce are related. Many people believe that you can’t have both, or that one relies on the other, but as Pharrell so simply put it, when you really concentrate on your creativity, it translates into commerce.
  5. Bottled delusion would sell millions. Pharrell noted that if you were able to bottle the delusion for greatness that many people have, it would be a wildly successful product.  It’s like the people who genuinely believe they are good singers, but can’t sing a lick – it’s that sense of confidence and delusion that helps people succeed, in addition to providing a fantastic laugh.
  6. Adele is the master of intention.

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Cannes Lions 2015: Surviving a Zombie Attack

This post is written by Sara Ajemian, Senior Account Director, who is on the ground at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Day one of the Cannes Lions festival got underway in earnest on Sunday, June 21, and one of the morning sessions had an apocalyptic flavor as WPP’s MediaCom hosted a presentation titled “How to Survive a Zombie Attack and Harness Cultural Trends to Grow Brands.”

Dave Alpert, executive producer of AMC’s The Walking Dead,” Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, Inc., and Steven Yeun, an actor on the show, were all on hand to discuss the art of their particular type of storytelling and give a small preview of next season.

MediaCom’s global strategy officer Jon Gittings shared how his agency categorizes storylines–hierarchy, individuality, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty, pragmatism and indulgence—and how different countries’ audiences respond to them. Gittings said, for example, that when episodes are indexed against global viewership, North America shows a high preference for individuality and indulgence while Spain, Turkey and Brazil showed a higher preference for storylines that had a strong element of uncertainty.

On day two, our DGC team was on the ground early supporting client-press meetings followed by more programming.

We stopped in to see Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and Citi’s Jennifer Breithaupt, SVP, Global Head of Entertainment Marketing, discuss “Music & Branding Moving at the Speed of Culture.” Billboard reporter Andrew Hampp moderated the session, which focused on the evolution of brand/artist partnerships.

For Metallica, corporate partnerships are all about balance, according to Ulrich, and if a company has credibility in its industry and offers a creative outlet for the brand, it’s a win-win for all involved.

If panelists had one major caution, it was this:  Don’t make the partnership a one-off. Invest the time to figure out how to amplify and give it legs to extend the life cycle. Otherwise, you’ll be yesterday’s news before it’s tomorrow.

We’ll be continuing to share updates from Cannes, so be sure to stay tuned here to the Hit Board, as well as following us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Another June, Another Cannes

We’re just a few days away from the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (June 21-27) and the DGC team can’t wait to hit the ground running!
 
Cannes Lions is a spectacular, week-long celebration of the world’s most creative minds and best advertising as well as an opportunity for over 12,000 delegates to network over rosé and intimate dinners. Over the course of the week and against the backdrop of the beautiful French Riviera, talks will be given, awards handed out and meetings taken along the famed Croisette. It’s a chance for the industry to recognize the best creative work of the past year and look forward to where we might be next year.
 
The DGC team will be on the ground supporting clients and sharing the week’s most exciting news, bringing you insights from key industry players, highlighting key trends and observations and sharing live content. This year’s festival has attracted top names to the Palais including, Sarah Koening (Serial), entertainers will.i.am and pharrell and activist Monica Lewinsky.
 
Here are just a few of the sessions we have on our radar:
 
  •  Tuesday, June 23, 3:30PM – 5PM: MediaLink & Adweek “Daily Dose” Programming with Ian Schafer of Deep Focus; Carlton Hotel; Sean Connery Suite 7th Floor
  •  Thursday, June 25,
    • 2PM – 2:45PM: “Ogilvy & Inspire” Tham Khai Meng, Ogilvy & Monica Lewinsky. Grand Audi
    • 2:30PM – 3:15PM: “Watson & The Future of Advertising” Saul Berman, IBM & Jerry Wind, Wharton. Experience Stage – Data Creativity
    • 3:50PM – 4:20PM: “Solving the Marketer’s Latest Identity Crisis” David Jakubowski, Facebook & Julia Heiser, Live Nation NA Concerts. Inspiration Stage
  • Friday, June 26 4:15PM – 5PM: “Do This Or Die” Amir Kassaei, CCO, DDB Worldwide. Debussy
We expect a jam-packed week with lots of learnings.
 
Please check for updates on the DGC Hit Board, Facebook, Twitter and our new Instagram feed!

Detroit in One Word: Indomitable.

Amid the global participants at Cannes, the Lowe Campbell Ewald: Detroit – Reboot City seminar opened with an observation that a lot of reporters tour Detroit, take a few photos of the run-down, empty buildings, write their headline that ‘Detroit is dead’ and then leave.

What they fail to understand is the mecca of creativity, art, grit and inspiration that encompasses the city. It’s the type of creative energy that drove Lowe Campbell Ewald to return to downtown Detroit from the suburbs earlier this year after asking themselves what they could do to change their culture. Lowe Campbell Ewald’s Chief Creative Officer, one of the seminar’s speakers, felt the creative ‘can do’ spirit of downtown would offer an inspiring recharge to the agency’s more than 500 employees. And so far it has done just that.

Since making the decision to move its offices, the 103-year-old agency has taken the city’s rejuvenation as a personal crusade – developing campaigns that show local entrepreneurs and creatives in action, and in turn, bringing about a local pride that not many cities in the U.S. can attest to. Lowe Campbell Ewald’s dedication to its city is something familiar to Mark’s colleague Jose Miguel Sokoloff of Lowe SSP3 Colombia, another one of the seminar’s speakers. His campaign helped bring true change to Colombia, helping to demobilize FARC guerrillas in the country.

At the seminar, and by blanketing the streets of Cannes with “Detroit vs. Everybody” t-shirts, the two award-winning creatives brought global attention to Detroit’s local game changers. From entrepreneur Veronika Scott, whose not-for-profit The Empowerment Plan employs former homeless women to make puffy coats that turn into sleeping bags to help the homeless of Detroit battle the brutal winter, to Shinola Detroit, a watch factory with a laser focus on bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.– it’s clear that Lowe Campbell Ewald is onto something good by surrounding themselves with the like-minded sheer determination to rebuild Detroit.

Detroit Reboot session -Cannes

Seminar participant and famed DJ Carl Craig cited drum and bass as a new genre of music that was emerging around the time he was carving his own career in Detroit. Craig spoke about Movement, an electronic dance festival held in Detroit each Memorial Day weekend, and how it had contributed to the culture of the city.

Ghetto Recorders, explained by Craig as a stalwart Detroit recording studio, has also been central to the defining the sound of the city. Artists such as The White Stripes and Electric Six have traveled to Detroit to record within its cement shell – the sound softened only by some carpet found by Ghetto’s Jim Diamond. A little of the wild west, indeed.

The last Detroit local celebrated by the seminar participants was Airea “Dee” Matthews, who appeared on a beautifully shot video reciting “Wisdom,” a Katrina poem. The words were hauntingly relevant to Detroit.

Cannes Lions is a Festival that celebrates creativity and seeks to inspire, but if being in the south of France in June isn’t possible, perhaps a trip to Detroit is just what you need to get your entrepreneurial and creative juices flowing.

Cannes shows up for “surprise” guest Kanye West

The Grand Audi was bustling and filled to capacity on Tuesday following a morning of big-ticket presentations from Google’s Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.

A burst of press followed the last-minute addition of Kanye West to the bill. He was joined on stage by Translation CEO and Founder Steve Stoute, Andreessen Horowitz Co-founder and Partner Ben Horowitz, and moderator Stephanie Ruhle of Bloomberg. The session, Technology, Culture, and Consumer Adoption: Learning to Read the Cultural Landscape, started a little after 1 p.m., with lots of curiosity around how this soup would mix.

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The connection between West and Stoute is obvious, but there was definite interest around how high-tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Horowitz would fit into the discussion with two people very comfortable being center stage. The answer? Beautifully well.

West, Stoute and Horowitz were a formidable trio of experts on the intersection of music, advertising and technology.

Apple was central to the discussion, which ranged from the late Steve Jobs (and West’s own comparison of himself to Jobs) and the iPod era, to Apple’s recent acquisition of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats. Stoute, West and Horowitz all agreed that the acquisition was a smart move to help Apple regain some relevance and “coolness.”  Horowitz went as far as defining the $3B deal as 30 days of cash flow and saying that anyone who thought the price was too high was underestimating the potential for Apple.

West added, “I’m not a big fan of Samsung” (Jay-Z is a Samsung endorser) to which Stoute bellowed “There goes the neighborhood!” This was but one of the displays of humorous on-stage banter that made the session so entertaining.

On a human-interest note, here are some comments from West (because let’s be honest, we all want to know what he has to say at a festival like Cannes Lions):

  • Annie Leibovitz pulled out of photographing the West-Kardashian nuptials the day before the wedding; the “kiss” wedding photo circulated to press took four days to craft.
  • West has 10.5M followers on Twitter but only follows one person. His wife.
  • New word—“out-ass,” used in the context of trying to outclass someone by buying a $6K phone.

All-in, it was a rewarding session whether attendees came looking for Stoute-like insights on how to market using culture, Kimye gossip or wise words from Horowitz.

 

What’s Worth Your While in Cannes

Are you packed yet? The sun, the sea, the Palais, Carlton terrace and Croisette all await your arrival for the Cannes Lions 2014 Festival of Creativity, June 15—21.

Thanks to Adweek, we already have an idea of what the world’s top advertising creatives will be doing in the south of France. And we’ve compiled a Twitter list for you to subscribe to, making it easy to see the key themes coming out of the Festival through the eyes of attending reporters and Jury members.

An expert Cannes crew from DiGennaro Communications will be on the ground next week supporting our clients, friends and family including the Cannes Lions 2014 Creative Marketer of the Year, McDonald’s. Here are our picks of what is worth your time between glasses of rosé, lattes, and fraternizing:

  • POSSIBLE ART 140 Installation
    Sunday, June 15 – Saturday, June 22
    9 AM – 10 AM (CEST)
    Located right outside Palais
    ART140 is a website showcasing iconic pieces of art from MoMA’s collection that harnesses the power of Twitter to let individuals express what these pieces mean to them, in 140 characters or less via the hashtag #art140. Because of it, POSSIBLE has been able to measure everything from a Stream of Consciousness scoring system, to Highbrow Index and gain a deeper understanding of the power of social language.
  • Greenlight Media & Marketing: Leveraging the Power of Celebrity to Reach the ‘Skip Generation’ & Leap Over the Competition (Seminar)
    With Dominic Sandifer (President) and others
    Sunday, June 15, 2 PM – 2:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  • Music For Millenials (Forum)
    With Steve Easterbrook (Chief Brand Officer) of McDonalds and others
    Monday, June 16, 9 AM – 9:30 AM (CEST)
    Located at Audi A
  • DDB: Why Passion? (Master Class)
    With Keith Reinhard (Chairman Emeritus)
    Monday, June 16, 12 PM – 1 PM (CEST)
    Located at Young Lions Zone (YLZ)
  • Microsoft: Make the Most of Every Moment (Seminar)
    With Dan Lin (CEO) of Lin Pictures and Stephen Kim (VP of Global Agencies & Accounts) of Microsoft
    Wednesday, June 18, 1 PM – 1:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Debussy
  •  Facebook: Making Marketing Personal Again (Master Class)
    With Sheryl Sandberg (COO) of Facebook and Abbey Klaassen (Editor) of Advertising Age
    Wednesday, June 18, 2 PM – 2:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Young Lions Zone (YLZ)
  •  Ogilvy: Cosmic Quandries & Creativity (Seminar)
    With Tham Khai Meng (CCO) and others
    Thursday, June 19, 2 PM – 2:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  •  Microsoft: How Wizards are Changing Culture & Turning Tech into Art (Forum)
    With Rick Barraza (Senior Technical Evangelist) & Jonathan Oliver (Senior Brand Strategist) of Microsoft, including others
    Thursday, June 19, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM (CEST)
    Located at Audi A
  •  Lowe Campbell Ewald: Detroit – Reboot City (Seminar)
    With Mark Simon (CCO) with others
    Friday, June 20, 11 AM – 11:45 AM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  •  Facebook: Why Me, Why Now, Why Here? Why I Believe an Open World is a Better World (Master Class)
    With Rob Newlan (Head of EMEA)
    Friday, June 20, 3 PM – 4 PM (CEST)
    Located at Young Lions Zone (YLZ)
  • McDonald’s Wonders: What Really is the Antidote to Client Promiscuity? (Seminar)
    With Matt Biespiel (Senior Director, Global Brand Management) and others
    Friday, June 20, 3:15 PM – 4 PM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  •  W Communications: The Future of Music (Forum)
    With Heidi Browning (SVP of Strategic Solutions) of Pandora and others
    Friday, June 20, 3 PM – 3:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Audi A

Bon voyage!

 

DGC Live from Cannes: Execs Weigh in on State of the Industry

The 2013 Cannes Lions Festival has officially come and gone but the thoughts and musings have returned stateside, leaving us inspired and energized.

We asked some of the industry’s top execs their thoughts about this year’s Cannes; what they learned, where they think the industry is headed, and how to make it even better.

Ignacio Oreamuno, Executive Director of the Art Directors’ Club, on what he’s seeing that’s new and different from other Cannes Festivals.

Katie Kempner, Executive Director, Global Communications, at CP+B, talks about gender equality within the advertising industry.

Chuck Porter, Chairman of CP+B, announces his “plans” for “Cannes 2,” a less crowded version of Cannes, taking place at his house in Boulder, starting in 2014.

Sam DiGennaro, CEO and founder of DiGennaro Communications, discusses how agencies, companies, and Cannes can improve the presentation, publicity and packaging of seminars next year by using hashtags, video, and more.

Gareth Kay, Chief Strategy Officer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, talks about new ways to think about advertising and how to improve next year’s festival.

Charles Courtier, Global CEO of MEC, champions MEC’s Momentum study and why it’s an imperative tool for brand-marketing strategies.

Marla Kaplowitz, CEO of MEC North America, shares details of Momentum, a proprietary MEC study to help marketers get more efficient and targeted with their media plans.

Amanda Morgan McAllister, Director of Microsoft Advertising, thinks Cannes is back with a vengeance thanks to start ups and established companies pushing beyond traditional boundaries.

Matt Britton, CRO of MRY, on why Cannes is so special for the industry, particularly within the digital and social community.

Matt Rednor, Chief Innovation Officer at MRY, talks about what he’s looking forward to at his first Cannes Festival of Creativity.

Shane Ginsberg, SVP of Corporate Development at Organic, highlights what is new and different this year at Cannes.

Matt Batten, Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Group UK, live from Wunderman’s “3rd Space,” on the vision that shaped it and how it came together.

You Know You’re in Cannes When…

The DGC team is back on the Croisette, and it feels good, yet oddly familiar. Although a year has passed since we were here with McDonald’s and General Motors, and we’ve only been back in Cannes for a few days, there are some things that never quite change here.

You know you’re in Cannes when…

  1. You carbo-load on croissants, (pain aux chocolat and baguettes) and swear you’ll find time to work out and burn it all off. We all know how that one goes.
  2. You’re on “Cannes Time” (where 15 minutes late is actually early because you run into at least five people each time you walk down the Croisette. You’re constantly dehydrated no matter how many carafes d’eaux are on hand. The combination of cappuccino, rosé, salty air and three hours sleep means constant thirst.
  3. You ration clothes for the best parties, seminars, award shows and meetings, only to find out that the important client meeting is cancelled, and an A-list outfit has been wasted.
  4. You blow a fuse in the hotel room while using a hair dryer which means you’ll be sporting a ponytail to control the frizzy mess for the rest of the week. You can’t access email or make phone calls even though all technology needs are on hand: Backup converter? Check. Blackberry and iPhone chargers? Check. Laptop? Check. iPad? Check. International calling plan? Check.  Inevitably you’ll need to call the IT department on a Saturday.
  5. You’re more star struck by  advertising creatives hanging around the Carlton Terrace than celebrities sitting on seminar panels. “Nick Canon? Who’s that? You saw David Droga in the flesh? OMG what was he wearing? Tell me everything.”
  6. You walk by Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Cartier every day on the way to the Palais, but gazing into the Mediterranean is so much sweeter.
  7. Your days end at 2 a.m., and start again at 8 a.m., yet somehow it never feels long enough to accomplish everything.
  8. You pinch yourself and realize how lucky you are to be surrounded by the smartest and most creative minds in marketing and media, in one of the most beautiful places in the world and get to call it work while sipping on a glass of rosé.
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