Impressions from Cannes

2nd Jul 2014 | Posted by Joseph Borenstein Joseph Borenstein's picture

This post was co-authored by Linnéa Rinäs.

For a first time visitor, Cannes Lions is quite overwhelming. The festival gathers all the inspiration and business connections that you would usually look for on your social media channels or favorite websites. It’s like someone mashed up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Mashable, AdWeek, Campaign and Google and put it all into a crazy real life setting. Needless to say, spending five days in Cannes is exhausting, but absolutely wonderful.

During the Cannes Lions week, over 150 seminars and workshops are offered. Big stage interviews, with showstoppers like Kanye West and Sarah Jessica Parker, are lined up side-by-side with creatively named workshops featuring industry-respected communications professionals. In addition to the seminars and panels, the beach walk - Le Croisette - is packed with exhibition areas where companies invite visitors for a chat and free Wi-Fi.  For a first time visitor, it is hard to know what is worth going to and what will turn out to be a waste of time (hint: Kanye West), but we did our very best to soak up all that Cannes had to offer. These are some of our most memorable experiences:
A mash up of cultures

We discussed the PR business with team Nigeria, compared career paths with team Poland and exchanged mingle strategies with team Norway. Being a Young Lion gives you the possibility to hang out with creative and inspiring people from all over the world.
Google’s Creative Sandbox
Many companies did a great job in creating value for Cannes visitors, offering everything from free Wi-Fi to branded water bottles in their exhibition areas, but the one that really stuck out was Google. The search engine was spot-on with their beach bar: free Wi-Fi, HTML-programmed custom-made juices and GIF photography made every creative jump for joy. It was impressive to see how Google managed to stay true to the brand and create value for one of the pickiest audiences in the world. 
Ad agencies are dominating the PR lions

This year, for only the second time ever, a PR agency won the Grand Prix in the PR category. All gold winners were advertising agencies. Cannes Lions might have its roots in advertising, and advertising agencies might have a stronger tradition of packaging their campaigns in the preferable video format, but next year we need to see more PR agencies among the Lion winners.


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