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Thoughts from Day One at the #CannesLions Festival

Rick Liebling

Our Global Head of Marketing, Rick Liebling, is in Cannes, France right now for the Cannes Lions Creativity Festival. Here’s his take-away from Day One…

Sunday night in France and I’m watching Les Bleus play Honduras in the World Cup after a long day at the Palais des Festivals for the Cannes Lions Creativity Festival, the annual global gathering for the advertising community.

It’s my first time attending this event, but I’m certainly no stranger to conferences such as this. From Advertising Week to SxSW, the locations change but the refrain from the dais is often the same. Innovation. Disruption. Agile. Integration. Collaboration. It’s not very difficult to fill out your bingo card.

The role of data and the importance of storytelling are two other memes that are often repeated, but this time around it was interesting to see who was selling what. The day kicked off with a session led by Golin. While it would be easy to focus on their star attraction, David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff, the story was really Golin’s focus on looking at social media data to plan better content. They had some great visualizations and in an era when you better bring data to a data fight, Golin looks well poised.

That session was followed by Twitter #Live who upped the star power with an appearance by Sir Patrick (Professor X / Capt. Picard) Stewart. While you’d think Twitter would be happy to carry on the data focus, they wanted the audience to see how Twitter was a vital component of storytelling.

Day One wrapped up with sessions from Japanese agency Hakuhodo talking about the future for agencies – it’s about design marketing; and Big Spaceship’s Michael Lebowitz with a crie de coeur for the death of the Creative Department (at least as we currently know it).

Good sessions all and a glimpse into the fut… no, actually a glimpse into the present. Calling yourself a creative agency, or a data provider, doesn’t cut it anymore. You have to think like a scientist and talk like an artist if you want to compete.

More tomorrow after another day of listening and learning. Follow me on Twitter at @RickLiebling for live updates throughout the day.