Officially, it’s the “international festival of creativity”. But after just a few hours of arriving in Cannes, much like my last trip here in 2013, I’m instantly reminded about what a magnificent shock to the system this event is. Everywhere you go, there are people like us talking about creativity, the work and the awards. There are beautifully executed displays everywhere – the tech companies really know how to put on a show. And then there are the seminars – every year the line-up is just unbelievable.
You’re given a literal bag of information when you register, to help guide you through the week. And the one I always reach for first is the 250-page program. This year I was surprised to see that the first ad inside is for Ogilvy’s seminar, featuring the one-and-only Monica Lewinsky. She’s on a new mission now, which she’ll be discussing with our Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: Thank Khai Meng. I’ll definitely attend that one and share my learnings.
There’s an entire program of workshops and masterclasses scheduled to take place too. In 2013 I attended a number of these that were hosted by globally renowned creative directors. I probably enjoyed these events the most, they’re great for learning and sharing within a relatively small group. A workshop on technology and strategic thinking hosted by Chloe Gottlieb, Executive Creative Director at R/GA New York, caught my eye on this year’s roster.
But it’s the work that we come all this way for. There are banks of Apple computers lined up at the Paleis where one can peruse every single one of the entries, if you can. And when the finalists are announced, they are put on display. And this is a treat beyond measure. Here, we all get to be judges at Cannes. It’s a stunning preview of what each night’s ceremony will be about. With Ogilvy & Mather coming out on top at the festival for three years in a row, there’s another exciting dimension to the 2015 story waiting to unfold.
Cannes Lions is simply epic in so many ways. Officially, they’ve used the word “festival” to sum it all up. I though, won’t be reducing it to a single word, instead I’ll be sharing my experiences throughout the week in pictures and words and whatever else I can through our various social pages. Hope you enjoy it.
Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Durban