By Sachin Ambekar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. in Cannes
Final Update: The last two days at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s largest advertising festival was sensational!
With 119 sessions and 34,301 entries from all over the world, the festival was bigger and better than ever before. Digital really took centre stage at this year’s festival, with social media really playing a big part in sharing news, updates and information. Twitter was the main medium of social media used by delegates and others about Cannes. Cannes had a whooping 61, 400, 000 impression on twitter!
An interesting seminar on digital advertising was done by the Publicis Groupe: on the ‘New Yahoo! Maurice Levy, Publicis Groupe Chairman & CEO in a session with Ross Levinsohn shared his views and discussed his vision for leading one of the world’s premier digital media companies to new heights. Marc Pritchard, Global Marketing Officer for P&G, the world’s largest marketer joined the duo for a cross fire and the three ad giants explored expectations big marketers have for digital advertising.
Everything is also a lot more global and it was evidently seen this year with countries that were never in the charts before scooping awards. With the curtains drawn on the 59th International Festival of Creativity, Sri Lanka can look back with pride as we made it with 2 finalists and a bronze out of 3247 Media Lions entries. Leo Burnett Sri Lanka was awarded with a coveted Cannes Lions metal!
One of the main highlights was the keynote speech by President Bill Clinton on ‘Why advertising can build a better world’! He urged listeners to think about how you can do well and do good. President Clinton spoke about how ordinary people have more power to effect change than ever before and advertisers as communicators and informers have a role to play in building a better world. It was a gripping speech to which we all actually arrived an hour earlier to try and get the best seats in the house!
Another very interesting session was the Cannes Debate, on ‘Marketing and the Media, The three big Challenges’. The renowned speaker panel was Ronaldo the World Cup Winning Footballer; Lord Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee and Sir Martin Sorrell , Chief Executive, WPP who spoke about major sports events that help drive innovation and adoption of new media technologies. The way this medium has changed the face of advertising especially in the past few years is incredible.
So this is the end of the road for this year’s week of sun, sea, creativity and an immense amount of fun at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity! What a week. Chrishani, Rameez and Dhanushka and I had an absolutely amazing time here, learning and interacting with the best in the communications industry. This year we saw exceptional work by agencies, and these agencies created pieces not to win awards but to truly make products better with bigger ideas that capture human emotions. Cannes Lions is truly unique and it left us all feeling energized and inspired.