Reward for excellence at 61st Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Thursday, 19 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Murtaza Tajhboy reporting from 61th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2013
Day four of the 61st Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has been my favourite day so far. I still find it hard to believe that we are in France right now; the feeling is so surreal. It’s been raining a little but that hasn’t impacted our spirits at all and the forecast for the rest of the week looks beautiful. This morning we enjoyed a typical French breakfast consisting of freshly baked croissants, jams, fresh fruit and yoghurt – I wish I could bring a suitcase full back to Sri Lanka. The award ceremony last night was filled with excitement and great energy. We found out that Leo Burnett secured the place of finalist in the Use of Integrated Media – Media Lions category for the ‘Mosquito Repellent Newspaper’. Although we are a little disappointed, we are very proud that out of a total of 227 entries shortlisted and 40 entries from Asia, Sri Lanka was able to emerge as a finalist. This just proves that we need to further encourage creativity and innovation in Sri Lanka and push ourselves more, to develop effective creative concepts. For now we are happy that Sri Lanka got a moment in the spotlight and received recognition at Cannes.     ‘HAPPY- ID’ campaign The Grand Prix in the Media Lions category went to the Coca-Cola Company for the ‘HAPPY- ID’ campaign which went viral with more than 1.3 million shares across social networks. The campaign focused on connecting with teenagers through the brand’s core strategic pillar of happiness. It was detected that despite Perus economic growth and pride, the people were not happy to the extent that they didn’t even smile on their IDs. The Coca-Cola Company found an opportunity to spread happiness across the country with a simple but significant action that encouraged Peruvians to smile in their IDs. The response to the campaign was immediate with 90% of new IDs in the first few months of the campaign featuring people with happy smiles. The final award for the evening was Media Network of the Year which went to the Starcom MediaVest Group.     New sphere of creativity So far the festival has been packed with seminars, personalities and numerous tents on the sidewalks. This experience has taken us to a new sphere of creativity and our minds are filled to the brim with new knowledge and information. One session we attended was conducted by Kanye West who sat on a panel with Steve Stoute, Founder and CEO, Translation and Ben Horowitz, Co-founder and Partner of Andreessen Horowitz. There were also a lot of interesting discussions at the seminar titled ‘Technology, Culture and Consumer Adoption:  Learning to Read the Cultural Landscape’. What stuck with me most was the understanding that brands need to be more like celebrities yet brands don’t think like celebrities. Kanye West further expanded on this notion by stating, “Brands are not as good as managing themselves as celebrities are.” These experts discussed why technology and culture need to be linked and why brands need to identify more with their customers. Technology has given consumers more power by providing them with convenience and access to a vast choice of products. Technology has given consumers the ability to now create brands overnight. Consumers also want to be part of a conversation.  Kanye West has a whopping 10.5 million Twitter followers and very interestingly, he only follows one person, Kim Kardashian.  We also looked at collaborations between companies and celebrities such as partnerships between Apple and Beats by Dr. Dre, as well as collaborations between Samsung and Jay-Z. These are companies who used culture and the power of celebrities to get into conversations with their consumers.     Culture and creativity Today, culture and creativity are truly worth a lot.  Ideal companies are those based on great ideas, rather than just how much of a product they can sell. A tip we learnt is to always look for authenticity and passion to make the right partnerships work.  At the end of the day, the most important relationships and partners have shared values and believe in the same things. The first workshop for the day was held by Simon Wells and Maggie Kelleher from ACACIA17 called ‘How to Get Good at Creative Communication: Marketing and Terrorism’. Between Simon and Maggie, the two have 60 years of experience dealing with extreme life threatening situations, including communicating with terrorists. The workshop showed how creative communication skills used in extreme situations can also assist all professional communicators. It was really interesting to hear their stories and see how problematic situations actually bring forth positive contributions to work and life.       Pushing the boundaries An interesting seminar this morning was ‘The Power of the Story’ by Time Warner Inc. Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO Time Warner Inc. took the stage with award-winning series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and Armando Iannucci of HBO’s ‘Veep’. These creative visionaries sat with journalist Frank Rich discussing how to push the boundaries in drama and comedy. They also shared interesting perspectives on what it takes to create, write and sustain a hit show across multiple platforms. Today we took a little break between the seminars and checked out the hype surrounding the Beach Soccer Tournament, which is a Cannes extra. This is an event that runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and gives people the chance to network as well as represent their country in a game of soccer. Although Marsh was eager to join in, we decided to sit on the side-lines with other spectators and ended up socialising and making connections with a lot of fascinating people from around the world.       Borderless creativity Another great learning was at the master-class by our networks very own, Mark Tutssel, Global Chief Creative Officer. Of course by being part of the Leo Burnett team I have heard so much about Mark and read about all of his achievements and quotations so it was absolutely inspiring to see him in the flesh and hear him talk. His master-class titled ‘Why Borderless Creativity is the Future of Communications’ was an eye opener. In his lecture, Mark shared the four principles of ‘Boderless Creativity’ and their critical role in creating game-changing, globally celebrated work. The other noteworthy event of the day was a seminar called ‘Making Marketing Personal Again’ led by Sheryl Sandbery Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She explained how mass media has changed the way brands and businesses work, making things more public. She discussed how technology is shifting consumer expectations and brands face a more complex media landscape than ever before. She believes that through the use of mobiles, marketing can become personal again, changing the shift in communication once again.     Online viewing Last year the Cannes Lions team introduced the online viewing of one seminar a day for the public, each seminar was decided on following an online vote and the most popular seminar each day was screened. Today (Thursday 19 June) you can watch ‘Nice is the new black’ by BBDO at 7.30 pm local time. Tonight will be the award ceremony for the Cyber, Design, Product Design, Press and Radio Lions Awards. I’m not too sure what we have planned for the night, but I know it won’t be anything short of incredible. The food and cultural experience have been amazing so far. We have been indulging in cheeses and an amazing spread of seafood and desserts.  We will keep you updated on all the upcoming events so keep reading.