With the India story still missing on the Palais stage this year, another anomaly this year was the much subdued festivities that were usually a nightmare for anyone trying to catch some sleep in their hotel rooms on the Croisette. Call it a “shake-up” or a “return to reality”, but Cannes 2018 was a lot less lively than one would have imagined.
Anyways, Day 04 was off to a grand start with a fantastic session on “Can Creativity Save Our Wildlife? Global Announcement of Lion’s Share” delivered by Andrew Clarke (Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Mars, Inc.), Nick Garrett (CEO, Clemenger BBDO), Chris Nelius (Film Director and Writer, Finch), Collet Ngobeni (Black Mamba Ranger), Toni Petra (Executive Vice President of Nielsen’s International Watch Business), Achim Steiner (UNDP Administrator) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones Actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador). Staying core to the foundation of the world of creativity – that Creativity has the power to change things, one of the largest FMCG spenders in the world – Mars, has teemed up with BBDO, Finch, the UNDP and Nielsen and implored the industry to act as an agent of change and help conserve one of the world’s greatest resource – it’s wildlife diversity. With creative activism and the power of an idea coming back to the forefront in this years Cannes – the session served as a great inspiration for many to be a part of something larger and was addressed by very passionate speakers. Truly an energizing start to what appeared to be another day of great sessions.
In an effort to humanize one of the most feared technologies of modern time – Artificial Intelligence (AI), the session on ‘What AI Teaches Us About Creativity and the Universe’ by a physicist, Adrian Bejan, an artist, Sougwen Chung and an AI philosopher, George Zarkadakis; moderated by Sizmek’s Chief Visionary, Nikos Acuña, was a fantastic discourse on how creativity is the key element in unlocking hidden patterns in nature and how a creative could play on the many “flows” in nature to inspire behavioral change. In a session that addressed a burning phenomenon in the industry today – the impact that Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence has on the human aspect of the creative process and its percolated impact on creativity itself. The speakers agreed that modern technology only augments the human effort, while weeding out the redundant processes in the Darwanian concept of adaptation being a core foundation of the evolution process.
By far one of the coolest sessions at the Palais this year was Andrew Robertson’s (President & CEO, BBDO Worldwide) session on “Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll and Advertising”. With a calls on Biochemistry and Neuroscience 101, Robertson explains the motive of some of the more recent and popular campaigns of our time and walked the audience through the various chemicals triggered the release of certain hormones in the human brain while running each ad campaign and how addicitive modern communication and social platforms have become. Summarizing his session by urging creatives to answer on the most important question to ask about their ad campaign “How is it going to make somebody feel?” he makes it evident that it is emotions (the release of dopamine and oxytocin) that ultimately drives profits. The drugs we humans thrive on.
While no-doubt the inspiring sessions and the scenic beauty of Cannes has held me captive in the 65th Edition of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity – I had an “out-of-Earth” experience witnessing the real magic of the industry in the PR, Creative Data and Media Lions awards. It is clear that creativity is the driver of industry with awe-inspiring campaigns that not only disrupted the way brands communicated their message – but also championed some very critical global causes, prompting government action fueled by crowd response to the best that the industry had to offer in the sphere of creativity. With each Lion winner being better than the other – witnessing this was definitely the hallmark of my trip in the French Riviera so far – leaving me much more inspired than I came.
Here are my Top 3 Favorites from last evening:
Product Design - Kingo -
- Highly impactful and very simple idea that was beautifully executed, taking electricity to remote villages in Colombia and enriching lives through technology.
Use of Broadcast - It's a Tide Ad
One of my top picks before the festival - Tide’s Ad is a hilarious and entertaining ad that displays an innovation in delivering product centric communication while being subliminally tricked. Well played Tide!
Innovation – MyLine for Bogota’s Ministry of Communications and Information
Another simple yet brilliantly executed campaign, this took the power of internet to anyone with a feature phone in the remotest of areas driving inclusivity and further fueling the ubiquitous distribution of technology and information
Tune in tomorrow for a wrap up special as we come to a close of this years Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity!
(Abhinay Bhasin is Associate Director, Data Sciences at Dentsu Aegis Network, India. He is a recipient of a post graduation in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.)