In an e-mail conversation with Campaign India, Terry Savage, chairman, Cannes Lions, or the International Festival of Creativity, explains the response to the Festival this year, client mix, young delegates, composition of the jury and more. Edited excerpts from an interview:
How has the response been for the Festival in its 60th edition? To provide context, what was the delegate count and entry count last year? What are the numbers this year?
Entries have grown four per cent to a record 35,765 across 16 categories. As one would expect we saw strong growth in Branded Entertainment and Mobile. In fact, of the 16 categories, 10 grew. The new Innovation Lions category has received 270 entries in its first year. Delegates are still a work in progress but we fully expect to exceed our record number from last year which was in excess of 11,000.
And from how many countries? Which would you name among countries warming up to the Festival in recent years?
Ninety two countries entered into Cannes. Clearly, we are seeing China emerge in terms of both entries and delegates, the Middle East is strong in comparison to a few years back, Asia in general is showing an energy in terms of participation. Reality is that Cannes is truly the only global event that brings so many people from so many countries together to network celebrate and learn with the best from our industry be it the people or the work.
How big is India’s participation this year against 2012 - in terms of delegates and entries?
In terms of entries, India was marginally down 1,110 entries this year against 1,182 entries last year. To put this in perspective however, this still rates India in the top 10 entering countries. Delegates is still a work in progress but right now India are tracking ahead of last year in terms of delegates registered.
Yet another category - Innovation Lions - is born this year. Do you foresee technology companies playing a bigger role with entries going forward, in categories like digital and innovation?
We are happy year one sees 270 entries ansd yes whilst technology companies already play a significant role in Cannes, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo to Baidu, Ten Cent, to name just a few, are all there this year and that trend will grow. As I said, we are a reflection of the industry.
Would you have a broad indication of the profile (client/agency, business/creative, age) of delegates each year? We’re trying to understand if this is changing...
What is changing is the attitude to all sectors of the industry in terms of understanding the importance of creativity. Clients discovered Cannes some years ago – this year once again they are well represented making up an expected 25 per cent of all delegates. Interestingly, we are seeing a trend to clients attending by organisation in numbers. With so much to see, so many seminars, significant opportunities to capture the rich content you need numbers of people to be able to see, learn and feedback into their organisations. Youth is also a vital element with more and more academies of learning. And of course, still at the centre are the creative community. The great thing about Cannes is the richness of it’s delegate base, marketers, creative, designers, media, account service, agency, digital, PR - here is a unique opportunity to not just speak to like-minded people, but people from other sectors who can challenge your perceptions, make you think about your business and in the process of course improve what you do.
Also, from India, we do tend to see familiar faces representing the ad frat. Is there a count of first time registrants too? (last year / this year)
Forty two percent of delegates are returning, 58 percent are new, but there is less company churn.
(Read the full interview in the issue of Campaign India dated 14 June 2013)