THE REAL PARTY IS IN THE PALAIS!
Phil Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, said it best. There are a score of party invites flooding our inboxes, but even without them, Cannes would be Cannes. And this year, 62 years on, the party is not so much on yachts and beaches, but in the Grand Audi and Debussy, at workshops and screenings. There is no doubt at all that the sessions are consuming the minds of the (many new and some oldand familiar) delegates who are finding it ever so hard to leave their seats and miss their inspiration.
To me the past two days have been about a whole new breed of creative energy. And that energy has been found but plugging into some truly unexpected power sources of ideas. You can feel it on the dais and you can feel it in the audience. To borrow afew phrases from Pharell Williams (and I am so glad we gave him so many golds in our jury last year!) the new brand of creativity is all about kinesthetic value and the power of your intentions. And this is a theme I found consistently playing out across sessions and speakers as I turned into a seminar junkie again for the 14th year and session-hopped to get my perfect knowledge cocktail.
I started with The Creative Renaissance session by Adobe and beganMonday on a rousing note. Jessica Walsh and Gerry Graf took us through the fascinating possibilities and trends – whether it’s design or data - that now shape the very Internet of Things. The creative vibe was palpable.
Evan Spiegel of Snapchat explored the Millennial Mind in a free-wheeling chat that opened up the world of two billion gen-nexts. Calm, cool and pretty chilled out as he spoke, there was no denying the firepower of what he’d created.
Samantha Morton as a representative of the mere 6 per cent of women directors of the Top 250 films shared creative insights on both sides of the camera in a very bullish dialogue on how women could work their way to a more resounding statistic.
Viola Davis, Betsy Beers and Pete Nowalk of How to Get Away With Murder brought their take on television with particular emphasis on how to inject raw and powerful emotions into roles and change stereotypical characters into real people, flaws and all. Their mantra: creativity is the only way to survive.
As always Daito Manabe, Kaoru Sugano and Koichi Yamamoto turned data into magic, data into brand value and data into the future frontier for us.Knowing Kaoru, fellow–juror and creative genius, I knew they’d ramp it up to another level again this year!
The Power of #Now by Chris Moody of Twitter underscoredhow brands can get into the action by allowing real-time platforms and the transparent world to empower the moment and harness the now.The statistics of how the twitterati respond to specific stimuli was truly eye-opening.
The Toolkit for Transformation by Tom Adamski of Razorfish and Will Sansom of Contagious was a vivid forecast of our business ten years on. A fabulous telescopic view of things to come, what creativity would mean and what creative people would be doing as day-jobs in the times ahead.
As we queued up on Tuesday, the line was long and winding.It was the day we saw Mr Happy, Pharell Williams, talk about unleashing creativity through collaboration. He spoke about not waiting for the stars to align but to reach out and rearrange them in the way you want.Straight from the heart and full of soul, spirit and positivity, he was on song.
And then we got to see Sir Tim Berners-Lee who, having created the WWW now spoke about AI and where that creative intelligence would lead us.
Jamie Oliver fed the creative soul as he spoke of his drive to educate children at the school level on food, nutrition and family values. It was delectable fare as philanthropy and wholesome goodness got plated up together.
The TED session on Truth & Dare had as its high point a fantastic piece by Diana Nyad whose epic 53-hour swim from US to Cuba seemed like a true metaphor for creative breakthroughs.
Google spoke next on how creative expression must be preserved at all costs even as they face numerous challenges to regulate content and make the web a free and fair space.
Just two days into the thick of it all and I am almost heady with what I’ve taken in. I need to keep reminding myself to go to the Indian party this evening. That’s one to attend for sure. But it’s not at the Palais.
(Meera Sharath Chandra is founder, CEO and CCO , Tigress Tigress, a intergrated communications agency from India)
Follow Meera Sharath Chandra on Twitter @meerasc