For the last 17 years, I have been coming here every year and have seen how the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has changed dramatically every year.
A few years ago, Scott Galloway warned us to beware of these 4 f****** (Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple), who are setting up tents outside. They’re going to take your emotional intelligence to artificial intelligence and make you useless.
I was reminded of this talk today as I was sitting at Amazon Port talking to an agency owner in his 20s. He runs an e-commerce marketing agency, and had never heard of Martin Sorell or David Droga, neither he heard of a great agency called Crispen Porter Bogusky.
Here I was, waxing lyrical about the best of creativity and he looked at me like I was speaking an alien language. For the uninitiated, Amazon Port is a venue at the beach with free coffee, drinks, live music and meeting rooms for the creative industry. And as I was talking to him, I was thinking to myself, why does this book delivery company have such a big presence at Cannes?
Why does Meta and Google and Pinterest and Spotify have a speaker line-up that rivals the one at the Palais, with better food, better ambience and cooler crowd? They’re calling this the 'fringe events' but what stops them from becoming the main show? Why shouldn’t we just buy access to fringe events when no one who’s cool wants to spend time inside the Palais anyway? And if things are really going that way, what stops Meta, from starting their own festival next year? Some may think that that destroys the importance of creativity. The cynic in me was tempted to think that way too. But maybe, it just widens the definition of creativity? Maybe we’re reaching a Neo-advertising era where there’s really no line between tech, media and creative. Maybe the David Droga of tomorrow is some kid who started an e-commerce specialist agency today, doing incredible work getting brands their desired ROI on Amazon. Maybe the next David Droga is actually the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Or maybe I’ve had one too many Amazon-sponsored rosés ;)
(The author is founder and CCO, Famous Innovations.)