27 Jun Cannes Lions Diary: War on Creativity
Last week I was one of 12,000 delegates from 4,000 companies representing 90 countries who travelled to Nice, not for Euro 2016, but for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It’s my ninth visit in 10 years and it was a strangely different atmosphere.
After the recent spate of terrorist incidents there was an air of tension surrounding the festival, most obviously around Palais des Festivals et des Congrès where a ring of steel was erected with scanners guarded by James Bond henchmen.
Wherever Honey looked there were Gendarmes clutching guns – a reminder of the strange world we inhabit and the parallel universe of the advertising industry.
Even in the middle of the night, as award-winning execs and rose-fuelled runners-up spilled onto La Croisette, police nervously surrounded the revellers, the crackle of radios, heads twitching left and right. I was thankful for their alertness, but it was a sobering sight that led to more than one early night.
Despite this, and while a few miles over the mountains police clashed with Russian and English football fans the atmosphere was one of unity. From Argentina to Zimbabwe the multitude of nationalities came together to celebrate creativity in all its forms – from algorithmic to film and programmatic to PR.