News & Views

Cannes Lions Seminar Guide

by Contagious Team

If you're heading to the south of France for Cannes Lions, here is our pick of the not-to-be-missed seminars. Our strategy is light on celebrities, but heavy on time to fill your brain with insights into the leading creativity and innovation that the festival is renowned for celebrating. 


Kill The Creative Department
17.00 Grand Audi 

In a bold proposition for Cannes' Creative Talent day, Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Big Spaceship, hosts a session called Kill The Creative Department. We assume he's talking figuratively. Luckily this session is early enough in the week for irony to still be feasible. In fact, Lebowitz will cover how to make creativity the responsibility of the entire agency rather than just one department.  

She Says: Why 80% of Your Advertising Budget is Being Wasted
16.45 Audi A

Global creative network for women, She Says, hosts a panel asking why despite women accounting for over 80% of all purchases in every consumer category, 90% do not think that advertisers understand them. Featuring Laura Jordan-Bambach, creative partner of Mr President and Russ Lidstone, CEO, Havas Worldwide. 


Dentsu Aegis Network: Protyping the Future
14.00 Debussy

Andy Lippman, associate director of MIT's Media Lab and Jean Lin, Isobar's global CEO and Nigel Morris, Dentsu Aegis' CEO Americas & EMEA, discuss how the marketing industry can adopt innovative models and frameworks used in universities such as MIT to drive change in business. 

Mindshare & Buzzfeed: Meme Too
16.00 Debussy

Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti discusses at how brands can turn newsjacking to their advantage, and ride the cultural zeitgeist while Mindshare's chief strategy officer Jordan Bitterman looks at what this means in practice for brands and agencies. Presumably the answer includes list-based editorial features. 



Translation: Technology, Culture and Consumer Adoption
13.00 Grand Audi

Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz joins Translation's founder Steve Stoute to discuss how to read the cultural landscape in order to identify what technologies and digital platforms will be adopted by people in the future. 

New York Times: Storytelling with Story Creators
14.00 Grand Audi

Storytelling will no doubt be a buzz word of the festival, so this session with West Wing screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Sherlock and Downton Abbey exec producer Rebecca Eaton should allow those that wish they worked in film to get a Hollywood hit and provide insights into the power of storytelling to stir emotions.



Facebook: Making Marketing Personal Again
14.00 Grand Audi

Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg will cover technology, personalisation and media at her festival appearance. 

AKQA: Future Lions
16.00 Grand Audi

The cream of the industry's rising talent showcase how they met the challenge of creating a brand idea that would not have been possible five years ago. The results are usually impressive and inspiring. 


Independent Agency Day
9.30-6 Audi A

The Independent Agency Day running from 9.30 in Audi A has a great stream of agencies who consistently punch above their weight. Highlights include Ari Kuschnir and Kate Oppenheim of interactive production company M ss ng P eces (at 10:00) sharing how technological advantages have enhanced their capacity to tell stories for brands and PARTY (15.45) speaking about how its creative process enables the Japanese creative lab to come up with unusual and engaging work for clients. 


Ogilvy & Mather: Cosmic Quandaries and Creativity 
14.00 Grand Audi

If his SXSW performance is anything to go by, this session with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson should be inspirational and fun, if less focused on the day to day business of the advertising industry than other sessions. 

Dentsu: The Augmented Human
15.00 Grand Audi

While lots of sessions will talk about the accelerated pace of technological change and its impact on the industry, few sessions promise to be as future-facing as this one. Yasuharu Sasaki, Dentsu's Senior Creative Director is joined by Prof. Jun Rekimoto, deputy director of Sony Computer Science Laboratories to discuss the prospect of augmented humans. 


The Cannes Debate: Twitter, Viacom, WPP
12.00 Grand Audi

The CEOs of Viacom and Twitter join Sir Martin Sorrell to debate the biggest issues in the industry today. The Cannes Debates tend to shy away from controversy, but there's always a chance that genuine insights will be unveiled. 

What's Great, What's Not, What's Next
16.45 Grand Audi

This discussion between Cannes Lions' most awarded ever creative, David Droga, and industry stalwart Sir John Hegarty should be frank, wide-ranging and able to cut through the end-of-the-week haze.


Contagious: Teaching Old Technology New Tricks
11.00 Debussy

No Cannes Lions would be complete without a Contagious seminar, and this year we're proud to be opening Cannes Lions' inaugural innovation day. Will Sansom, director of content and strategy at Contagious Insider, and Nick Parish, editorial director Americas, explore the theory that true innovation is actually something that marketing was born to do. It just forgot how. 


Note: If you can't make it to Cannes, don't worry about missing Contagious.

For the second year in a row you've voted our seminar as one of the Lions Live winners, so the festival is going to livestream it as it happens, and keep it available for a week afterwards. Tune in to the festival YouTube page to watch

Intel: Innovation Day: Make the Future
12.30 Debussy

The maker movement has the tools to create and innovate like never before. Intel's VP digital marketing Kevin Sellers and Genevieve Bell, director user experience research, will discuss the movement's role in fostering innovation and consider the impact that this will have on marketing. 


Cannes fringe events have been steadily growing over the past few years; look outside the Palais for exciting events as well. 


Art, Copy, Code Sessions
12-1pm, Monday - Wednesday at the Google Creative Sandbox

Google will be hosting daily sessions featuring some the big creative challenges of the next few years: how to use mobile to bring about new story forms; how to create real-time interactive experiences; and how search can help brands solve user problems in creative ways. 


Carlsberg's #Happybeertime
16:00, Tuesday through Friday, La Gold Plage (opposite Martinez)

There's Pharrell's "Happy," which will be omnipresent this summer, then there's beer happy. Or #happybeertime. Carlsberg and Konstellation are bringing their innovative extend-happy-hour-with-some-UGC concept, in which a USB plugged into a bar TV HDMI port picks up tagged photos and extends happy hour by minutes each post, to the Croisette, and doling out cold beers when that hot afternoon thirst comes a'roarin'. 



What did we miss? What are you most looking forward to? Tell us in the comments.