A Regular Wednesday in Cannes

8:00 h Breakfast – Team Meeting

Cannes Garden Breakfast

The day in Cannes starts with the delegates team breakfast at 8 o’clock. Our Cannes garden hotel caters each a croissant, two baguettes, coffee or tea and some rather standard breakfast toppings: babybel, butter, jam and honey. During the breakfast we talk about what everyones plans that day and discuss where and when to find the best sessions, hottest spots and most interesting events.

9:00 h – Starting Cannes Exhibition

At about 9 am the delegates swarm out to their different activities. We can choose from hundreds of different workshops, seminars, booths and so on. It is often hard to decide where you want to go and what you want to see. We found that sometimes you could be fouled/blinded by great titles and promotions who turned out to be better than the actual content of the sessions and the other way round. And sometimes it´s the contrast – you find yourself sitting in a talk you haven´t even planned to go to and are totally amazed by its content.

I decided to listen to a marathon on presentation and talks at the Lumière Theater (one of the two main halls). Because the waiting time in the cues is often quite long, it’s better, once you are in, to stay at the hall for a consecutive time, to not end up cueing again.

10:00 h – Discovering Virtual Reality at Nokia

Before my first presentation started today, I wanted to see Nokias Virtual Reality camera, the OZO. In our agency we explored- and did some tests with VR to find the best usage for our work.  However, we did not get convinced of its usage. Recently  we had no reasonable cases where we could put VR to use at its current development level. Of course its fun to view it for the first time, but whats after the viewing 10 min? Wearing the glasses for some minutes felt strenuous, the resolution of screens is not good enough yet. Overall I had my concerns with whether this technology would revolutionize the media consumption in the next years.

Back to Nokia, I heard from Ozo before, so I was excited to test the new camera for the professional market by myself. I was positively impressed. Even with the low quality glasses you are beamed to a different place. The effect works so well due to stereoscopic pictures. Without the 3D images its not the same feeling. Most impressive are places where it’s not possible to go as a regular human. For example, listening to a concert between the musicians on stage or discovering a foreign culture in isolated and outlaying areas.

The camera seems good to me: very compact, records in a high quality and is ready to shoot and easy to handle. Also Nokia delivers a whole workflow – from the camera to the finished picture. Because I haven’t used it by myself I can’t go into detailed here. The concept, the movies and the camera itself have made a good impression on me and changed my opinion on its role in the coming years.

11:00 h – The Future of Brands, Speaker: Keith Weed (Chief Marketing Officer –  Unilever)

My first presentation marathon stopp: I was keen on finding out what the Chief of Marketing at Unilever had to say. They spend about 8 billion dollars every year in advertisement, hence he should have some interesting points on marketing. I might have expected to much, because at the end it turned out not to be that interesting to me. He talked a lot about Unilever’s best practices and the things they are very good at. One of his theses is that the advertisement markets make a development towards catering much more to the individual as opposed to the masses. People don’t identify as much with the generally used stereotypes anymore. From a mass market to massive individualization. To keep on top of this development, Unilever has now a Chief Macro Officer and a Chief Micro Officer. One is responsible for the global scale and technology, the other is focuses on the different cultural groups targeted.

At the end Weed made one interesting point: People care about social responsibility. „Sustainable“ brands and campaigns turned out to be more successful than the „normal“ ones. Their sustainable product lines have in the last months already shown greater growth than in 2014 and grow on average 30% faster than the rest of their business. Ironically, for me, Unilever was everything but a sustainable and social responsible company, nor contributes to it positively to society. I hope that the change in the consumer market and behavior encourages other big companies and people in charge of them to do it better, responsible and sustainable.

12:00 h Anderson Cooper & Anthony Bourdain: Creative Inspiration

Between the speeches we have 15 min breaks. Because the switch on stage is well organized and the speakers are all on time, we can make full use of the few minutes. I usually use the breaks to make some notes or fill up social channels. During the speeches I found one can either make notes but not listen well, or listen attentively, however without doing something alongside. At least, that applies to me. The strategy I chose is to listen attentively, stop, make a few notes and start listening again.

I wanted to attend to Anderson Cooper and Anthony Bourdain because of their famous role in television. It was an average talk: Inspiring? Yes! Entertaining? Yes! Something new? Not really. But that´s not always necessary –  sometimes it is even more inspiring when someone makes a point of things oneself has often thought about, but didn´t see a connection yet.

Anderson Cooper inspires me to question the right size of the camera equipment and use more often. Some of his work he films himself with a little camera. He likes this because its more authentic and personal. Often he also uses his behind the scene footage. This shows the circumstances in which the reports evolve form, which in turn increases the credibility of the scenes. It seems the content and the art of filming is often more important than the actual camera technology.

Anthony Bourdain talked about his documental works. He loves being able having a sense of freedom in his work approach, like interviewing powerful people. He just does all those creative films, because he simply can. The most important property for Bordain is to: „Don’t give a shit“. Obviously this is generally easier to say and harder to always stick to in real life.

13:00 h Predestination: Wired’s Kevin Kelly on Where We are All Heading

I was really interested in Kelly’s opinion on where were we are all heading. I didn’t know Kevin Kelly before, but it was one of the best events in Cannes. He was talking about two long term trends. The two were picked out from 12 different trends that he sees. He named it Inventible’s. Thats for example the telephone and the Internet. The iPhone or Twitter are not responsible for this huge technology leap. In Cannes he talked about virtual, and artificial intelligence. I will focus here on VR. For me VR is very interesting because he sees it much more important than I thought of it before. He already tested VR in 1989, but at that time the technology costed more than one million dollars. Compared to today a camera, glasses and a mobile phone are very, very cheap. In his opinion this is now just the beginning of something very big, there is to be a new platform/technology-progress after the smartphones. But it is a transformative process, nowadays hyped and in the long term underestimated. He divided virtuality into two groups: 1. Immersion Virtual Reality and 2. Presence Mixed Reality (MR). The first one is all about the real world or complete new created worlds. The second one is about the real world mixed with an overlay. For the mixed reality,  more than just the glasses are needed, one must also be surrounded by some sensors and cameras.

Today, the technology focuses only on two senses, visual and auditory. But he thinks there will be more human senses implemented into this technologies, especially the tactile sense. I tried this at Samsungs booth. I sat in a moving chair, which made the virtual reality experience was impressive. He also said that it is possible to redirect a human inside the virtual world. For example: a

viewer turns 20° to the left, the virtual world can turn 40°. Thereby it is possible to explore a large world in a small space. Its all about illusions like it is done in movies too.

Further, the internet is shifting from internet of information to the internet of experiences. And with that shift and the ability to create novel experiences with VR, that trend might become even bigger.

In his opinion, virtual reality will become the greatest social media. He continued with the presence MR. Many different cases of use are thinkable, like teaching someone on handling a machine in its real environment in realtime for example. Everything what can be tracked will be tracked. Therefore the most successful companies in the future will be the companies with the most data about the real world, merging those into the virtual world.

His insides and visions about VR really changed my thoughts about the possible future role of a virtual world.

14:00 h Lunch is for Wimps: In Conversation with Oliver Stone

The last talk I attended was with the popular director Oliver Stone. It was interesting to see him live but it was not that informative. The majority of the time they spent talking about his new film „Snowden“.

15:00 h – hungry

The long presentation session made me very hungry, so I tried to get some food at the beach. Always a good place to relax a little bit, meet people and get a drink and a snack. The Google, Facebook and Twitter beaches are the best places to go to, they have nice booths with different activities, music and technological insights.

16:00 h – Interviews

Because we, the BW delegation, would like some more answers to our question „What’s the value of creativity?“, I decided to interview some people. I recorded some with my little iPhone-Camera-Set-Up. The interviews were not deeply philosophical on creativity, but by doing it, I met some more people from around the world and found out a little bit more on what motivates their  creative work.

20:00 h – Party

As always at the Cannes Lions Festival, there are a lot of parties from different companies and networks. There is no evening without at least 10 possible parties to go. The city is full of people and a lot of the life happens in the streets. After all the impressions of the day, it’s easy to find the right place for any mood to conclude the day.

Open end…