Cannes through rose-colored glasses

By Catherina Münz

An impressive week at the Cannes Lions Festival which leaves a lasting impression – on myself and hopefully in the world. Diversity and Purpose are this year’s two buzzwords – at least in theory. The subject of “diversity” is very much lived out here in the “Cannes Dome”. Easy hipsters merge with glittering glamour girls (and boys and D´s) to form a homogeneous, non-judgmental mass. Anyone who is interested and open-minded will quickly find themselves in conversation with people from all over the world, from all walks of life and all hierarchical and other levels of the creative scene. Besides the lectures, the personal conversations with exciting people and their authentic stories were most valuable and what stuck with me. The exchange at eye level with the internationally successful in the industry gives me tailwind and inspiration for the future of my agency.

In Cannes, however, “purpose” is dealt with in two different ways. On the one hand, there are the strong campaigns by major players, completely devoted to that goal. But if you look at all the big cases that deal with environmental protection and sustainability, this could be lived even more in some parts of the festival.  The two big players Google and Facebook have already put a lot of effort into it (recycled materials, separate garbage cans, etc.) and also the free refillable water bottle for all accredited persons should help to avoid waste, but Rosé in a plastic cup is still the most seen drink.

However – maybe you should overlook that and believe that the festival wants to turn the world around with the power of creativity. As in the words of Charlotte Williams, Cannes Lions Vice-President Content, who says: “The best presentations we’ve seen in Cannes have really moved the audience. They have led to positive action. We talk about creative courage all the time. Let’s live it out in June! The content of the Cannes Lions 2019 Festival must inspire the industry to do better work, achieve better results and make the world a better place.”

In addition, the creative industry is becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities they have to make a positive contribution to society through their work. Let’s look at Dove, for example, one of the festival’s biggest sponsors, in collaboration with Getty Images. The #ShowUs- project – a collection of over 5,000 photos of “real” women of all colours and shapes, consciously questioning the stereotypes of beauty. Another example is Domino´s marketing campaign “Paving for Pizza”, in which construction workers in small American towns repair roads full of potholes. On the one hand, this naturally prevents the pizzas from arriving deformed at your customers, but on the other it also helps the city and their people.

What is striking here is that such a campaign must also be linked to the brand in a way that makes sense. In this context, Direct Juror Myles Lord of Serviceplan says: “Designing only a social product to participate in this trend, even if it doesn’t fit the brand at all, doesn’t work anymore”.

The week in Cannes has definitely had an impact on my life. I brought with me some concrete ideas for customers, made lasting connections inside and outside the delegation, and found new visions for my agency.

Thank you “BaWü” and all organizers and sponsors for this unique chance!