by Moritz Schreiner

I have the great honour of being a BW Lion in Cannes for the second time. This festival of the beautiful, creative and important people of our comic industry. This allows me, as the only delegate this year, to draw a comparison that I would like to share with you. 

Exactly five years ago, I was allowed to represent our beautiful Baden-Württemberg at the Cannes Lions Festival for the first time. Back then we presented our own award. This time we are representatives from THE LÄND. Five years doesn’t sound like much, but the world has changed a lot in that time. 

2017 vs 2022 

In 2017, when I was enjoying the hip advertising life on the Croisette with a rosé in a plastic cup, nobody knew Greta Thunberg yet and the economy and advertising industry were wallowing in immeasurable, pleasurable waste. Ecological sustainability was a foreign word attributed to cranks and fantasists who stood went shopping at the organic market on Saturdays with their Birkenstocks and bought organic Demeter cheese from the Black Forest.

It was only when Greta Thunberg started the worldwide Fridays For Future movement with her school strike for climate in August 2018 that the topic suddenly became interesting. An entire generation suddenly occupied a topic that had eked out a niche existence for decades. People all over the world took to the streets and campaigned for a sustainable future. Gosh… surely there’s a profit to be made in this and brands can be turned into “lovebrands”. Our advertising industry quickly realised that you can win new customers with sustainability and do something good for the planet at the same time.

Sustainable until 2030, or 2040.

The VW diesel scandal was quickly forgotten and cars have become sustainable means of transport. Finally, a happy symbiosis of commerce, the sustainable pop culture of Generation Y and Z and the hippies from the organic shop! Great. And those who didn’t really want to ride this wave so quickly, simply claimed they will be sustainable by 2030 or 2040 at the latest. That should certainly be enough. Until then, as we all know, a lot of water will be flowing down the Neckar river.

Just when we were really getting into the sustainable drive, we had to face a global pandemic, which we have been struggling with since 2020 and that has shown us how vulnerable we are and that there are other working models than „10-hour-days in a stuffy office”. All of a sudden, Zoom meetings were possible and everyone was happy to only have to put on a smart top and the old sweatpants for a day in the home office. And yes, you can also look after children in the home office and develop a new campaign at the same time. We have learned that responsibility for ourselves, and especially for the “weak” in society, is an important asset. Fake news has finally come to us from America and a movement was founded in Stuttgart that was soon to conquer half of Germany: „Querdenker” describes followers of a protest movement against the Covid restrictions. By the way, in Austria the word „Querdenker” (lateral thinker) was chosen as the Unword of the Year 2021. 

Petrol is more expensive – oh no!

Now we have a war in the middle of Europe since February 2022. The world as we know it has changed yet again. Petrol is more expensive, oh no. For the first time I have had to think for myself what would be the worst case scenario and where I would flee to with my family. We learned that solidarity with refugees can be a great thing, something we hadn’t all understood in 2015, when thousands of refugees fled Syria. A war right on our doorstep is perhaps a bit more threatening and makes the topic more tangible. 

Now it is the end of June 2022, the war is still under way, but has slipped from focus. As we all know, one gets used to everything (terribly so). And there are still almost 2,000 km between Cannes and Mariupol. The pandemic is over, or not. It doesn’t matter. Nobody cares any more anyway. 

And the Cannes Lions… Yes… Cannes has become very, very different in five years. A war is suddenly a topic and there are lectures by and with Ukrainian refugees. President Selenskyj addresses us in a video message which is displayed in the big theatre at the Festival Palais, which was a real tearjerker (at least for me). 

Greenpeace vs. the oligarch yachts

Cannes has suddenly become more sustainable and there are corresponding panels and workshops. Suddenly everyone wants to make the advertising world completely sustainable by 2030. But why wait until 2030? Someone discovered that you can drink rosé on the beach out of real glasses, and probably a hundred hectares of forest had to be cleared because everything is suddenly made of wood and bamboo. Between the fancy oligarch yachts, a Greenpeace sailboat lies in the bay. During our daily morning swim it reminds us of the great tasks that may lie ahead. Nevertheless, I am sitting in a room cooled down to 21 degrees and drinking delicious “Cannes Lions Water”, which has been specially filled into TetraPaks and comes from Spain. Crazy world.

My outlook:

Finally, I would like to make a forecast for 2027. So let’s look five years ahead. If the mad Russian hasn’t completely reduced Europe to rubble, maybe there will also be a Festival of Creativity in 2027. Maybe by then the Palais will have realised that 25 degrees inside temperature is also okay. There will certainly be a machine to combat climate change or we will finally start to colonise Mars. But that won’t matter in the end, because all we really want to do is live in the Metaverse and shop with Paris Hilton (she loves us all sooo much, at least that’s what she said to us today). 

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it! 

You can regard this as my official application for the BW Lions 2027.