Commentary

Is Cannes Important?


There is something incredibly alluring about attending the Festival of Creativity at Cannes.

And it is not the sparkling beaches, the gently swaying trees or the warm weather of June (though these are definitely very nice!)

First and foremost, by being here, by soaking in and celebrating and talking about creativity, at the global pinnacle of creative excellence, you are sending a clear message to your whole organization that Creativity matters. A great deal.

In a world where the customer is in control of the conversation – and one where we need to create a meaningful, compelling value exchange with our clients customers through multi-dimensional, multi-platform, connected experiences – great creative matters more than ever before.  It is the connective tissue that holds it all together – and one of the last remaining ways to create true competitive advantage. Great creative never stops working for you.

There is another reason I believe that it is important to be here. And that is the ability to connect and re-connect with colleagues in the industry.

It is literally a LinkedIn Live experience!

Old colleagues, friendly foes, clients and the industry cognoscenti are all here, and the networking possibilities this offers are unbelievably powerful.

Let me illustrate this with a vivid example. Last night as I strolled back up the Croisette (and NO, I was not coming back from the Gutter Bar if you are wondering!) I ran into 25 colleagues, past and present, from the industry.  Now, I am far from an industry “luminary”, so it is definitely not that. I am someone who has worked in the business for a while and been involved with various clients in many markets around the world – so the point is, that is a daily experience here.

Aside from exchanging pleasantries, we talked about projects, clients and opportunities. I heard their thoughts about what is going on in their markets and what they see coming up on the landscape. We made plans to follow up and we made more than a few commitments to make things happen.

Now – as we all know, “best made plans of mice and men” etc… and of course many of these things will not come to fruition. But some will – and some of these connections will lead to new opportunities down the road. Things will happen and many of them will not have been possible without being here. SO – while I am not trying to write the business case for justifying the cost of the trip in coming here – I am suggesting that the networking and connections benefits are significant and open up a world of opportunities for the agile, open mind.

Cannes is important. Without a doubt. And the beaches, the chilled rose and the warm June weather are pretty special too!

Michael McLaren, CEO, MRM//McCann

Recommend (4) Print RSS
3 comments about "Is Cannes Important?".
  1. Tom Goodwin from Tomorrow , June 18, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.
    In short it seems to be important to the advertising industry, but I am not sure how important it is to clients. I've barely seen a Cannes winner with a single result mentioned in it's entry, are we a business that is still only looking at others within it or are we trying to create results for our clients?
  2. Shawn Riegsecker from Centro, LLC , June 18, 2014 at 4:59 p.m.
    I couldn't agree more. Being able to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones in a relaxed setting is something the advertising industry is sorely lacking in our uber-intense, deadline-driven world. Unfortunately I made a game-time decision to not go last Friday and am experiencing a lot of FOMO this week. But, based on the pics my crew keeps sending me, it doesn't appear they're missing me too much. :)
  3. Ron & Anna Winship from Parker-Longbow productions , June 19, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.
    *Important? No, relevant! Cannes is like a 1970's Happening moment. You are either there in the flesh or you will be watching on Entertainment tonight.