How Can(nes) you compete?

Creating experiences that get results along the Croisette.

  • For many brands and marketers, Cannes Lions is an annual industry highlight: a moment to shine, to share and to sip the (occasional) glass of rosé. But just being there isn’t enough to cut through - it’s how your brand shows up that defines your festival.

    And yet, when confronted by big brands with big builds, big talent and big budgets, even just dipping your toe in the creative waters can feel both intimidating and expensive.

    So, how can brands of all shapes and sizes make their presence count, and not just find themselves lost in the gutter (bar)?

    As with any B2B experience, it all starts by understanding the audience you’re trying to connect. What are they looking for at Cannes? What do they expect from brands? What challenges do they face in getting the most out of the festival?

    People from all industry backgrounds attend Cannes for three core reasons:

    1. To learn: through thought leadership from opinion-formers and peers.

    2. To be inspired: by fresh ideas, creative bravery and bold direction.

    3. To connect: building relationships by sharing meaningful moments together.

    From these foundations, you can start to create an intersection between your brand, its festival purpose, and your audience’s true motivations.

    However, more often than not, one or more of these ingredients is forgotten in the Mediterranean haze, so here’s a simple checklist to help you focus on an experience that’s built for everyone - as, let’s be honest, that’s why we make the annual pilgrimage to the Palais.

    1. Create truthful, authentic experiences that speak to who you are, what you do and what you believe.

    2. Curate entertaining and meaningful moments that only you can deliver.

    3. Consider your audiences as their ‘whole selves’ and how you can elevate their full Cannes experience.

    4. Challenge traditional formats through ideas rooted in your brand, people and festival insights.

    By better understanding the rules of engagement, we can start to consider how to shake them up, to stand out and to punch above our weight.

    Experiences and activations powered by the possibility of thinking differently, of looking with fresh eyes, of not just broadcasting but interacting, making your audience feel like you’re there to see them, not the other way around, will lead the pack.

    Over a month since the sun set on the 2022 festival, ask yourself one question before planning for next year’s Lions: if your brand was attending Cannes for the first time, how would they show up, show off and showcase who they really are?