Young Lions 2018

Azra Hirji

In the words of Canadian artist Drake: ‘What A Time to Be Alive’.

It’s an incredible (albeit scary) time to be in the tech/media/advertising industry. We now live in a world where everything is connected, automated and synced. Humans vs machines has never been a bigger trend in the industry than it is today. The Internet of Things is no longer a concept of the future. We are living it. I am living it. More and more households are welcoming Assistants like Alexa, Google Home and the Home Pod into their homes, further connecting their lives.

But the more ‘connected’ are, the further we get from everyone and everything else. When did humans become the second race after machines? With the aim to bring back the human-side of technology, Body, Mind and Soul is this year’s Cannes 2018 theme.

BODY takes us back to basics. 2018 saw brands using experience to tingle our senses and connect with new demographics. Whether it’s helping people shop via Voice, or selling a product through scripted content on podcasts, or maybe it’s trying to reach a new demographic by collaborating with iconic brands. As consumers, brands are taking over our senses and fulfilling our need for experiences and this theme will showcase just that.

MIND goes deep into data. With AI, AR, VR, crypto and the likes of emerging techs slowly taking over our newsfeeds, how could we not talk about. And though the age of assistance literally takes out human middlemen, the data behind these forces is what we compare to our mind. Our mind, that influences our will power, ambition and decision making, is exactly what data is to emerging technologies.

SOUL enforces inclusivity. It’s disappointing to see that we live in an age where we are still educating the world that we are all equal. That we have the same rights as everyone, no matter your gender, race, age, or ethnic minority. This theme reminds us that at the end of the day, we are all human and that we are equal.

With that, I cannot wait to see what Cannes has to offer and whether it lives up to its glamourous hype.