This year, I’m expecting a Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity unlike any other in recent memory. Our industry is at a crossroads and change is imminent – driven by scrutiny and pressure from many different angles. I have no doubt that we’ll find solutions, and I look forward to hearing from industry leaders as we come together to evolve for the future.
But at it’s best, Cannes is a celebration of creativity – and I’m most excited to be inspired by the amazing work that showcases what we’re capable of. That is exactly why I selected SOUL – Good, Sustainability, Responsibility, Ethics, Diversity, Culture, Brand Power – as my theme of focus for this year’s festival. It captures the best of the best in creative work that our industry can produce. Those big ideas that go above and beyond your typical product campaign and drive real change that impacts our world in a positive way.
More than ever before, brands are prioritizing social good – driven in part by the fact that many Millennial and Gen Z consumers consider this as an imperative for their favorite brands. In my role at Mindshare Content + Entertainment, I see this on an almost daily basis through brand briefs and brainstorms. But authenticity is a necessity with these campaigns. Consumers are growing increasingly savvy, and they can see right through an inorganic approach – effectively doing more harm than good.
Yet this authentic tie can come to life in unexpected ways. I may have never been aware of amazing campaigns like Boost Mobile's "Boost Your Voice" or Burger King's "Proud Wopper" were it not for their coverage coming out of last year’s festival. And this year, I’m very excited to discover other new campaigns with a great tie to social good – as well as the contenders for the newly introduced Sustainable Development Goals Lion Awards. In terms of sessions that will bring this to life, there are almost too many exciting ones to choose from. But I’m truly looking forward to Unilever’s Founders’ Formula: Pioneering for Purposeful Growth, and Spotify’s Creativity in the Age of Resistance.