Cannes Take-Aways

Today marks the very last day of the Cannes Lions 2017 International Festival of Creativity. What a week it’s been. I’ve had the honor of learning from industry leaders, disruptive cultural icons, political game-changers, and Ryan Secrest.

I’m leaving Cannes after one week with more knowledge of the creative world than all of last semester in school. Signing up for this study abroad program and having dreamed about my time at the Cannes Creative Festival, I imagined the talks and presentations would focus on advertising, storytelling, design, you know the things you typically think of when you think of advertising. Little did I know that all of the talks would talk about changing the world with advertising working with diversity, women’s rights, human rights, fake news, truthfulness, sustainability, science exploration, or things of the like. Brand purpose has exploded, especially with our current political climate. The world (especially America) is in deep trouble, if you haven’t noticed. People are passionate about the issues facing society, and we all have the power to do something about it; we can talk about it. Reverend Jesse Jackson said this week that “Brands are the islands of stability in the current chaotic political and social climate we live in.” Brands want to join in that conversation. Brand purpose is needed now, more than ever, time and time again we see the brands that care about something come out on top. Just take a look at the last Superbowl we had in February. Did you notice anything, when it came to the commercials? That’s what I’m taking about. That’s what Cannes has been talking about.

I went to over 20 talks this week and here are my key takeaways I’d like to share with you…

  • Be authentic in everything you do. Your life is your personal brand, keep it real, that’s what people will trust in
  • Science, evidence, truth, and human rights must be values for liberals and conservatives
  • Social media is a powerful force today, and we can all use it to our advantage. It gives everyone a voice to tell their stories
  • We can do good things in and for the world using creativity and imagination. Address ignorance, give voice to those who don’t have one, fight for what’s right, and think globally to engage others
  • When it comes to the specific issue of gender equality, it is not only men that need to work to change the current state we are in, it is the affair of both men and women. Men and women both have to change their views
  • We all have to be leaders, in every aspect of our lives, in our work, in our families, in our relationships. We can’t blindly follow the man who stands behind the podium
  • What is right and wrong is not and cannot be determined by government law, the only law that matters is moral law/the universal law
  • We need to look inward to determine what we want the world to look like
  • We can not go on ignoring problems to enjoy momentary bliss in ignorance. The good fight must be fought tirelessly and rigorously

Some of my favorite speakers include:

  • Platon, Photographer
  • A$AP Rocky
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Amina Mohammed
  • Halsey
  • Gigi Gorgeous

My least favorite speakers include:

  • Demi Lovato
  • And that’s it


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