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Cannes Lions 2017: Top Speaking Sessions at the Palais

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Whilst it's the awards and the general glamour of Cannes that might dominate headlines, the real heart of Cannes Lions lies in the festival's celebrated speaking sessions. Championing the sharing of ideas and the betterment of the creative industries, these talks are (besides the glitz and the glamour of course) one of the primary reasons why we all flock to the south of France every June to soak up the sun and the wisdom of the finest minds in the business.

The role of creativity in the economy, society and culture is a major theme at this year’s Festival – reinforcing the Cannes Lions campaign for creativity as a positive force for business, for change and for good in the world. Revered speakers and celebrities from all walks of life will explore creativity as a driver for good. Here, we've collected what we think are 20 of the most potentially interesting sessions scheduled over the week. These will, of course, be interspersed with plenty of parties, award shows and lots of good old fashioned networking.

Jose Papa, Managing Director of Cannes Lions, said: “The Cannes Lions community deserves the very best content and I’m delighted to announce our eight-day programme that’s full of thought-provoking, entertaining and game-changing speaker sessions. More than 600 speakers come from around the world to tell stories of how creativity can be a force for business, change and good in the world. It’s a privilege to welcome them to the Festival. I know this year’s audiences are in for something truly special.”

Our Top 20 Speaker Sessions for Cannes Lions 2017

 

Beyond An Ordinary World: How Collaboration Inspires Ordinary to Extraordinary

Speakers: Simon Le Bon, Nick Wood, Edith Bowman

Hosted by Syn Music

Saturday 17 June

11:00 – 11:45

Debussy Theatre

A defining song moves us beyond the ordinary, into the extraordinary and leaves us with a lifetime of memories and experiences. With Duran Duran, Simon Le Bon leads one of the most innovative and timeless bands whose songs have defined generations, receiving two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards and an MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. As Co-founder and partner of Syn Music, Simon shares his experiences and insights on the power of creative collaboration with his longtime friend, creative director and CEO of Syn Music, Nick Wood. Together, the pair will discuss the creative chemistry and nature of collaboration, and the essence of their commercial music partnership with global agency BBDO.

 

Trevor Robinson OBE, on Bravery in Advertising and Creativity

Speakers: Trevor Robinson OBE

Hosted by Quiet Storm

Saturday 17 June

15:00 – 15:45

Debussy Theatre

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when someone talks about bravery? Knights and castles and slaying dragons? Maybe it’s skydiving or scaling Everest? Whatever the answer, a common theme is the need to take a bit of a leap of faith. Trevor Robinson, OBE, founder and executive creative director at Quiet Storm, talks about the importance of brands being brave and veering away from the old order to create new paths to produce outstanding work.

 

Classic Hollywood Meets the YouTube Generation: Who Are Fans Following?

Speakers: Marcus Peterzell, Laura Dern, Grace Helbig, Rob Flaherty

Hosted by Ketchum

Sunday 18 June

15:00 – 15:45

Lumiere Theatre

'Timeless' Hollywood stars appeal to audiences of all ages, while today’s online celebrities resonate primarily with young fans; or is that just a myth? Join film legend Laura Dern (Big Little Lies, The Last Jedi) as she compares notes with one of today’s YouTube sensations, Grace Helbig on how they engage with fans and brands. Their conversation, moderated by Ketchum’s head of entertainment Marcus Peterzell, will explore the similarities and differences between working with 'timeless' and 'real-time' talent, what the big screen and small Hollywood have in common, and how marketers can tap into both worlds successfully.

 

Cannabis: 5,000 years of Creative Destruction in the Making

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Speakers: Jason DeLand

Hosted by Anomaly

Sunday 18 June

16:30 – 17:00

Health in Focus Stage

Cannabis has been a companion to human health and wellness for over 5,000 years. A subject of debate in politics, business and healthcare over the last three decades, the legalisation of cannabis is now a new force of creative disruption. What is the new stance to be adopted on communications about cannabis? How does the medical industry need to innovate to ensure that the drug is used to improve quality of life, and not fulfil outdated stereotypes? As Anomaly’s Global CEO and hmbldt’s head of strategy, Jason DeLand will explore the anthropology of cannabis, the physiology of the human endocannabinoid system and how our relationship with cannabis is set to evolve beyond belief.

 

Joanna Coles in conversation with Karlie Kloss

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Speakers: Joanna Coles, Karlie Kloss

Hosted by Hearst

Monday 19 June

11:00 – 11:45

Lumiere Theatre

Dubbed ‘one of the most powerful people in media’ by The New York Times, Hearst global chief content officer Joanna Coles returns to the main stage with supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss.

 

Next-gen Storytelling – the New Rules of Content Creation

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Speakers: Reggie Yates, Benjamin Zand, Dominique Delport, Richard Pattinson

Hosted by BBC Advertising

Monday 19 June

16:00 – 16:45

The Forum

Whether its documentaries, news or branded content, engaging audiences is getting harder than ever. So how do you talk with authenticity, relevance and impact in a world of endless content and intense competition for attention? This panel will discuss the challenges faced and storytelling techniques employed to cut through with viewers and consumers. Hear from those on the front line of content creation – documentary maker Reggie Yates, BBC reporter Ben Zand and Vivendi’s Dominique Delport, in a panel discussion chaired by Richard Pattinson from BBC StoryWorks.

 

A Final Call to Arms: Bridging the Gap with Tech

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Speakers: Ruth Stubbs, Nigel Morris, Sarah Personette, Bonita Coleman Stewart, Gabrielle McGee, Kathleen Hall

Hosted by iProspect

Monday 19 June

17:00 – 17:45

Inspiration Stage

The technology, advertising and media sectors are some of the most powerful societal influencers in the world. We’ve all seen first-hand the power they can have. It is time industry leaders come together not just to discuss the issues but align around common goals and use their global influence to enact meaningful and lasting change. Because she deserves it. Because he deserves it. And because our future will be defined by it. Join iProspect as they foray into gender pay equality, funding, policy evolvement, and technology advancements that enable access at scale when industry influencers focus on driving substantial and sustainable change. Let’s drive impact and end this discussion.

 

Tapping New Media to Connect with Fans and Their Passions

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Speakers: Raja Rajamannar, Halle Berry, Michael Roth

Hosted by Interpublic

Tuesday 20 June

10:00 – 10:45

Inspiration Stage

Join Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry and Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar for an inspirational conversation about the use of emerging technology platforms and insights to connect global super fans to personalised interactions and priceless possibilities. The discussion will be introduced by Michael Roth, IPG Chairman and CEO.

 

FCB Presents: The “Never Finished” Creators Series, with Susan Credle & Savion Glover

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Speakers: Susan Credle

Hosted by FCB

Tuesday 20 June

14:00 – 14:45

Lumiere Theatre

The world’s most celebrated creators – whether in the arts, tech, business or healthcare – are driven by a relentless desire to continually push the boundaries of their fields, blaze into new ones and redefine themselves. It’s a mantra FCB describes as “Never Finished,” and one that fuels FCB’s creative ideas, talent, clients and the impact they make together. Join FCB Global CCO Susan Credle as she moderates a discussion with world-renowned tap dancer, actor and choreographer Savion Glover. Through an intimate chat and live performance, Glover will share how he successfully and creatively evolved his career across the arts, how he continues to fuel his “Never Finished” spirit and how marketers can gain new perspective on branding through the art of tap dancing.

 

Hyper-reality: Risks and Rewards of Surreal Visuals in Advertising

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Speakers: Keiichi Matsuda, Terrence Morash

Hosted by Shutterstock

Tuesday 20 June

15:00 – 15:30

Discovery Stage

Man has never been satisfied with reality. For centuries, humans relied on creative storytelling to imagine a more utopian world. Similarly, today’s generation is obsessed with the fantasy world of video games. Technology is finally advancing beyond games, expanding our ability to obscure reality through a mix of digital media and the physical world. A new creative trend is emerging and is set to dominate the future of advertising. Not only will one walk down the streets of Paris from their couch, but they'll see how stores in Paris might look 30 years from now. Join Shutterstock’s creative director Terrence Morash and designer Keiichi Matsuda for a journey to the future with hyper-reality.

 

All Worth It: L'Oréal and Dame Helen Mirren Redefine Diversity

Speakers: Helen Mirren, Adrien Koskas, Suzanne Powers

Hosted by McCann Worldgroup

Wednesday 21 June

12:00 – 12:45

Lumiere Theatre

In 2016 L’Oréal Paris partnered with the Prince’s Trust to transform self-doubt into self-worth for thousands in the UK. They changed their famous end line from 'Because you’re worth it' to 'Because we are ALL worth it' to highlight that regardless of your background, gender, sexuality, or beliefs, you should achieve a feeling of self-worth every day. This intimate discussion features Oscar-winning actress/brand ambassador Dame Helen Mirren, Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris UK General Manager, and Suzanne Powers, McCann Worldgroup’s Global Chief Strategy Officer, highlighting inclusivity and diversity and why it needs to be delivered in a more visible and meaningful way.

 

Telling a Good Story: Ian McKellan with The Brooklyn Brothers

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Speakers: Sir Ian McKellen, Jackie Stevenson, Gary Reich

Hosted by The Brooklyn Brothers

Wednesday 21 June

13:00 – 13:45

Lumiere Theatre

Ian McKellen has embodied some of the world’s best-loved characters from Hamlet to Sherlock Holmes, from Marvel Comic’s Magneto to Tolkien’s Gandalf. He's taken on challenges in work and in life, to tell stories he believes need to be told, both factual and fiction. In this session, Jackie Stevenson, founding partner of The Brooklyn Brothers will sit down with Sir Ian to discuss how he combines creative fulfilment with doing the right thing, which often proves to be the smart thing. Together they'll identify lessons we need to learn from future generations if we’re to build a brighter, better future.

 

Ellie Goulding Directs The New Era of the Creative Collaboration

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Speakers: Marc Robinson, Ellie Goulding, Cassandra Gracey

Hosted by Universal Music Group & Brands

Wednesday 21 June

16:00 – 16:45

The Terrace

Ellie Goulding has sold over 15 million records worldwide, sold out three worldwide tours and won countless awards. Put that with her 2.5 billion music streams, 3.6 billion video views and a combined social media reach of over 30 million, and it’s no wonder brands are attracted to work with her. In this session, Ellie will discuss what motivates and creatively excites her when deciding who to work with, and how brands and agencies alike can learn from how musicians best execute their creative visions and communicate with their fans. Joining Ellie will be her Creative Manager, Cassandra Gracey, who has worked across all of Ellie’s brand creatives.

 

The Mutating Creative

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Speakers: Carl Addy

Hosted by The Mill

Thursday 22 June

12:00 – 12:30

Entertainment in Focus

They tell you that to be recognised in a sea of talent is about standing out with one defining output. To have cut through requires a conscious effort to do one thing well. But what about the creatives who choose not to channel all their passion into one area? What about the growing 'mutant creative' – a new breed of artist that evolves and changes their role and skill set with each piece of work? With the ever-growing speed of the industry, is it still possible to remain a successful one-trick pony? Mill+ creative director Carl Addy will share learnings from interviews with a number of key 'super-creatives' and debunk the premise of the 'jack of all trades, master of none'.

 

11th Annual Grey Music Seminar

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Speakers: Pussy Riot, Per Pedersen, Alice Ericsson

Hosted by Grey

Thursday 22 June

15:00 – 15:45

Lumiere Theatre

We need new, disruptive ideas and action. So let’s meet with the rule breakers and find out how it’s done. Arguing that only “vivid, illegal actions have a subtle power of showing that the king is naked”, these Pussy Riot members have staged truth to power performances seen around the world. Hear their personal journeys from punks to performance artist to activists with the courage to stand up for their beliefs, even through a horrifying 21 months in a remote Russian prison. According to these women, “anyone can be Pussy Riot”. Let’s find out. It could be a very radical afternoon.

 

Seeing is Believing: The Power of Re-picturing Stereotypes

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Speakers: Lena Waithe, Piera Gelardi, Braden Summers, Campbell Addy, Pam Grossman

Hosted by Getty Images

Thursday 22 June

16:00 – 16:45

Lumiere Theatre

Imagery, now more than ever, is the language of our time. With the growth in technology, connectivity and social media there are more individuals taking and sharing pictures than ever before. Today, the strength of social media has equalised the playing field, giving way to more voices that contribute to a rich visual experience. In the spirit of that now-famous adage, 'you can’t be what you can’t see', this highly visual talk will share insights into why imagery can be so powerful in reframing concepts of gender, race, mental illness, LGBTQ and religion – altering perceptions, evoking empathy and engaging brands more deeply with a broader audience.

 

Martin Sorrell in Conversation with Robert Kraft and Ron Howard

Speakers: Sir Martin Sorrell, Robert Kraft, Ron Howard

Hosted by The Cannes Debate

Friday 23 June

12:00 – 13:00

Lumiere Theatre

The Cannes Debate, hosted by WPP founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, is a regular highlight of the festival. This year Sir Martin sits down with two of the giants of sport and film: Robert Kraft, owner of Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution; and Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor and co-Chairman of Imagine Entertainment, Ron Howard. In a wide-ranging discussion of the intersecting worlds of sport, cinema and marketing communications, the trio will cover everything from making Oscar-winning films and taking the NFL’s greatest prize to the role of commercial creativity in supporting the sports and entertainment industries.

 

The Lion of St Mark Interview: David Droga

Speakers: David Droga, Philip Thomas

Hosted by Cannes Lions

Friday 23 June

16:15 – 17:00

Debussy Theatre

The celebration of creativity is at the heart of the Festival and the Lion of St. Mark recognises individuals who have made significant and outstanding contributions to creativity across our industry. This year David Droga is the worthy recipient of this award; having won his first Gold Lion 20 years ago, he is to date one of the most awarded creatives in the history of the Lions with almost 200 Awards. In 2006 he launched his own agency, Droga5, which won Independent Agency of the Year at Cannes Lions for two years straight in 2015 and 2016. This interview will explore the work, mindset and motivations of one of the world’s most prolific creatives.

 

A Bloody Mess: How Advertising Saved My Film and Sanity

Speakers: Ned Crowley

Hosted by mcgarrybowen

Saturday 24 June

11:00 – 11:30

Debussy Theatre

Mcgarrybowen’s USA chief creative officer Ned Crowley will recount his personal tale of blood, horror and humour as he tells the story of his four-month sabbatical from work during a tumultuous time of agency change, business upheaval and first-time filmmaking. Using clips from his newly released film 'Middle Man', as well as behind-the-scenes photos and anecdotes, Ned will share his personal story of what it’s like trying to make a high-end indie feature, with little money, lots of top talent and the all-too-familiar curve-balls the business keeps throwing. And, ultimately, how 25 years of advertising experience helped save his sanity and his film.

 

I Fell in Love with an Asshole

Speakers: David Fleming, Joe Alexander, Will Speck Josh Gordon, Jenny Rooney

Hosted by The Martin Agency

Saturday 24 June

12:45 – 13:30

Debussy Theatre

Big ideas often die at the intersection of risk and persuasion. Too much perceived risk for the brand or too little persuasive ammunition to make the case. But what happens when both sides lock arms and embrace the big idea? Hear five personal stories from those who believed in Coleman F. Sweeney, 'The World’s Biggest Asshole', and turned a PSA for Donate Life into a viral hit that lured elusive millennial males to sign up in droves and save lives.

That's it for our top picks this year. For more, you can find the full programme HERE and remember to keep your browsers tuned to Creativepool between June 17 – 24 for all the major announcements, winners, losers and industry gossip from the Cannes Lions 2017.

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