The movers and shakers of Cannes Lions 2018

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The French Riviera sets the backdrop for Cannes Lions, the global event that rewards those working in the creative industries. The big hitters from advertising, music, digital and film will flock to the 65th incarnation of the sought-after creative event.

Last year, Lobster was in the thick of things at Cannes, attending the showcase festival and participating in the R/GA Start-up Academy. And let’s not forget the infamous Lobster Riding on the beach.

Having experienced the atmosphere and culture first hand, we thought it would be a good idea to look ahead to this year’s show. The focus is on agencies that are expected to do well, who might take home the top award and trending themes.

Who will be there

This year is likely to see more brands than ever participate at Cannes Lions. The number of marketers entering work for their in-house teams is up 22 percent on last year, and 22 of the biggest-spending 25 companies will be in attendance.

There are more than 60 CMOs scheduled to speak on the stage, including Samsung’s YoungHee Lee and Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer of Uber. Overall, there will be more than 4,700 brands in attendance and 40,000-plus entries.

The emphasis on tech grows stronger each year. Apple and Amazon’s first appearance at the event only emphasises this fact. Other behemoths like Facebook, Snapchat and Google will also be at the show, the latter has already been named Creative Marketer of the Year.

Look who’s talking

Back on the trail of the speakers, and there is a list of famous industry names scheduled to take the stage. One of those includes Angela Ahrendts, the Senior Vice President of Apple, who is speaking at Apple’s first appearance at the event.

Other big names who will share their wisdom include Avery Baker of Tommy Hilfiger, Dan Burdett, eBay Director of Marketing, and Carolyn Everson of Facebook. It will be interesting to see how these speakers not only champion the brands they represent but also how they will touch on the cultural changes within the creative industries.

And the winner is… (ads that will do well and brands expected to do well)

As mentioned previously, Google has already taken home the award for Creative Marketer of the Year before the event has officially started. But who else could walk away with a Lion? As always, brands are pushing the envelope for creativity and innovation. There will be a vast amount hoping to come away as winners.

Ikea was bold with their “pee ad”, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the furniture company come away with some recognition. Apple’s “Homework” ad puts joy in something so tedious; even us adults can remember the disdain we held for after school work.

With it also being Apple’s first appearance, don’t be surprised to see the tech giants walk away with a Lion.

This year’s trends

There was plenty of light shed on the sexual harassment issues in Hollywood and the tech world the last year. Cannes Lions has the perfect opportunity to set the tone for diversity at this year, helping to champion the cause.

It’s undoubtedly going to be a topic on everyone’s lips, and it will be interesting to see what kind of coverage it receives at the show.

The role of artificial intelligence will be a topic of hot debate. Along with augmented and virtual reality, AI is evolving at a breakneck pace. It will be interesting to see how brands utilise the tech and what strides they’ve made from last year.

Blockchain will also play a role at Cannes Lions. The Digital Future Council will officially kick off at the event and will include executives from Warner Bros. Sony Music, Universal Music, Lego and many more. It will explore the impact of blockchain on audience interaction, content distribution and monetization.

Cannes Lion 2018 (general thoughts)

This year’s version will see several changes from the previous ones. The event is going to be three days shorter than usual, lasting only five in total. The format will be significantly different, with organisers making the festival more cost friendly and focusing firmly on creativity.

Agencies can only submit work for six Lions this year, with the idea being that the best will shine through. It again points to Cannes desire to centre the event around creativity. Some events have also been removed and replaced by new categories.

The big news is the absence of Publicis Groupe. The company withdrew from to focus on an internal AI platform. They have already confirmed that they will be back for the 2019 event, however.


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