Well what an absolutely incredible day of content today at the Palais. The highlights were probably the Yahoo! session on the new world of online content featuring none other than actor / comedian Jack Black and also Mindshare’s session on being ‘adaptive’ with F1 driver Jenson Button. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? And it probably was. But I didn’t see any of it. You see, the thing about Cannes is that there are a million other things that are also taking place beyond the Palais. Maybe not with flashy guests like the aforementioned Black and Button combo but to someone like me, arguably some of the alternatives can be even more compelling.
I will give you an example. After a morning full of client meetings and a presentation from Microsoft Advertising, this afternoon I went on a trip organised by Adobe and The Weather Channel. They have put together a little thing called the ‘Cannes Cycling Club’ for bike enthusiasts who are in Cannes for the Lions. It’s been going for a few years and growing in popularity amongst the cognoscenti. And this year they added a new dimension. They invited two professional tour riders from the Garmin Sharp team to lead us out into the hills around Cannes / Nice – inspirational stuff for the likes of yours truly.
These guys compete at the highest level and know everything there is to know about devising a strategy, executing a plan flawlessly and ultimately how to win. I’m sure you get the parallels with what we do. And even when I was just about hanging on as we reached the steeper inclines and sucking in more air than a jet turbine (whilst they were chatting nonchalantly I hasten to add) they never considered dropping me – “you never leave a team mate behind” I was told by Steel van Hoff and Nick Nuyens. So you can keep your Black and Button, I found all the inspiration I need from two guys you’ve probably never even heard of and that’s a memory that will go with me to the grave.
The blogger, Steve Blakeman, is the CEO for OMD Asia Pacific.
Blakeman’s blog was from his observations on June 17, 2013 at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity