What’s On

#sowhoknew: Cannes you believe it’s over?

It was one long week, I attended 21 (mostly) inspirational presentations, went to 14 meetings, drank several (?) glasses of rose, consumed a dozen tubes of Pringles from the mini bar (who has time to eat a proper meal!?), networked at a smattering of parties and (most importantly to me) OMD APAC came away with three Lions.

The three key themes this year were based around collaboration, storytelling and integration. Actually not dissimilar to last year. Thankfully the talk of scam was relatively limited (apart from some general barbed comments from John Hegarty) which is encouraging to see. And the latest buzz term from Cannes 2014? Native. So naturally you can expect to hear it much more over the course of the next 12 months.

So what were the best and the worst bits from this year’s extravaganza of excess?

The Best
Without doubt, the absolute highlight of Cannes this year was Kanye. Or CannesYe as he shall now be known. He didn’t disappoint. He managed to insult Samsung, compare himself to Steve Jobs and challenge the ad industry to clean up the internet. Hilarious. He was worth the high cost of the Palais ticket all on his own.

Ralph Fiennes in conversation with the Guardian was also fascinating. As was the cheeky and irreverent dialogue with actor/ rock star Jared Leto plus the sporting insights from the Olympics & World Cup via Visa.

And finally a quick mention for our very own OMD Oasis which featured some superlative off-Broadway style sessions from the likes of Google, Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest.

The Worst
There were no truly horrific moments that I personally witnessed but there were some pretty awkward ones (like the aforementioned Mr West and his ill chosen comments about Samsung).

There were also some inexplicably bland sessions, such as the rather lacklustre one from Yahoo!. Not bad exactly, just dull. Marisa (Mayer) looked like she was just going through the motions. And it was short too – it only lasted 30 minutes of the 45 allocated.

The same accusation could be levelled at the interview with the writers of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Veep’. Eagerly anticipated by all (judging by the huge crowd that attended) but about as exciting as watching paint dry (epitomised by the swarms of people who left well before the end).

The worst though? Jared Leto’s interviewer. A five-year old could have asked more inspirational questions and thank goodness, Leto decided to do an impromptu audience Q&A instead. “Stroke and tickle” as he called it, which seemed very apt given the squeals of delight from the girls he invited on stage to take a selfie with him.

So that’s pretty much it for another year. Au revoir Cannes. Je t’aime.

Steve Blakeman

Steve Blakeman is the Global Media Lead - Nestlé at Mindshare. Previously, he was the Managing Director - Global Accounts, OMD Europe. Previously, he was the CEO, Asia Pacific – OMD. Prior to that, he was Global Chief Integration Strategy Officer (Asia Pacific) for IPG Mediabrands (Initiative & Universal McCann). He has also had stints as worked as Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group owned media agency, PHD where he successfully launched their second office in the UK. He began his career at JWT and has over two decades of experience in advertising, media and marketing communications.