What’s On

#sowhoknew: Sex and the Croisette

It’s Sunday on the Croisette and the customary madness around Cannes Lions has begun in earnest, the rose is flowing and celebs have come out to play…

Last year we witnessed the likes of P Diddy and Mel B at the Palais de Festivals but I wasn’t even in Cannes this year before I spotted my first star. Turns out that Sarah Jessica Parker and her hubby Matthew Broderick were behind me on the plane. I spotted him first, not her. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was always a favourite movie of mine. And Biloxi Blues. And Inspector Gadget.

Actually that last one is a lie. But I digress. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sex and the City so SJP wasn’t as instantly recognisable (for me at least). I’m looking forward to her Monday session for Cosmopolitan entitled ‘Fashion, Sex, Celebrity & Character’. More on that tomorrow then…

I finally got to the hotel and after a quick triple S, I was down to the Palais. I must confess that I was very disappointed to see I had missed the session with David Hasselhoff called ‘Relevance and the Hoff’. Obviously I can’t comment on the content (as I mentioned, I missed it) but was intrigued to see Hoff listed as an actor, celebrity, singer. Well, two out of three ain’t bad I suppose. Unless you are from Germany, when apparently all three apply.

I did manage to catch the final few minutes of the Twitter session #Live Storytelling with Sir Patrick Stewart (he of Star Trek and X-Men fame). I’d love to be able to tell you more but sadly I only saw a very slick video and Sir Patrick say thanks and goodbye.

Next up, a fascinating session with Visa/ BBDO with US Olympic Gold medallist David Wise and French World Cup winning footballer Marcel Desailly. Both of them were very articulate. Freestyle skier Wise clearly has a sense of how influential social media can be in building career momentum and also how the corporate backing of appropriate brands is increasingly a vital part of the support network for savvy athletes. Marcel interjected that he believed that the football fraternity hadn’t really harnessed the power of brands as comprehensively as their Olympian counterparts and that some ‘education’ was needed for them to realise its true potential. He also wished that the same social/ commercial opportunities had been available when he won the World Cup in ’98.

Marcel also gave us his tip for the World Cup. Naturally he tipped France (what else was he going to say?) but added that if they didn’t win it (which they won’t) then Argentina were his recommendation. He didn’t get any arguments from me on that score (I wanted a shameless selfie with him so there was no way I was going to dispute his selection) even though we all know England will bounce back from their narrow defeat against Italy to win it right? It’s not how you start, it is how you finish. Right? Right?!

And talking of how we finished, the final session I saw was from Hakuhodo on the Agency Model 2024. Despite some forced humour and a little awkward interplay between the two hosts, the session hypothesised that in the 10 next years, agencies had to diversify or die. And whilst I totally endorse that sentiment, some of their examples were er… pretty quirky. B&B was interesting. It stands for Books & Beer. Essentially a book shop that plies you with ale as you read. Because apparently people buy more books when they drink beer. Hmmm so people who drink beer buy more? An intriguing insight that one. Am going to try and weave that pearl of wisdom into a few comms plans…

And then there was Rice Code. Coloured rice to make art in fields which people then take photos of and order the rice. Certainly, a creative solution that befits an event like the Lions, but possibly not a Facebook beater.

So that’s it for day one. The jetlag (rose?) is kicking in and I need a lie down in a dark room… roll on Day 2.

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.