The Insider's Guide to Cannes: Cannes diary

It isn't all about winning awards and going to parties; it's also a chance to learn from the industry's top names. Here are highlights of the seminars and talks on offer.


14.30 - 15.15 The new borders of belief

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

By 2050, more than half of the US population will be non-white, yet traditional media continues to ignore ethnicity. This seminar from Universal McCann aims to show how changing demographics are affecting media consumption and how you can ensure your clients' messages are reaching as many people as possible.

17.00 - 17.45 2010: A new-media odyssey

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Sue Moseley, managing director, Initiative Media; Tony Manwaring, communications

planning director, Initiative Media; Nigel Walley, chief executive and founder, Decipher

How are you tackling ad-avoidance? Is it heads in the sand all round or are you embracing the challenge of personal video recorders and new technology? Initiative believes content is key to cutting through the clutter and plans to reveal how agencies can continue to reach what is becoming an increasingly sceptical and technology-savvy audience.


12.00 - 12.45 Verge

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Rory Sutherland, executive creative director and vice-chairman of OgilvyOne London; Jan Leth, worldwide creative director, OgilvyInteractive New York

Even the most committed of technophobes can't have failed to notice that everyone is talking about digital again. Based on what is now an international event for OgilvyOne, Verge shows how digital is changing the way we communicate.

14.30 - 15.15 Cinema in the digital age

Venue The Esterel Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Yet another session looking into the digital future; this time it's all about cinema. The Screen Advertising World Association explains why George Lucas and Steven Soderbergh are so excited about digital film-making and how technology will make a difference to how the medium is traded.

17.00 - 17.45 Clapping with one hand

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speaker Nick Bishop, executive vice-president and chief progress officer for the BAT account at g2 worldwide, part of Grey Global Group

Ever felt like slapping your client around the face with their latest brief? Even at the best of times, maintaining any sort of marital bliss in your agency-client relationship can be problematic. Grey Global comes to the rescue with an anger management session for agencies and clients alike. May those venomous thoughts never cross your mind again.


9.30 - 10.15 The creative frontier: communication without wires

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Mat Mildenhall, chief operating officer, Proximity Worldwide; Paul Bennett, head of international clients, Proximity Worldwide

If you prefer to flirt via your mobile phone rather than resorting to traditional methods such as fluttering your eyelashes, you're not the only one. Punctuated with smileys and winking emoticons, text flirting has apparently become one of the most popular forms of seduction. Proximity explores how, in the age of wireless communication, flirting - and pretty much everything else in the world - has gone mobile.

10.45 - 11.30 China: the economic growth engine for the 21st century

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speaker Steve King, chief executive, ZenithOptimedia

Two hundred years ago, Napoleon Bonaparte described China as "a sleeping giant, (who) when she awakes she will astonish the world". Prepare to be astonished at the opportunities that exist in one of the world's largest - and most complicated - consumer markets.

12.00 - 12.45 Why do so many clients buy so much bad work - and what can we do to help them?

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speaker Steve Harrison, managing director and creative partner, Harrison Troughton Wunderman

It's not all about awards, you know. The majority of clients not only buy into but positively encourage work that creatively is fit only for the bin, and there are plenty of agencies out there that are happy to let them waste their money. Steve Harrison looks at the agency's role in showing clients the way to embrace the best and most effective creative work.

15.45 - 16.30 Procter & Gamble

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Bernard Glock, global manager, Procter & Gamble Media and Communication; Cliff Francis, worldwide creative director for

Procter & Gamble, Saatchi & Saatchi

From Crest toothpaste to Pantene and Pampers, learn what makes the world's biggest advertiser tick.

17.00 - 17.45 The fusing of content, medium and brand

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Tony Bishop, director of marketing EMEA, MRM Partners; Marina Specht, chief executive officer, Reporter and MRM Partners Spain

Content creation is making such a difference to big-name brands such as Nestle, L'Oreal and Bacardi that, in some cases, the brand itself is becoming the medium. Learn how you can help your clients build their brands by creating top-quality content.

19.00 - 21.30 Media Lions and Lions Direct awards ceremonies, followed by the opening gala

Venue Grand Auditorium, Palais du Festivals

You've worked long and hard tending to your trendy haircut, invested a large chunk of your pay packet in an array of lurid patterned shirts, and are the proud owner of a diary bursting at the seams with liquid lunches. Congratulations - you could well be on the receiving end of an award at tonight's Media Lions.

Direct aficionados, on the other hand, will be wondering whether this year's efforts can match up to TBWA\ Japan's Adidas "vertical football" campaign - featuring a huge billboard with football players and a ball suspended from the top - which got a big spontaneous cheer at last year's Lions Direct do.

If you're still going at 9.30pm, the opening gala kicks off after the Media and Direct ceremonies, on the exclusive beach of the Carlton Hotel, and is a melange of lavish buffets, free booze and cocktail dresses. What's more, the pyramids of Champagne glasses will remind you why you got into advertising in the first place.

All registered delegates are guaranteed entrance but, for the best seats, try to wangle a table on the pier - if you're not important enough for that, tables on the beach aren't bad either.


09.30 - 10.15 Plenty of empty?

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Flicking through your 999 television channels, are you sick of being confronted with re-runs, repeats and yet more re-runs? Hosted by MediaCom, this seminar asks why there's such a lack of content to fill the exploding development in digital TV channels, and takes a look at content development for the internet, iPods and hand-held devices such as BlackBerrys.

10.45 - 11.30 Can a great idea survive the process of visual effects?

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Panellists Trevor Beattie, founder, Beattie McGuinness Bungay; Pat Joseph, managing director, The Mill; Peter Thwaites, director, Gorgeous; Filip Engstrom, director StyleWar collective; Duncan Marshall, creative director, Publicis New York

If you ever watched Sony PlayStation's "mountain" and wondered how on earth all those people scrambled on top of each other, this is the seminar for you. A panel of agency and production luminaries reviews an international reel and looks at whether the creative ideas on it have been boosted by or swamped in digital trickery.

14.30 - 15.15 The golden years of separating people from their money

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Panellists Hermann Vaske; Dennis Hopper

Come and rub shoulders with Herman Vaske and Dennis Hopper as the pair take to the stage to talk about highlights from Vaske's documentary The A-Z of Separating People From Their Money, the nine-hour advertising and creative extravaganza that took Vaske seven years to make. Worth going just to hear Frank Lowe and Nelson Mandela mentioned in the same breath.

15.45 - 16.30 The new complexity of marketing to men

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Sick of being stereotyped as limp-wristed, floppy-haired drips in the latest series of Tampax ads? This Leo Burnett seminar questions the multi-faceted process of marketing to men, and asks whether agencies are struggling to respond to ever-changing cliches.

17.00 - 17.45 JWT Volume - the biggest jam session ever

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

At last, what we've all been waiting for - adland's answer to Pop Idol.

JWT is hoping that all the frustrated Will Youngs among you will turn up and contribute what musical talent you have to help produce the Soundtrack to Cannes 2005 - which the agency is optimistically forecasting will be "an original piece of sonic and visual art". The end product will be available at the end of the festival as a mobile phone ringtone. Better have a couple of cocktails to get you ready for this one.

19.30 - 21.30 Press and Outdoor and Cyber Lions awards ceremonies

Venue Grand Auditorium, Palais du Festivals

A big night - this year's Cyber Lions competition includes the first ever Interactive Agency of the Year award, while Press and Outdoor always garners the largest number of entries. Tonight's feast of celebration includes the Young Creative awards, and unveils what must surely be Jamie Oliver's worst nightmare - the results of the challenge to produce a new campaign for the much-maligned Turkey Twizzler.


9.30 - 10.15 The hidden power of the human voice

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Andrew Ingram, Aerials Foundation director, The Radio Advertising Bureau; Adrian Reith, managing director, Radioville

If you're debating whether or not to drag yourself out of bed for this 9.30am start, call it your good deed for the day - Andrew Ingram and Andrew Reith have already expressed concern that they might well outnumber the audience at this event, all about the power of the human voice in advertising.

To convince you to make the effort, Ingram promises to liven things up with some explosive examples of what happens when celebrities throw a wobbler in the recording studio.

11.30 - 13.00 The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase

Venue Grand Auditorium, Palais du Festivals

Speaker Bob Isherwood, worldwide creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi

The directing legend Tarsem conducting a 64-piece orchestra. Bob Isherwood taking to the stage dressed as a robot. Danny Kleinman sawing a very anxious-looking Bob Isherwood in half, Faking It-style.

If you only go to one seminar while you're in Cannes, then make it Saatchi & Saatchi's now-legendary New Directors' Showcase, the brainchild of Isherwood.

The Saatchis creative board has spent months whittling 500 directors from 84 countries down to 25 for the event. Previous line-ups have included the likes of Jonathan Glazer, Spike Jonze and Traktor, testament to the panel's ability to spot the world's hottest directors on their way up.

Turn up early to bag your seat - up to 3,000 delegates are expected to brave the swelter of the Grand Auditorium for this. Doors open at 11.15am.

17.00 - 17.45 Asian diversity: the new spice trade

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speakers Akira Kagami, executive creative director, Dentsu; Masako Okamura, creative director, Dentsu; Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather India

An insight into the unique ingredients that make up Asia's advertising industry, from the Japanese giant Dentsu and Piyush Pandey.


10.45 - 11.30 Why Scandinavian advertising is ten years ahead - a small region that sets the trend

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Speaker Anna Serner, chief executive, Swedish Advertising Association

When you think of Sweden, what images come to mind? The latest H&M poster?

The daft names of items in the Ikea catalogue? A Volvo cruising through a pine forest? Or flaxen-haired young things, naked as the day they were born, frolicking in steamy hot tubs? Come on, it can't just be me. The Swedes may not mind letting it all hang out, but when it comes to advertising, they're more uptight than most. Turn up to see how advertising is done Swedish-style.

12.30 - 13.30 The Cannes Lions debate. Building a better mousetrap

Panellists Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer, WPP; Howard Draft, chairman and chief executive officer, Draft Worldwide; Chuck Porter, chairman, Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Who (or what) will dominate the next phase of advertising? No, it's not Sir Martin. A heavyweight line-up of panellists promises to explore the ways in which their roles and business models are being redefined.

14.30 - 15.15 New Photographers 2006

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

In what sounds suspiciously like a take-off of Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase, Getty Images will showcase an international collective of the hottest young snappers, whom it says will be shooting the award-winning print and poster campaigns of tomorrow.

17.00 - 17.45 Dreams 2005: Flight

Venue The Debussy Theatre, Palais du Festivals

Picture the scene. Ten industry directors, all with egos inflated to the size of hot-air balloons, in direct competition to come up with the best four-minute short film using a high-definition camera. Renowned for the unusual films its participants come up with, this Young & Rubicam event is now in its fourth year and this time asks directors to base their shorts around the theme of flight.


19.00 - 22.00 Film, Radio and Titanium awards ceremonies, followed by the closing gala

Venue Grand Auditorium, Palais du Festivals

Easily the most popular awards do, the Film awards is so well-attended that it will be shown via video transmission in the Debussy Theatre for those who can't get into the Grand Auditorium itself.

This year's event also sees the launch of the Radio Lions - which begs the question, why has it taken 50 years for radio's creative voice to be heard at the Oscars of advertising?

The relaunched Titanium Lion this year aims to acknowledge work that achieves creative excellence across multiple channels. "Up to now, we at Cannes have been analysing the work of the world in fragments, which is like forming an opinion about all of France after a single trip to Alsace," the president of the awards, Jeff Goodby, the co-chairman of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, says.

After all that back-slapping and Champagne-quaffing, the closing gala kicks off on the Palais beach.

This shindig is only for those who have coughed up their delegate fees, and this year's theme will remain under wraps until the last minute - but all the smart money's on Vicars and Tarts.


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