How are you keeping the Cannes spirit alive this week?

A wide varities of Provençal rosés is available in your local supermarket, but how about that certain, as the French would say, 'I don't know what'?

Clockwise from top left: Bullard, Laurentino, Lossgott, Burley, a deserted Croisette
Clockwise from top left: Bullard, Laurentino, Lossgott, Burley, a deserted Croisette

It’s not all about the rosé and boat parties, but with the event being held remotely for the first time ever, there’s no denying there is a special challenge this year in making Cannes, well, Cannes. With that in mind, Campaign asked creative leaders what they were doing to bring a little of the French Riviera to the dubious environs of Britain in June.

Nicky Bullard

Chairwoman, MRM Europe and chief creative officer, MRM UK

I may not have The Gutter Bar, but I do have The Bullard Bar, which is also my office. Every evening after Titanium judging, I have wandered a whole five feet to the fridge and partaken in some pink fluids. I have also been wearing far too much bronzer as I am normally Tango woman at this time of year having faked the glow. Talking of glows, I’ve been skipping about the house, not as a result of said pink fluids, but on the euphoria of judging the Titanium Lions. Euphoria that my kids, husband nor dog understand. (But my creative gang do, with whom I’ve been sharing the incredible work.) I haven’t woken up broken yet or cried from exhaustion standing in the security line of any airports. Not that I’ve done that before, obvs.

Dede Laurentino

Chief creative officer, Ogilvy UK

On a personal level, the Cannes spirit is a mix of an unnerving sense of anxiety (Cannesxiety, as they call it), a slightly faster heartbeat, the feeling you’re missing just that thing you shouldn't miss and, finally, a constant battle with hangovers. Except for the latter, everything else has been pretty much the same.

I’ve been looking at great work online, juggling a thousand things at the same time and trying to keep up. Cannes unfailingly nails it when it comes to pushing us further.

On a social level, it couldn’t be more different. None of the friendly faces in every street, no meeting new people and hearing about a thousand different perspectives into our industry and the business. None of the laughing and none of the lamenting at 2am. I miss all of that.

This year, I also had the pleasure of being a judge. And Liz Taylor, our thoughtful jury president, sent us all lovely gifts to get us in the Cannes mood, amongst which was candle that smells like (and I quote from the packaging) “buttery croissants served en terrasse, paired with un café au lait”. Perfect! 

Oh, there’s the emerald ocean and the heat, too. Those Liz couldn’t send in a gift box.

Nadja Lossgott

Executive creative director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Between emoji-laden Whatsapp groups, daily all-agency updates and happily screaming at and over each other on Zoom and FaceTime, we haven’t quite recreated the Croissette, but the excitement of winning and being inspired by incredible work has stayed exactly the same. Every team across our winning and shortlisted clients has been just as excited and just as proud of their hard work being recognised on the global stage. Of course, we all miss being together, talking nonsense until the early hours and enjoying the sun. But one day we will rosé.

Jonathan Burley

Chief creative officer, Miroma Group

I’ve fashioned myself a hauntingly realistic diorama of La Croisette on my kitchen island. Some Lego, a handful of cat litter, the action figures from an old nativity set I found in the loft (if you squint, the Baby Jesus looks startlingly like a swaddled Darren Bailes), the teeny tiny delegate lanyards I happened to have kicking about and you could almost be there. At night, while I sleep, the figurines come to life and cavort and gambol among the cat litter, raging drunk on the thimblefuls of D’Ott they’ve worked together to steal from my fridge. Creepy AF, but the ghastly mess I’m confronted by every morning is both a salutary shout out to the hard-working balayeurs of Cannes and a nostalgically poignant reminder of all that we’ve been missing for the past couple of years.