Sue Daun, managing creative director, The Brand Union
Sue Daun, managing creative director, The Brand Union
A view from Sue Daun

Think BR: Another festival in the Cannes

Innovation was at a premium for the Cannes Lions entries this year, but there were plenty of other opportunities to learn and be inspired, writes Sue Daun, managing creative director, The Brand Union.

So the Cannes Festival of Creativity has drawn to a close on the Croisette for another year.

The Lions continue to grow in popularity annually, and this year the number of people swarming around the Festival de Palais was immense.

With over 800 more delegates in attendance than 2011, queues to the seminars proved longer than ever - testament to the value of the international creative industries even in globally recessional times.

Once delegates made it through the doors, the content was inspiring and diverse, with fabulous speeches from Patrick Collister, Alain de Botton, Facebook, Coca-Cola and Nike that entertained as well as informed the crowds. One of the major themes running throughout the week was mobile as the new creative frontier.

Given record numbers of entries internationally, and the reported EUR14M entry fees garnered for the accolades, the UK put in a decent show this year, particularly across certain key categories.

It was especially gratifying to see the British contingent shine particularly brightly in design, film and film craft, and press and outdoor categories where a strong visually-led appeal took precedence among the entries. 

And yet, the quality of work showcased was less strong overall than previous years. It proved much harder to find the real gems in the crowd, possibly due to the increased number of entries.

Big brands did not fare as well as the niche in the design category, but there were a few lovely pieces from international markets such as: the Nike Fuel station for Nike UK; The Hinglish Project for the Ministry of Tourism Government of India; the Bardot ice creams for Advanced Ice Cream Technologies; and the Laundry Gallery for Siemens Electrogeräte. Food for creative thought indeed.

And with the Cannes Lions app there were better tools to access, share and save the festival content.

As Cannes Week is a crucible for the creative, we saw tremendous efforts being made in the Cannes Also pavilion, with a spectrum of individuals from all corners of the globe and all types of specialisms rolling up their sleeves, stepping outside of their typical creative thinkspace and moving beyond their media to learn from Aardman, Getty Images, Bright Bricks and Airigami experts. 

There was a fantastic leveling of ages, experience and ability from people looking to translate their creativity to new mediums.

The festival saw established creative leaders sitting alongside creative new bloods competing to make the best Lego creation, while CEOs sat alongside five year olds trying to get to grips with modelling clay. In fact one guy came in from Brazil and spent two hours making the most amazing model of Van Gogh, complete with bandages and sunflower.

Highlights of the pavilion included the balloon car race complete with Lego remote control and Godzilla storming the Palais de Festival.

Cannes is all about inspiring creative approaches and encouraging the industries on to ever greater successes. If innovation was lacking at all in the Lions entries this year, there were plenty of other opportunities at the festival to learn and be inspired.

Let’s hope we see this inspiration reflected in next year’s no doubt record-breaking crop of Lions entries.

Sue Daun, managing creative director, The Brand Union