Carat @ Cannes: Day 2


Sean Healy, Global CSO for Carat is back with his round-up of the Good and Not-so-Good from day two of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Cannes Lions 2019

So, there are always bucket loads of inspiring talks and presentations not to mention the brilliant work around on the walls of the Palais. But on occasion, it is also possible to attend talks that are not so hot or reflect aspects of the creative industries that are less inspiring. Today was a day that captured both for me. Brilliantly inspiring presentations and then a few clichés being dished out.

Definitely Good Cannes.

A bright and early start

I was lucky enough to attend an early morning meeting between Dentsu and Facebook. I will spare you most of the discussion but zoom in on one the aspects of the partnership that is really inspiring. Thanks to the efforts of Facebook and the Amplifi GMP team, we saw lots of cases of great collaborations and the development of new products that are focusing on new ways to deliver effective creativity on the platform and beyond. What was particularly exciting is the work we are doing to help ‘hyper-growth’ businesses improve their asset base. Lots of learnings here to reapply.

The creative industries meet venture capitalism — creative capital

Cannes presentations by R/GA are always a highlight. Their work is really smart and is packaged up super-well. This year the story was their work to offer fledgeling businesses not only a small amount of funding but also contacts from their client base and most importantly ‘creative capital’. Their multi-disciplinary teams are cracking problems for these young businesses through a smart process which includes figuring out the ‘altitude’ of the problem. Is it deep-seated e.g. ‘you are in the wrong business’ or a reframing e.g. ‘ your virtual lock system doesn’t keep the wrong people out, it lets the right people in!’

Anyway, the thing that really struck me was their reference to turning short-termism on its head by redefining the meaning of KPI. From Key Performance Indicator, they have developed Key Progress Indicators. More long-term.

Have we established a new revenue stream?

Have we brought in a new set of users?

Have we built a future for this brand?

We can all learn from this.

Thomas Heatherwick amazing designer and architect putting the soul back into buildings

Superstar / humble design virtuoso Heatherwick was introduced by Richard Edelman of Edelman PR and producer of the Edelman Trust Barometer. After a few words of gloom from him, we got a fantastic exploration of the principles and process that have powered the success of Heatherwick’s practice.

His core principle is that emotion should be seen as a key function of buildings and public spaces and how a place feels is key to whether it can bring people together. His mission is to make buildings that are not soulless and key aspects of his efforts to put humanity into buildings include: modifying not knocking down and creating ‘heart spaces’ at the centre of buildings.

We can learn from his process. Why would people who can get everything delivered to their home go to this space? What is the cliched solution people would expect from us? How could we do the opposite and then be even more ambitious? These are the sort of questions we can reapply to our work every day.

Lastly, he shared his point of view that what he is doing is the same as marketing. Telling stories and changing behaviour, but traditional marketing is short-termist and shallow in its approach. ‘Do something that won’t be gone in three months’ was his parting shot.

Bad Cannes

Talking about authenticity in an in-authentic way whilst hanging out with people from the music industry.

This is still happening and I’m sorry to say I witnessed it.

If you say authentic more than 50 times during a 30-minute period, the chances are what you are talking about is not.

No names mentioned.


Cannes Lions 2019
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