IN three weeks’ time, a large posse of Irish marketers and ad agency folk will descend upon the beautiful French city of Cannes for what is seen by many within the wider marketing world as the biggest and most important awards programme in the world. Dubbed the Oscars of the advertising industry, the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity celebrates the very best creative advertising and marketing in the world and over 40,000 people will make the annual pilgrimage to what effectively draws the curtains on the annual awards season.
While the awards take centre stage, the weeklong festival also includes a stellar line-up of guest speakers and celebrities drawn mainly from advertising, the arts and business. This year’s line-up, for example, includes Dame Helen Mirren, Alicia Silverstone, Ian Mckellen and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.
The Dublin-based agency Rothco and its sister agency Guns or Knives, meanwhile, will fly the Irish flag by delivering a workshop while the former will take to the stage to talk about its work for AIB’S The Toughest, the bank’s creative content initiative that supports its GAA sponsorship.
This year, the Irish delegation will also include seven teams of young creatives and marketers, all under the age of 30 who will take part in the Cannes Young Lions, an awards programme aimed at a younger industry cohort. Thanks to sponsorship from several companies like Core Media, Shutterstock, Wide Eye Media and Independent News & Media, publisher of this newspaper, these bright young things will get a first-hand glimpse of the best advertising in the world and hopefully be inspired by the creative thinking and strategies that will flow as freely as the cold beers and rosé wine.
If ever there was a time in the history of advertising and marketing when a true understanding of the power of creativity was needed, that time is now.
It was the American advertising legend Bill Bernbach, the co-founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) who said that “if your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic”. And while he believed passionately in the power of creativity, his opinion wasn’t backed up by any evidence, empirical or otherwise. It was just a deep-rooted hunch and perhaps an insight into the human psyche. It was years later after Bern- Contact John Mcgee at email@example.com