Cynopsis at CANNES LIONS

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Cynopsis at CANNES LIONS


Day 4
There is a strong last-day vibe in Cannes today, likely due to last night’s festivities, of which there were many to choose from. Pre-beach, celebs flocked to Carbone by Centurion, where acclaimed chef Mario Carbone had joined forces with American Express, transplanting the New York restaurant, staff and all, into a stunning villa overlooking the Riviera. Breaking bread at sunset last night were Sophia Bush and Kenya Barris with a group of friends at one table, while Bebe Rexha enjoyed her exquisite squid ink pasta in the company of Dawn Ostroff before taking the Spotify Beach stage just past midnight. Oh right, Twitter’s surprise performer was Ciara (we know you waited 24 hours just to find out). While today was the kind of day that called for sneaking junk food inside the auditorium, the Cannes beach game remains strong. Festival-goers (who must have superhuman abilities to handle zero sleep) were lining up on the Croisette to get into Google Beach’s Pride celebration in the late afternoon. Guess what they could enjoy while waiting? Frosen Rosé, (that’s frosé, thankyouverymuch) courtesy of NCC. And while tonight is quieter, the parties are not over yet: Live Nation’s fete is tonight, while DJ Mark Ronson is spinning records at the Wall Street Journal House in the marina.   
The morning got off to a solid start with global VP of Dove, Sophie Galvani, photographer and GirlGaze founder Amanda De Cadenet, director of creative insight at Getty Images, Dr. Rebecca Swift, and prolific TV producer Shonda Rhimes taking the stage to discuss Project #ShowUs, the world’s largest stock photo library created by women and non-binary individuals, with over 5000 images of women from 39 countries available to media and advertisers. While meant to shatter a very narrow definition of beauty stereotypes (these images are not retouched), inclusivity is just good for business, said Rhimes. “Over the years what has been proven, and there have been studies about this, is that films that have casts that are very inclusive, majority minority films, make more money at the box office than films that have a majority white cast. Television shows that are more diverse and inclusive are getting higher ratings than those that aren’t. It’s simple economics – it just makes more money,” she said. The female photographers, who are now available for hire through a tech platform built to offer the services of diverse female creative talent, were paid fairly for the project, which was important to De Cadenet. “Unfortunately, a lot of companies in advertising will underpay women and girls,” she said. “We’re hoping to raise the bar and set a standard for the industry to say, ‘Look at the work. It’s phenomenal. You’re not doing anyone any favors – they’re doing you a favor. So, you must pay fairly.’ Women and girls are so used to working for free they couldn’t believe they were getting paid properly.” In the two months that the photos have been available on Getty, they have been downloaded 7000 times and used by 900 companies. “As far as we’re concerned, it is already a success,” said Swift.
Writer/producer Kenya Barris, co-president of Wieden+Kennedy, Colleen DeCourcy and president of TBWA Troy Ruhanen sat down to discuss brand activism on the Lumiere stage. DeCourcy opened the talk explaining why activism in advertising is a careful walk: “If you’re going to stand for a social cause it takes a massive amount of responsibility. If you’re not going to do legwork and take responsibility, then you have a responsibility to not take a stand,” she said. Asked to define “activism” she said, “Active is the key part of that word. You can be an advocate or a cheerleader. But if you want to be an activist, you have to be prepared to be really uncomfortable, to say things that may lose you some of your consumer base, and faith that you will grow and that people will find you to speak through to power, even if that power is your own system.” Barris applauded Netflix for taking a stand against the abortion laws in Georgia by pulling their productions out of the state. “We’re at a place right now where you have to stand firmly,” he said. “Atlanta became the number one place for filming, and now, one of the things I was really proud of with Netflix is that they’re backing out. That is an example of corporations taking responsibility. If you really feel strongly about [something] and it’s going to affect people, the way we can make actively changes is to be active…When you see corporations like Netflix and Disney saying, ‘This goes against what we believe our company ethos is, and we’re willing to stand behind that and back out,’ I think others will hopefully follow.” The panel used Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign as an example of activism in advertising done right. “Them getting behind Colin made them a company that I will forever support because they’re on the right side of history,” said Barris. “If you do what’s right, it will translate to success.”
De Courcy, whose agency works with Nike, said it was an organic extension of their brand, and that is what makes it the activism genuine. “The company isn’t wrapping itself around values, it’s made a decision long ago that that these athletes, these human beings, were the manifestation of Nike in the world. The exchange was that theirs were the voices they supported. And as the world changes and as these athletes lives change, that is reflected in the work. And the only obligation between the two parties is loyalty and support.”
Marketing to the over-50 crown is a 15 trillion dollar business opportunity, so why is it not being tapped into? Media personality Tina Brown, model and CoverGirl spokesperson (and mother of Elon) Maye Musk, Executive Creative Director of Grey Leo Savage and Chief Marketing Officer of Endeavor Bozoma St. John discussed the – admittedly flawed – approach of the industry. “The thing about the average brief you get, the first line of the target audience is always age – 25 to 35. We sort of have a millennial default setting,” said Leo. “Ultimately, what’s coming out of that is a general sense that we don’t know what we want to do with our products, we don’t know where we want to aim them, except it has to be young. Right now I think we’re moving move into behavioral signaling, where we’re looking at the lifestyles people are living, as we’re getting more data. I think we’re going to move away from monolithic age segmentation.”
St. John said it shouldn’t be a matter of pulling heartstring, but purse strings. “There is the idea, even when I was at Apple and we were launching Apple Music, that the streaming generation could not be older than the ones who going to be able to adapt to the current time, and that’s simply not true,” she said. “When you look at the catalogue of music, what is holding Apple music and other platforms afloat is the old catalogue, the music that you listen to over time. The Anita Baker Essentials is as popular as the new Ariana Grande. At Endeavor, The Beach Boys, their touring aggregate is enormous. Their fans are coming to see them. And I think it’s something we have to actively think about.”
Part of the lack of advertising aimed at the 50+ demo is that aging is not seen as ideal. Hopefully having brand spokeswomen like Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda and Isabella Rosselini will mark a shift in the culture and move advertising away from old stereotypes of cardigan sweaters, health problems and long walks on the beach. “The more you show older people as fashionable, happy, high energy and intelligent, it’s not only our age group that will be appreciating it – younger people will feel better about aging,” said 71-year old Musk. “That’s what I’ve seen a lot on Instagram, the comments, ‘You make me feel good about aging.’”
A conversation meant to give the audience insight into the future of entertainment devolved into a freewheeling, and quite random, chat between Jeff Goldblum, multi-Lion winning creative Stephane Xiberras and Louise Benson, executive festival director of Cannes Lions. Perhaps more valuable than Goldblum’s theory that the human species may merge with AI to create a new species or his favorite dinosaur (he doesn’t really have one) were Benson’s research discoveries that 47% of Gen Z consumers only enjoy entertainment they can talk about with others (in other words, they are not shame-reading 50 Shades of Grey on a mobile device). 77% of those polled see entertainment as something that can unite people in a divided world. This was something Goldblum could get on board with. “The real problems ahead of us have to be solved with global cooperation. The stories we tell and the images we generate can educate, inspire and focus people and bring us together,” he mused. “The less we can dumb down and fill it with content that is enhancing and uplifting, entertainment could be powerful if used for good.” Xiberras agrees: “The thing I know is that for me it’s an amazing opportunity to have the same conversations around the world,” he said. “I am French, but if I am in Texas I can talk about Game of Thrones, about Fortnite. The global conversation, if it’s about music, imagination, dragons – I prefer that to talking about war, race or gender. The imagination maybe can create a federation of humankind.”
Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels received the award for Entertainment Person of the Year tonight. At the awards ceremony, Michaels thanked those who provide his nine commercial breaks with content: “I’ve been thinking about what I could add to the discussion about creativity that you’ve all been having for the past four days. In my experience at SNL, there really could be no creativity without structure and boundaries. Every week we go from a blank page, to on the air in six days, never knowing for sure what the final show will look like. I say it every week: We don’t go on because we’re ready, we go on because it’s 11:30.
“When I first got to NBC in 1975, before I hired a single cast member, writer or musician, I was handed an NBC memo titled ‘Format’. It said, ‘opening titles, nine commercial breaks, closing credits.’ That’s where we started. It looked like freedom but actually it was a trap. What we did between those commercials would change every week. But through 44 seasons, those nine commercial breaks, that you all provide, have stayed in place, one supporting the other.  
“You use commercials to get your message across, we use commercials to change sets, costumes and wigs. From the very beginning our fates have been intertwined. We both want the biggest possible audience, but we approach that goal in completely different ways. You have months and months of careful thought and research. We really don’t know what we’re doing from day to day. As we approach our new season in the fall, I don’t know who our hosts or our musical guests would be. I’ve learned to live with that. In 44 years, the whole world has changed, but for SNL one thing has stayed the same: those commercial breaks have always been the back bone of our show and we really appreciate that.”  

…Or not seen, as the case was with ex-CEO of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix who withdrew his session from the lineup following objections from attendees and Netflix’s decision to screen The Great Hack, a film about the political data scandal, on Thursday afternoon. Nix was due to speak at 5pm but canceled last night.

Innovation Lions
Grand Prix
‘See Sound’ for Wavio
Area 23, An FCB Health Network Company, New York

Radio & Audio Lions
Grand Prix
‘Westworld: The Maze’ for HBO
360I, New York / HBO, New York

Mobile Lions
Grand Prix

‘The Whopper Detour’ for Burger King

FCB New York

Creative Effectiveness Lions
Grand Prix
‘Black Supermarket’ for Carrefour
Marcel, Paris
Brand Experience & Activation Lions
Grand Prix
‘Changing the Game’ for Microsoft
McCann New York
Creative eCommerce Lions
Grand Prix
‘Do Black – The Carbon Limit Credit Card for Doconomy
RBK Communication, Stockholm
Entertainment Person of the Year
Lorne Michaels


Now, tomorrow really is the last day, and we’re hitting up some panels about disruption and storytelling, what the future consumer looks like, as well as bringing you the last big awards of the week. But better than that, we’re going to hit up happy hour and get the scoop on what those who spent a week at the Riviera really took away from this year’s Lions…other than hangovers and sunburn. A demain!
Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

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