Cannes Lions 2018: Our Top 10 Sessions To Attend

Francesca HeathLast Updated: Events, Insights

Cannes Lions, the must go to creative festival of the summer is taking place this week in the sunny south of France, and with five days of talks, workshops, networking events, classes and awards the event is a must for anyone in the marketing, design, tech, media and entertainment industries.  The 2018 programme has nine tracks, so the sessions can explore creativity from every angle, communication, craft, entertainment, experience, good, health, impact, innovation and reach. The line up is a little overwhelming, so to give you lucky festival goers a headstart we have picked out our top 10 sessions for the week.

1. The Power of Moving Experiences

Monday 18, 17:00 – 17:45
Experience Track

Session description

Immersive experience is receiving a resurgence; we’re all fatigued by the ‘cognitive clutter’ of our digital lives and now physical, one-of-a-kind experiences are back in vogue. Here HELO explores what it takes to a create a powerful, well-designed experience and produce award-winning work. HELO’s Phoebe Smith sits down with visionary Director, Production Designer and Academy Award Nominee, KK Barrett (Her, Lost in Translation, Being John Malkovich), and multi-Cannes Lion award-winning commercial and film director, Jeff Tremaine (Jackass, Bad Grandpa) to discuss what it takes to create the best and most inspiring experiences. Learn how real people in real world experiences and immersive experience design can help us create unparalleled content for brands, and how to get the balance right.

Questions this session will answer:

  • How can clients differentiate themselves through real-world experiences?
  • How can immersive experience and design combine to generate award winning content?
  • How can experiences live beyond the moment and serve audiences who aren’t physically there?

2. What’s Coming Next in Branded Consumer Experience?

Tuesday 19th, 10:00 – 10:45
Experience Track

Session description

What’s Coming Next? What’s next for branded consumer experiences? This session will be introduced by the International Advertising Association – whose mission is to serve as a global compass for the marcom industry. Join us to find out what trends and developments are likely to shape this space in the next 12-18 months. This is all about understanding tomorrow – today. Tim Kobe of Eight Inc. will draw on his unparalleled experience and insights working with the likes of Apple and Nike. We’ll also explore how AI, in particular, will continue to revolutionize the consumer experience.

Questions this session will answer:

  • What is a human retail experience?
  • What are the key ingredients of a lasting retail experience?
  • What is coming next in retail design?

3. What Matters Next

Tuesday 19, 14:00 – 14:45
Impact Track

Session description

In this special session, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki will talk about brand building, engaged audiences and accountability in the digital age. Susan will be joined by Lubomira Rochet, Chief Digital Officer of L’Oreal, and Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music, who will share his vision for a new golden age of music.


4. The New Innovation Model: Data-Driven Creativity

Tuesday 19, 14:00 – 14:45
Experience Track

Session description

For brands and advertisers today, producing compelling creative is only half the battle; the modern consumer is typically exposed to thousands of ads per day, many of which fail to resonate and are simply ignored. In order to cut through the ad clutter, innovative marketers must ensure that the messages being delivered are laser-focused and tailor-made to their target audiences. Visa’s Kim Kadlec explains how the company is shaking up its traditional marketing model, and is challenging its agency partners to approach creative with a data-first mindset to more meaningfully reach its consumers.

Questions this session will answer:

  • What changes in the marketing landscape have occurred to necessitate a data-first approach?
  • Where does data-driven creative fit in a brand’s overall marketing strategy? What benefits have brands who have implemented this new model experienced?
  • What steps do brands and their agency partners need to take to implement this new model?

5. Lessons from the World’s Best Campaigns

Wednesday 20, 10:00 – 11:00
Impact Track

Session description

Hear from the strategists behind two of the most effective and creative campaigns in this year’s WARC 100 and Gunn 100 rankings. Alaina Crystal will share the story behind “Imagine the Possibilities” for Mattel’s Barbie, which connected with millennial mothers and reversed declining sales in the US with a social media campaign which focused on the doll’s aspirations rather than her looks. Andrea Diquez will talk about the Super Bowl advertising for P&G’s Tide, including 2017’s “Bradshaw Stain” and this year’s “Not Another Tide Ad”. Andrea will share the ideas which led to the campaign, the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned.


6. The Future of Storytelling: Engaging and Influencing Next-Gen Audiences

Wednesday 20, 10:30 – 11:00
Entertainment Track

Session description

With a seemingly endless array of platforms at publishers’ disposal, and the ability to reach consumers on social, digital, video and print, Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry discusses how a legacy media brand positions itself in 2018. Barry’s career experience spans more than 25 countries, including reporting and training journalists in broadcasting, technology and social media. This diverse media background, coupled with years of experience in insightful storytelling and quality journalism, has uniquely positioned Barry to lead Glamour into a new phase of delivering engaging content and consumer experiences that connect with audiences for years to come.

Questions this session will answer:

  • How can we reach audiences in a world of fragmented distribution?
  • What types of storytelling are connecting with next-generation consumers?
  • How to think about content in a multi-platform way from development through distribution?

7. How Data is Reinventing the Flatpack Empire

Wednesday 20, 14:00 – 14:30 (30min)
Experience Track

Session description

Ingvar Kamprad believed you create a better world by enabling “the many people” to enjoy a better life at home. He took a radical approach to the design, retail and manufacturing of furniture. 75 years, 35 countries and 400 stores after Ingvar Kamprad set out to create a better world by enabling “the many” to enjoy a better life at home, half the human race now shops at IKEA. Where do you grow from there? Simple: you create a second revolution; this time focused squarely on the lives (not the furniture) you aim to improve. This session will reveal new creative work inspired by a series of data experiments conducted on behalf of the IKEA Kids Furniture business. This will show how the world’s leading home furnishings brand can use data and technology to make life at home with kids even more wonderful.

Questions this session will answer:

  • How can you use DMPs and a data ecosystem to re-set the strategic agenda?
  • How bricks and mortar retail giants can out smart on-line specialists?
  • What does it really takes to deliver personalized marketing and content at scale?

8. Five Campaigns That Shook the Advertising World

Thursday 21, 10:00 – 10:45
Entertainment Track

Session description

The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA) gave a panel of leading CMOs and brands access to the Cannes Lions Archive with a clear brief: to find the pivotal moments in recent branded entertainment history that have truly changed the game for brands using content at the heart of their marketing campaigns. How did Nike ‘Just Do It’ or Apple ‘Think Different’? Well, this exciting showcase will take a deep-dive into the key entertainment verticals — including gaming, sport and music — to uncover the incredible pioneering work that has changed the rules of brand engagement forever.

Questions this session will answer:

  • How have Cannes Lions awards helped to shape popular culture?
  • What are the most pivotal moments in branded entertainment?
  • How can the insights presented in this session help brands today?

9. Future Five: Video Trends that Power the Next Instagram Wave

Thursday 21, 10:00 – 10:30
Entertainment Track

Session description

Instagram is rapidly growing into the platform of choice for millennials, with publishers, consumers and retailers all telling ‘Stories’ in more and more artful and arresting ways. The platform has replaced the magazine rack for discovering, engaging with, and buying new products — and to grab attention, one needs much more than a fabulous static photo. Video is a powerful piece of the Instagram puzzle. Across categories from beauty to fitness and everything in between, POPSUGAR will share the video trends blowing-up on Instagram and captivating young consumers.


10. Great Marketers: Story Tellers or Data Lovers?

Thursday 21, 12:00 – 12:45
Innovation Track

Session description

The battle has long raged between magic and measurement. With a strong creative legacy on brands like Guinness and Johnnie Walker, Diageo is working on getting these two strange bedfellows to work together to grow brands faster. Diageo’s Syl Saller and Andrew Geoghegan discuss how they’re driving this culture change at Diageo and what skills great marketers need to drive growth where great work is needed to cut through, and every pound, dollar or rupee counts.

Questions this session will answer:

  • How can you drive change and innovation in your brand?
  • What skills do marketers need to drive growth?

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