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Cannes Q&A: Exciting time for creatives as tech giants descend upon Cannes

Zachary Bautista, creative director, and Geoff Baillie, associate creative director at Rethink share insights from their time at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Which festival theme really stood out to you this year?

Diversity and inclusion were top of mind at the festival for us. It was great to see diversity represented in the types of ideas that were showcased at the festival and the people and agencies behind those ideas. It was a common thread among speakers and honorees at the festival to point out that the industry has made strides in diversity, but that there’s still more work to be done. 

What surprised you most about your involvement and experience in the festival? And why?

This year Cannes almost felt like a creative tech conference. Tech companies were a huge presence throughout the festival grounds, and there’s more integration of tech into the ideas that were recognized on stage. New tech leads to new opportunities, so it’s an exciting time to be a creative. 

Under the duress of the pandemic, businesses turned to creativity as the ultimate problem solver. Do you agree with this statement?

Creativity always adapts to culture. Pandemic or not, our work always reflects the times. Adapting to COVID restrictions definitely led to new ways of thinking and new kinds of ideas. But as much as COVID separated us, it also brought people together. Being able to work remotely allowed us to collaborate with people from all over the world.

In terms of creativity, where does Canada stand on the global stage?

Canada has a smaller audience with smaller budgets, so we’re always looking for creative ways to expand our reach. There’s often a scrappiness and all-hands-on-deck creative problem solving that goes along with that. But that mentality leads to great ideas that get recognized, which is why you see so much great Canadian work recognized at Cannes.

The future of creative is: It’s OK to have fun. At award shows you see a lot of cause-oriented advertising, which has its own merit, but the work that we’re enthusiastic about is work that’s fun, lighthearted and clever. The kind that brings a smile to your face. That’s the work we’re most excited about doing.

Globe is the official Canadian representative of Cannes Lions — the world’s most prestigious and coveted advertising and marketing awards. Since its first outing in 1954, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has been bringing the creative communications industry together every year at its one-of-a-kind event in Cannes to learn, network, and celebrate.

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