As my Young Marketer colleagues would agree, attending Cannes for the first time is an awe-inspiring and even overwhelming experience. There is nowhere else in the world that you will find yourself surrounded with greater, more influential creative minds than at Cannes. The Festival is so special because here you not only learn from these creative geniuses through lectures and workshops but also, if you are lucky enough, can engage in conversation with them over a drink or a World Cup football game as the Canadian Young Marketers quickly found out! Yes, these Canadians found themselves in the presence of Jim Stengel, the former GMO of P&G, the author of Grow and the current CEO of the Jim Stengel Company. We spoke to him about the CPG industry, his book and of course how excited we were to be able to attend the festival as Young Marketers. Oh, we also took an Ellen DeGeneres-like selfie with him and made it onto his Twitter page. No big deal.
In addition to meeting Jim (yes, we are all on a first name basis now), we have heard talks from industry heavyweights like Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Nikesh Arora, CBO of Google, and Omar Johnson, the EVP of Beats by Dre, you know that headphone company that was just bought by Apple for $3 billion!
Going to lectures has quickly become my favourite part of Cannes. I love listening to each speaker’s take on the current state of the creative industry, where they believe it’s headed and how we must adapt in order to remain relevant. Although I have heard countless talks at this point on various different topics, I have pulled one common insight from each: taking a healthy amount of risk is critical for a truly innovative idea. One of my favourite phrases this week came from Tim Webber, Creative Director of Framestore, who created the technology and effects that made the award-winning movie, Gravity, possible. He said, ‘risk is the mother of innovation’ and urged us to not constrain our thinking when tackling big issues. I believe this is such a strong message as many of us, myself included, can tend to be blinded by the obstacles that lay ahead instead of focusing on the opportunity for true creativity and ingenuity that the problem provides.
This brings me to the Innovation Lions. I spent time going through each of the submissions in this category and what I found was that each truly thought outside the box and took risk when coming up with their idea. Some stop at ‘it can’t be done’ while others start there, and these Cannes Lion candidates definitely started at impossible. Here are a few of my most favourite:
I encourage you to look these projects up online to learn more. Each is a great example of truly innovative and inspiring ideas at play!