After six days in the South of France, coming back to Brazil feels like a little bit of a creativity hangover. My head is full of information, references, ideas: all mixed. Now, it’s time to shake the glitter and organize every thought.
Waking up in Cannes is crazy. Everything happens in a different way there. Now, the memories keep coming back in a series of flashes. Unlike a trip to Las Vegas, the thing about going to Cannes is you come home wanting to share every detail of your experience.
To come back with a Lion in your luggage is not an easy thing. This year the festival received 41,170 entries across 24 categories. It’s almost a never-ending list of ideas that drives growth across multi-million dollar markets.
The moment I walked into the Palais des Festival—where everything happens—I understood this dynamic well. As the event goes, projects are being exposed, generating an expectation in the crowd and a wish to understand each of them better. Beyond the badges, everyone carries a certain wish: to win a Lion. And in order to do so you need to be relevant.
In my view, “Fearless Girl” was a big highlight. The statue of the young girl shows that we are walking towards a convergence of art and militancy in advertising. The idea took a genius form and it’s impossible not to get inspired by its simplicity.
The simplicity of thinking was another highlight. In a world of confusion, many voices and overdoing, simplicity brings so much attention. It’s exactly what we need. These ideas were not only lauded with awards, but also with important other accomplishments, like raising a debate.
“We Are The Superhumans,” “Strong Girls” and “Woman Interrupted” are also worth mentioning. These campaigns not only had innovative messaging but were clearly impactful, showing that the last few years and especially 2017 have been a (very) interesting moment for the advertising world.
Havas had its best performance ever, bringing 41 Lions home. This keeps me motivated and gives me the feeling that I can be the next creative to celebrate a win at Cannes. Who knows…the future can be gold (or silver, or bronze).
If someone ever tells you that Cannes looks like a movie set, believe it. The streets look as if every inch was designed to impress and make you feel like the main actor or actress in a French movie. The architecture is ‘oh so charming’ and will really liven up your Instagram posts. While you’re there, take a look at the details of every street. Observe, explore, register.
When it comes to food and good chats, Caffe Roma is a great place to bump into everyone from the advertising world and to taste authentic French dishes. New York New York is the perfect find when you start missing a steak with fries.
The food trucks by the beach were a nice find. Sometimes between panels you don’t find yourself with enough time to have a proper meal. I often chose something fast and easy several times over a fancier meal.
So if you don’t want to waste any second of your time: eat at one of the food trucks by the beach. Apart from having an amazing view and tanned people cruising around, you can eat all kinds of snacks with a particular French taste. Simply delicious.
Listen to what people have to say. During the festival, you must listen to the different narratives that will come to you from the inside or outside of the Palais. Everyone is very friendly and key to start conversations. One of the most important parts of the experience is to open yourself to the moment and forget the advice that your parents have always gave you: do talk to strangers.
In my chats, I was able to meet people from all over the world. Creative people from Portugal (Hi Monica!), India, America and from all around France. The creative universe is all united there for a common purpose and this something very special.
People talk about their work with passion. You end up learning more about the different work dynamics and how other agencies work around the globe. It’s fascinating.
“The New Tribes of Arabia” guided by Yousef Tuqan Tuqan is still in the back of my mind.
Over the years Tuqan has analyzed groups of young people in Saudi Arabia to understand their consuming habits. He is trying to deconstruct the western vision about the country and its ideas. Take a look on my Day 2 diary to find more about it.
For me the panels are the icing on the cake. They put you in front of different realities every hour. Watch the video from Mario’s Testino’s panel about his creations and see why sharing life stories its one of Cannes’ highlights.
Cannes nightlife is very diverse. You can have a glass of rosé at a corporate talk or dance all night listening to Brazilian funk music in a party full of young people (not that I did that…LOL). The options are plenty and everything becomes more interesting when the night falls – around 10 – and the city’s colorful lights are the stars between one event and another.
The overall conclusion from this story: I need to come back to Cannes next year. Young people need to fill up that place. There is so much to be seen, questioned and mostly: added to the festival.
At times advertising can be mostly sexist, misogynist and carries a pile of prejudice. But it’s undeniable that there is a movement towards change inside the advertising world and this is where we should focus: the good part.
I am thankful that I am part of a generation that is taking part in numerous activities. We are not just one thing: we are storytellers, photographers, trendsetters and infinite wishers—we are plural. That is why we need to take part in the festival, so our stories can be shared and can inspire new people. In the end, what happens in Cannes doesn’t have to stay in Cannes.