Patti Smith, Will.i.am, Nick Jonas, capuchin monkeys. All of them, apparently, have something to say about advertising and creativity today, as they’re all on the agenda at the industry’s biggest global creative event, the Cannes Lions.
Over the past several years, Cannes has gone from “spring break for ad creatives” to a more structured and serious forum on marketing and brand creativity (albeit one with Nick Jonas weighing in). Last year, Cannes also quietly rebranded itself from an advertising festival to a Festival of Creativity, to reflect the show’s, and the industry’s expanding mandate.
Fast Company will be on the ground in Cannes this year to make sense of it all, and to report on the state of global marketing and advertising today. We’ll be taking a look at the festival in the context of the post-advertising era, talking to creative and marketing players about how their companies, the work and the industry are evolving beyond traditional notions and forms of advertising and toward a broader creative imperative.
And of course we’ll look at the work as Cannes is, above all else, the industry’s most prestigious award show. And while some might argue that ad awards are becoming a less relevant way to evaluate the merits of brand creativity, that hasn’t dampened some agencies’ appetite for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get nominated — Cannes received a record 28,000 entries this year. The number of categories has also expanded — there are now 13, including the classics, Film, Press, Outdoor and (the hilariously named) Cyber, as well as newer groupings like Design, PR, and Effectiveness.