‘Battle of the Cannes 2015’


Firstly a special congratulations goes to Heineken for winning creative marketer of the year.

It’s been a week and a half since I returned from Cannes, which seems like a lifetime ago now. Whether that’s to do with the freak tropical weather that’s made Euston feel more like the Rivera and frazzled my brain is open to question.

After fighting tooth and claw at St Luke’s premiere ‘Battle of the Cannes’ my chosen case study Huggies: Meeting Murilo pulled the final emotional winning punch in the room. Stunned, my hand thrust high in the air, a cuddly lion and a celebratory bottle stuffed in the other. I was overwhelmed as the glittering confetti showered all around me in true gameshow style.


I’d won the lion’s share of a full six days at Cannes Lions 2015 with access to as many talks and seminars I could get my derriere on a plush red seat at. Included was all expenses paid flights and 3* hotel accommodation with Cannes parties thrown in as the proverbial cherry on top.


Setting aside the roaring rose soaked, party animal nature of the beast that is Cannes Lions. I really wanted to get to the heart of what it’s meant to be about: Creativity. After all I felt it my duty to report back to St Luke’s with my daily findings not my daily alcohol intake.


‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’ to quote Einstein and that’s the stance I like to take in the industry I’m part of. I want to do work that ‘feeds my soul rather than my ego’ to quote speaker Jessica Walsh that can seize our notorious industry. After seeing the excess of the after awards where ‘Admen of old’ guzzle Rose bottles the size of small children. It jars with the continually positive focus for world change that is emerging from Cannes Lions and the fresh perspective that is pumping the festival’s veins.


Cannes Lions is changing due to the impact social media has on brands, meaning they have nowhere to hide. Transparently, honesty and responsibility is key for positive brand building. To quote Pharrell Williams who spoke at Cannes ‘Make sure the ingredients of your intention are pure. The audience is very savvy.’


After my pre Cannes chat to the agency with lion bars (of course), my hourly reports on social and my scheduled ‘Lion’s LIVE Lunch’. I came back to present the Grand Prix winning work and my findings. Below is my rough formula for producing creative Cannes winning work to be proud of:

1. Make it worthy

2. Match innovation with simplicity

3. Surprise your audience

4. Relevance is everything

5. Co-create

6. Take social responsibilty

7. Give yourself goosebumps

Breathing in the heady Nice air before I took my last step on French soil to board the plane; I realised how fortunate I was for this opportunity. I thank all those that voted for my ‘Battle of the Cannes’ case study. Next year I hope more of us from St Luke’s will be there to witness the astounding creative and forward thinking ideas that are showcased alongside the inspiring talks by world-renowned speakers.


Be ready Cannes Lions 2016, St Luke’s is on its way and next time they’ll be more of us…


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