Cannes Experience Much More Than A Lion

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On Saturday night in Cannes, the final Lions were handed out. You can read all about that here. It as a long ceremony. Longer than it should have been according to those with whom we spoke. There's the feeling Cannes Lions is doing a wee bit of gouging to up revenues by adding additional category after category. We'll let others debate that because this is a happy place and we like to talk about happy things.

Speaking of happy, the Lions Closing Gala was held Saturday night following the Awards ceremony. As with the Opening Gala, the event was help at Carlton Beach. It was the usual lavish affair with more food than anyone in attendance could possibly have eaten. And there was the wonderment of being together for the last time with close friends and those met just this week.

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At the Gala, there were the annual fireworks which were spectacular enough to be categorized as Jul4th-quality by some. Fireworks then gave way to dancing and dancing gave way to, well, use your imagination.

The infamous Tractor party was held last night as well and by the looks of the door (yes, it was just about the only party all week we didn't get into) it was the sort of party where the personal bubble is immediately popped and one's personal space becomes everyone's space. In other words, a sweat fest.

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And what would the last night in Cannes be without a final visit to the Gutter Bar? As always, it was in the gutter but it was a tad more subdued than the prior night. No doubt, some folks had already left town to re-enter their normal lives after partying for a week.

We're going to miss the Dutch Young Creatives. What a fun bunch of people. They arrived on a bus. They had a great party. And they're just all around nice people. And they don't where scarfs. Just what, exactly, is up with men wearing scarfs in the middle of summer? Yea, we get that it's a fashion thing but it just screams, "I'm trying WAY too hard to be really, really cool." It just looks stupid.

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There were some wonderful sessions at Cannes this year including the talk given by Malcolm Gladwell who argued being third is better than being first, Robert Redford dishing on sex and the passion of persistence, Facebook's Carolyn Everson talking about how the social network (a term she doesn't use to describe Facebook) is aking to word of mouth on steroids, Crispin Porter + Bogusky espousing the benefits of "delusional positivity"and an in-depth analysis on whether or not the sex sells approach works on monkeys.

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There were amusing moments such as when Jeffrey Katzenberg dropped an iPad porn joke on Martin Sorrell, Lions talking about which brands they'd hop into bed with, one word expressionism at the Gutter Bar and Naked's Jon Wilkins finding a penis in his hand.

The best part of Cannes though, by far, is finally meeting and/or spending time with people you may have known or worked with for many years but have never physically met. It's just heartwarming to finally meet people whom you've become very close with digitally. Cannes brings together the global advertising industry for one week each year and in that one week, the level of learning, inspiration and connection is unlike anything you can experience anywhere else. We truly hope to see you again next year in Cannes.

by Steve Hall    Jun-26-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Industry Events   

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