Cannes Lions is not the Oscars. But for us, it is. This is how it feels to go on stage.

Cannes Lions is a good thing.

And a necessary one. 
And it will not cease to exist. 
Whoever hops on or off the festival.

Advertising will not cease to exist
In fact, advertising is going to grow exponentially because there is more and more media every single day. Everything is becoming media. Soon, our own bodies will be a media outlet.

Whenever that time arrives and interfaces become part of us through prostheses, wearables and neuro-laces, brands are going to, sooner or later, have the possibility to interact directly with our bodies.

There is no point in opposing advertising. Nor is it fair.
Because advertisement pays for all the content you enjoy for free.
Advertisement is a quid pro quo.
Cannes Lions, as any of the other festivals, is the organic offspring of an industry that lives by making other industries famous. Sooner or later, that ability was going to be used to make agencies themselves famous.
To me, it even seems in bad taste to criticize Cannes in June when so many of our colleagues who worked so hard (first creating a good idea, then convincing the client to produce it, and finally going out and looking for budgets or favors to produce and submit the case), are hitting the stage to receive their Lions.
Their compensation.
The only one, practically, that exists these days in an industry demolished by startups, innovators, new technologies, new customers, new fees, new business models, disintermediation, influencers, and almost whoever comes along.

(It was obvious this was going to happen, there was a lot of money at stake and the advertising industry had been blessed with endogamy for a long time, without the risk of anyone from the outside getting their hands on their plate).

Winning at Cannes is difficult and worth a lot. 
Less and less in a literal way and more in a symbolic one, but winning at Cannes deserves to be celebrated. 
Cannes deserves to be celebrated.

We the mad men and woman are unbearably exaggerated, and go from one end to the other about almost everything. Twenty years ago we were desperate because except for Creatives, nobody cared about Cannes nor festivals in general. Now that we have Presidents, Nobel laureates, the most famous singers and actors, opinion leaders, technology gurus, and almost anyone we want at Cannes coming to tell us what they think and where the world is going, now that we’ve got the world’s biggest clients sending their whole global marketing teams to France, for an entire week, just to listen and applaud us all when we take the stage, now that even some of them have found a natural connection between Lions and the commercial efficiency of their brand, now, right now, we want to destroy it.

Cannes was not great before and is bad now.
What’s happening here is very simple: this industry had a lot of money and is now very “poor”.
Faced with a declining business and with no clue about the future, Cannes became expensive for CFOs who can no longer pay the bills.
This has to do with CFOs, make no mistake.
It has nothing to do with large global clients or advertising agencies.
Let’s not be stunned by the bipolarity and desperation of big financial networks that last year asked you to bring in 5 Lions and now tell you that you will not be able to submit work.

You have to take it lightly, the same way David’s team did, who brought little crowns to Cannes to pimp their Burger King Lions (damn is that having confidence in yourself or what? — funnily enough, they only brought 20 crowns, and after the third night of award galas, they run out).

Because this is a game.

And it is now, practically, the only incentive in a business in which clients pay less and less, in which people criticize brands more and more, and in which virtually no young talent wants to work anymore.

If we kill Cannes Lions, what’s left over?
What stimuli, what lure or what aspiration can we have?
More money? 
We all know money is not coming back -at least, not to this business model.

Yes, the festivals and particularly Cannes are going through an inflationary process today. There is a lot of doping and a lot of artificially fattened cows, because the festivals, and especially Cannes, became an ISO in the face of a devastating reality: given the possibility to choose between an agency with a 200- people- overhead — that needs a month to deliver a video content that generates 5k of organic views — , or an influencer who creates content in a week, integrates creativity, production and distribution, and generates 5M of organic views, brands do not hesitate whom to choose.

But that’s another topic.

The fact that there are too many categories, too many Lions, too many parties, and too much drunkenness is, also, another issue.
Open the frame, please. Zoom out the situation. 
The world has become a hyperbole itself, in which societies died of hunger before and die from overweight today. 
What is wrong is not Cannes. 
The problem goes deeper
Let’s not spit into the sky. Let’s not kill the postman.

Cannes Lions is a good thing.
And it’s necessary.
And it will not cease to exist.
Whoever hops on or off the festival.

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