Like Ships Passing In The Night — Perspectives on the scene and heard from Cannes Lions Entertainment 2016

Isobar Canada’s CCO, Kai Exos, shares his perspective of Cannes Lions 2016.

At this year’s pinnacle of ad festivals, a newly introduced two-day event closed out our week with a resounding boom of unskippable creativity. Exploring the pathways where crafted storytelling can elevate content into pop culture was surprisingly illuminating.

I say this because it surprised me. When asked, “Have you seen anything good?,” by a dozen of my network cohorts — last night in all their wristbanded glory of publisher parties and beachside DJ sets — my answer also surprised them.

Because industry events, in any almost every industry, are usually quite droll.

But here? The speakers were true to form with charm and authenticity oozing from writer-actor Mindy Kaling, music legend Gilles Peterson, and a handful of YouTubers. Truly, what made it so damned enjoyable for me is that the talks were curated to span all entertainment platforms.

Music, video, social and written content have all won at unlocking potential, backed by a likeminded brand. Because all brands have to tell their own stories to survive, too. That’s the same thing a creator will tell you of their own modus. In that sense, there’s a mutual benefit.

This entire week there were countless references to the brilliant vertically integrated besting showcased by the likes of 30 Rock, The LEGO Movie, and Bieber’s comeback. Massively risky, all, to be sure.

Agencies become co-creators to help do it right. Business objectives are always achievable when creative integrity stays intact. When each of the three prongs — that is, <brand> <agency> <creator>, helps to manage that shared risk between concept and success — we make better work.

What I loved most was a renewed collective energy for the future of entertainment. Moreover, what we can co-create with other artists and brands is a endless ocean of possibility. That’s a big thing to ponder during glasses of rosé and being on your best behavior since clients come to Cannes nowadays.

Carrying on, the notion of thousands of people at an international festival speaking the same language is kind of amazing, right? And it’s probably why everyone is so friendly outside in the bright, hot sun.

Kai Exos, Chief Creative Officer, Isobar Canada

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