A disappointing Cannes 2014

Author: Luc Malcorps

Translation of the opinion piece, by David Grunewald, Head of Holistic Strategy Emakina, published in PUB News – Communication – 23/06/2014

The Cannes Lions Festival is an annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of our profession. It is an opportunity to reward the best campaigns in the world, but also to think about the future of our industry on the basis of a series of inspiring seminars.

And yet the 2014 edition of the Cannes Lions leaves us with a bitter aftertaste

And then I‘m not even talking about the poor outcome of the Belgian participants, who returned home with just seven lions, compared to 25 in 2013 ! But all the more about the catastrophic level of the proposed seminar programme


The past three years we were showered with visionary talks that focused on the evolution of our business model, the innovations in the agency world and  new consumer trends

This year however, we were witness to utterly uninspiring presentations with overblown titles, that often were no more than poorfully dusguised promo talks. For example, on paper this seminar seemed highly promising: “Crowdsourcing & Gamification 2.0: User Engagement with a twist.” Yes, but no. This turned out to be nothing more than a sales presentation of the photo platform Pixxers!

In these “Stuffing-and-Puffing Presentationswe learned nothing, really, except that social media are important and brands matter and creativity remains the engine of our industry. Thank you so much! But wait a minute, we knew that already !


So who’s to blame?

Is it simply our industry that no longer knows how to question itself ? Are we in a business that no longer can inspire an audience about its development ? I doubt it, to be frank (This week Dentsu and the Japanese officeParty’ for instance delivered a very fresh vision on customer experiences”).

No, Mister Philip Thomas, this year YOU crossed the line.

Were the festival organizer and CEO Philip Thomas sucked up in a money spiral ? in one year, the number of seminars doubled. But the move went at the cost of quality. That went dramatically down.

So we’ve just about had it, this year, dear Philip Thomas. Please stop to stuff the programme with fluff and fodder, return to seminars with a vision that  inspire us to create more precise, targeted and efficient new campaigns and help advance our industry.

Emakina_Grunewald_DavidDavid Grunewald, Head of Holistic Strategy Emakina


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