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Cannes Musings: Do what you can’t and do what you can as well

Gopa Kumar, Executive Vice-President, Isobar, writes how learning and unlearning continues on Day 2. There were multiple sessions but like life it’s all about prioritising and making a choice and he did just that and threw light on some gyan from the festival

It was Day 2 at Cannes Lions. I feel the festival really started picking up steam today. While the first day was all about soaking it in and getting to blend in the overall atmosphere, on the second day you see lot more people and delegates across the streets, bars and restaurants. Palais was buzzing to say the least.

As I mentioned yesterday, with so many tracks happening simultaneously, it’s difficult to keep pace at the festival and it so happens that there are multiple tracks that you would like to attend. But like life, it’s all about prioritising and making it to the one you want to hear the most, you do make a choice. But this year, the Cannes organisers have done one good thing; you can view the tracks online while you are waiting for the other tracks to happen or later on in the official Cannes Lions app. So one is cued on to most of the important stuff all the time.

So to the most important part once again; my take away or highlights from Day 2.

One of the better sessions of the day was by Younghee Lee of Samsung and Malcolm Poynton of Cheil who explained why ‘technology will not lead to the downfall of creativity’. It was an interesting talk on how tech and creative are at intersections and we are at the age where both are important and complementary. All this fear of technology being the death knell for creativity is really unfounded. There were three tips to marketers to be ahead of the curve – one to spot the trends, second to predict what’s ahead and third to help the society. The session was interspersed with showcase of lots of creative and tech work by Samsung and its agency Cheil globally. The mantra or the single message one could take out of this presentation was “Do what you can’t and do what you can as well.”

Another interesting talk which I attended was the presentation and talk by Hearts and Science CEO and Tristian Harris (Former Googler) on ‘Consumers in the age of attention Armageddon’. The talk was more about this day and age of attention maximisation and how all these platforms are creating environments specifically designed to lure users into and endless pursuit of validation. The whole talk rallied around that everyone needs to work towards putting these mobile apps and platforms back on the ethical and moral path. The scary picture painted was really thought-provoking and urged everyone to take action.

Some of the other notable presentations of the day were by the Youtube CEO and the CDO of Loreal on how brands can be built through video and also engaged audiences at scale.

‘Think like a toddler’ was another interesting joint presentation for the day by CEO of 360i, Sarah Hofsetter and Mondelez CMO North America, Jason Levine. The session explored the way in which one can cultivate a growth mindset before it is too late and how one can view any challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow and this was brought to life by creating an analogy with how kids think and make things happen as they are fearless.

The last two tracks of the day on the ‘Ethics of AI’, which delved on how AI will change how we work, interact and how to have potential to transform the society at large and the other one was talk by the President and COO of a brand named Glossier. In just three years and with just 24 products, it has become one of the biggest disruptors of the beauty industry with huge growth figures. It was an inspiring talk on how brands need to engage with millennials and how to keep up with customers.

After too much of gyaan for the entire day, much needed respite was required, hence the Sundowner party at the DAN Beach house was really refreshing and also a great opportunity to meet colleagues and business partners across the globe and talk about the kind of work they are doing in their markets.

All in all, a very enriching Day 2 at Cannes, where learning and unlearning continues. The festival is all about having fun, listening, absorbing the gyaan and taking pride in the work and also celebrating great work.

Here is to more inspiration on Day 3 at Cannes!

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