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  • AutorenbildThe New Now

Cannes? Cannes! Access is key.

The Cannes Lions festival´s 65th edition is around the corner and it will be a fresh start within an approved environment. It will be a blast again and the general quality will improve according to Christian Gleich, Head of Innovation at The New Now, a holistic agency-consultancy focusing on convergent brand experiences which is attending the Lions yet again.

So you hate Cannes, ads, the Marketing industry and networking anyway?

Ok, fair enough, please go ahead there´s nothing to see here for you.

Oh, you´re still here?! So you´re curious?!

That´s what Cannes and the Lions festival is all about: curiosity.

This year´s 65th edition, being held from June 18-22, sparks interest from agencies, Ad Tech vendors, free thinkers and visionaries yet again.

The festival was being declared dead by many of the ad industry last year. The withdrawal of Publicis’ Groupe (who plan to be back 2019), general cost level discussions around the festival and an excessive party situation in 2016 (I was there and it wasn´t really quite like what the reports said) have hurt the reputation badly.

Moreover in 2017 the main discussion was if creativity really only happens (and can happen at all) behind closed doors within the Palais of the festival while companies of the Ad Tech ecosystem are a closed group outside of the festival, meeting their peers mainly on yachts and in the hotel business suites along the Croisette.

Shouldn´t they mix and mingle and cooperate?

That´s exactly one of the most crucial changes we will see in 2018:

Besides chit-chat relating to the long-awaited shortlists for each of the awards most delegates will have in-depth discussions around topics such as AI, Blockchain for IP and automation in the creativity process in general for the first time. Especially the creative folks have learned that they will be left behind if they don´t at least relate to these trends.

That will deliver the basis for first contacts between creative and tech people even from different organizations.

That´s exactly why THE NEW NOW will attend Cannes Lions.

As a holistic agency-consultancy focusing on convergent brand experiences we´re combining the streams and topics of the fragmented Marketing landscape.

THE NEW NOW is a lively hub at the interface between the thematic areas of Digitalization, Sales and Innovation & Change Management.

We are a crystallization point for new ideas, Innovation Management and the implementation of interdisciplinary projects.

​Thus creativity within holistic digital projects as well as being a think tank on the crossroads of offline & online, startups & corporates and campaigns & partnerships lies in our DNA.

So meeting THE NEW NOW will generate new ideas as well as new opportunities for partnerships and at the end of the day lead to great conversations, planning and...a bit of partying as well. Meet us, we´re open to meet interesting people and companies.

Pic by Mondial Trends / Matilda Olori

And, that´s an appeal to every delegate: be as open as possible.

Diversity and (gender) equality will -again- play a big role in Cannes. So take the chance to network, talk and laugh with all different genders and not exclusively with your own. It could be beneficial, ever thought about that?

To add to these cultural developments the Cannes Lions organizing and owning company Ascential took responsibilty for further modifications, improving the overall festival compared to the recent years.

Among those changes in 2018 at Cannes Lions: • Three of the Lions awards are being retired (Cyber, Integrated, Promo & Activation), while five new Lions are being added (Social & Influencer, Brand Experience & Activation, Creative eCommerce, Industry Craft,

Sustainable Development Goals).

• More than 120 award subcategories are being removed.

• The 2018 festival will run for only five days (Monday to Friday, June 18-22) instead of eight days during recent years. • The cost of a complete delegate pass is being cut by €900 (but is still €3249 + TVA).

• The jury´s points system for evaluating award entries is changing to further prioritize winning a Lion over getting shortlisted. • Lions Entertainment and Lions Innovation programmes are going to be integrated into the main festival, which is only a logic step. • Ascential, the festival´s operator, has carved out cost-saving benefits together with the city of Cannes, such as a freeze on hotel prices for 2018 and fixed-price menus (€20 & €30) at more than 50 restaurants across the city. For those not familiar with Cannes’ price level: that´s dirt-cheap!

All in all the understanding of the zeitgeist is clearly accentuated by the Cannes Lions organizers.

Finally, the big question is: what keeps thousands of delegates coming back to Cannes each and every year to experience all that ballyhoo even if they may not be one of those prestigious award winning prospects? Well, besides weather, top-notch parties and the Rosé cliché it´s networking on the highest level and learning from and with the best.

You will find all the C-suite superstars and celebrities from top rated agencies to global brands as well as much-promising startup founders, unicorns and up-and-coming tech giants still in stealth mode – mostly from the AI and Marketing automation space these days. They´re either the person right next to you (so you better know faces!) or you approach them friendly after their talks and attract their attention.

Pic by

Thus my advice to Cannes newbies is to attend the appropriate talks, keynotes and panels for your business to obtain a deeper insight. But also check out the sessions you are simply curious about, that´s the way to learn new, interesting, useful details.

And last but not least:

Try to visit the most-promising parties (as to rumours) – be it on yachts or poolside in villas! You will find very interesting people there, plus a bit of Rosé... Take the chance and open a conversation, it will surely be an eye-opener.

So the golden rules, in particular valid for Cannes:

- Access is key.

- Quick, accurate and relevant elevator pitch.

- No bullshit (except: fake it to perfection).

- Timing is everything. Days (and nights) are long but you don´t want to be stuck on a second class party.

- Make your delegate pass be worthwile, it´s costly enough and you want to bring home some business, right?

See you in Cannes, just keep an eye out for the golden sneakers.


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