Paul Yole's Cannes Diary: Day three

Paul Yole_Cannes 2.jpg Paul Yole has written for the Campaign Brief Asia Cannes blog for the last seven years. He's at it again this year.

This is the busiest Cannes I can remember. With a reported 12,000 delegates and at least as many again just here for the ride, you're never short of company. Even when you don't want it.

But moving a lot of the seminars from the Debussy Theatre to the much larger Grand Auditorium means I haven't had to miss a session this year due to capacity problems.

The auditorium was packed for the visit of fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood, on stage with Sapient Nitro Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Gaston Legoburu.

The theme of the day was storytelling and while this has been a well-worn path at Cannes over the years I found that this session did at least provide some fresh insights and practical ideas. Not to mention some inspirational words from Dame Vivienne.
Gaston opened by taking us through Sapient's proprietary 'Storyscape' model, which involves story systems rather than just story lines. He pleaded (at length) for marketers to avoid just telling stories but rather to make them in a way that their customers can experience the brand and feel part of the story.

It was an interesting perspective, albeit perhaps a bit of a plug for Gaston's new book to be released later this year.

Vivienne Westwood completely took over when she joined Gaston on stage. It was obvious that Gaston was struggling to keep to his script but the audience just wanted to hear Vivienne's very articulate and passionate views about government, culture and anarchy.

She talked a lot about culture and made reference to Matthew Arnold's 1869 piece on culture and anarchy in which he defined culture as "the pursuit of our perfection by means of knowing everything that has been said and thought and shown in the world."

Vivienne asked us to try to be our 'best self' more than our 'ordinary self'. Politicians, she asserted, pander only to people's ordinary selves, which are influenced too much by superficial and selfish motives.

She talked about how ideas must come from understanding the past and in order to do that we need to read more, get out more and study art, music and culture.

"Your idea must be a real, true idea. Fight for it and you'll see how everything is connected."

It's a good template for anyone in advertising.

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