Claire Davidson on the Cannes Lions Festival seminars: Day 4 with Richard Curtis, Sir John Hegarty, Julia Louis-Dreyfus + Kim Kardashian

ClaireDavidson_day4.jpgClaire Davidson is back in Cannes taking in the seminars and reporting for Campaign Brief Asia. Here's her round up of the speaker sessions on Day 4 of the Festival.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
It's Day 4 already.  Wow.  The week has been racing along at a furious pace.  There is just so much going on, and I really want to soak up as much as possible.  I'm just going to centre myself in the middle of all of this creative energy and become a complete sponge.

First up for me today was the all important '#WEHAVEAPLAN 7 Billion People 7 Days".  This was brought to us by a stellar line up:  Richard Curtis, Filmmaker, Humanitarian and Campaigner, Sir John Hegarty, Founder and Creative of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), Mariella Frostrup, Journalist, TV and Radio Presenter, Freida Pinto, Actress and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Actor.
Today's session was about how cinema can assist in creating social change.  With backing from the United Nations #WEHAVEAPLAN is a 60 second commercial being created for Project Everyone.  This will be the first ever global cinema campaign.  On September 25th this year, the UN will launch their new Global Goals to 7 billion people in 7 days and this campaign is the axis for this.  It will see it also shown to the 193 world leaders at the UN summit in New York at this time.

The aim is to make the most famous 'to do' list ever, and the call for action is to then bring about the delivery of basic human rights, a route out of poverty and a sustainable future for billions of people around the world.  It's to end injustice, end poverty, and bring about climate change.  Project Everyone wants to make sure everyone on the planet knows about this new list.  It will be a plan for the planet that appeals to every person on the planet, and that every person can act on.  It will give people a sense of their rights, and know what they can fight for.

Cinema is a canvas for big ideas.  It can capture an audience's attention like no other medium.  This will be a shared common experience.  When people are entertained and engaged, they listen.

ClaireCannesDay4_L1000565.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000568.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000569.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000574.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000581.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000577.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000599.jpgWe have the ability as individuals to change the life of other individuals.  2015 is THE time for global action for people and planet.

I then went off to a Master Class to partake in "Why Bravery, Belief and Being Underestimated Will Fuel Your Brand (And Your Career)" which was hosted by Wendy Clark, President, Sparkling Brands and Strategic Marketing of Coca Cola, North America.

Given all of the hardships that circle us constantly in today's ever changing landscape and over saturated world of communication, we don't have to run and hide thinking that it's just all too overwhelming.  Really we should be sitting up and rethinking, reconsidering and creating new and better outcomes.

Creativity matters.  It's a business lever for us.  We looked at how bravery, being underestimated and belief fall into this.

Bravery is such a big word.  You can't say it inconsequentially.  We looked at Coke Zero.  Poor Coke Zero takes a back seat at Coca Cola.  Two thirds of people who drink brands from Coca Cola haven't tried Coke Zero.  Once they do though, they have a 50%-60% repeat drinker.  We checked out case studies for Coke Zero campaigns to see how the company went about reaching Coke Zero audiences, such as their 'Taste It' drinkable campaign.  They even broke Shazam, when asked to drink.  Watch out Kim Kardashian.  Bravery is having a point of view, it's about stating that point of view, putting actions against that point of view and being able to do it in light of the fact that it might be easier not to.  Bravery is resisting the status quo.  You must constantly push forward.  You can be a worse them or a better you.  You must be relentlessly curious.  A relevant quote from Samuel Johnson is "curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect".  It's also so important to be passionate.  Maya Angelou summed it up brilliantly with "my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style".

Being Underestimated.  Coke is also the largest juice company in the world.  We looked at Minute Maid's 'You're doing better than you think' very successful and very emotional campaign.  Leap over thresholds.  The very best thing you can do is be underestimated, because this will make you want to outperform people.  Use it as energy.  Use it as fuel.  Don't get mad.  Think of it as 'game on'.  Do not resist it.  Embrace it.

Belief.  Another key tool.  We looked at Coke's classic 44 year old Hilltop campaign, and how it was re-used at the end of Mad Men series 7. Ooh... hello Don Draper.  This ran in the last sixty seconds of the series, and there was a big belief in the partnership.  Coke honoured their view on this rather than over-publicizing it.  Belief is one of the most powerful leadership tools that we have.  "A shared belief is fuel for the soul.  Henry Ford told us "whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right".  We're no good as a collective unless we individually believe.  It's a quiet, humble confidence that people can feel in you.  When you have that confidence you can inspire others, and that's how we come together as a collective.  No one has a corner on the smarts.  A great idea can come from anywhere.

Clark left us with a quote from John Quincy Adams "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader".

I had hoped to catch "Game Show Theory:  The Secret to Successful Campaigns" to see how the theory behind the ultimate game show can be applied to the theory behind the ultimate advertising campaign BUT...  it was full.  Everyone lined up super duper early to get in to see Kim Kardashian, who was up afterwards.  No seats available...  even trying to get in an hour before Kim was to come on stage.  Kardashian may well break the Palais Des Festivals today with so many bums on seats.

So I then sprinted across the other side of the Palais Des Festivals to catch "A Political Address From The Queen of Comedy" with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Actress, Comedian and Producer.  Joining Louis-Dreyfus on stage was Christiane Amanpour, Host and Chief International Correspondent, CNN, Richard Plepler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HBO and Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner Inc.

Today was about the power of political satire.  Everything in the process of politics is changing.  We took a look into Veep, Louis-Dreyfus's current show on HBO.  Plepler tells us that we're only as good as the people who come to work with us.  HBO and their shows are as good as they are due to their writers, their actors, their producers.  This leads to shows becoming part of the conversation.

Politics is the business of selling a brand.  Veep shows the process of what goes on in front of the curtain, and also what goes on behind the curtain.  The show is able to tackle issues such as gun control, corruption, gender inequality and abortion that punctuate the hypocrisy behind the current process in government, with the intention of doing it without necessarily taking republic or democratic sides.  It's non-partisan content, talking about the silliness of American politics.  First and foremost the aim is to entertain.  It's a way to break through to younger audiences.  Well they certainly had me laughing a lot during the many clips we watched, despite not being part of their younger audience.

Afterwards I was able to sneakily catch Kim Kardashian after all.  Today we heard from Kim Kardashian the business woman, rather than Kim Kardashian the reality TV star.  The forum topic was "Hollywood and Trends In Digital Storytelling" which was also brought to us by Chris Duffey, SVP Group Creative Director of Sudler and Niccolo de Masi, Chairman and Chief Creative Office of Glu. Today we discussed the game partnership between Kardashian and Glu. Kim Kardashian: "Hollywood is a transmedia experience that pushes gaming beyond basic storytelling".

The point of the game is that you want to make it in Hollywood.  You want to be on that A List.  In one year it's already in 155 countries, with gamers spending 26 minutes per day on average playing it, which is extraordinary engagement.  Kim tells the story through the game as well as narrative, and narrative decision making on other levels.  It's a merge of pop culture, fashion, branded experiences and even comedy in a digital world.  It's an interactive application.  Real life and virtual life is intertwined into the game, which engages the audience and the player.  It's brought a lot of non-gamers to the medium.

Kim Kardashian.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000584.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000601.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000590.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000595.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000596.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000605.jpgClaireCannesDay4_L1000613.jpgBrands too integrate into the game, such as fashion collections (including the Kardashian Kollection of course!), hair care and make up lines. Karl Lagerfeld has just signed up today.  Kim may wear a dress in the real world, and then she'll be wearing in the game, allowing players to post the comparisons.  When Kim is on holiday in Mexico in real life, the player can be in Mexico with her.  The game is constantly updated with Kim's schedule so that it remains current.  It allows also interaction between the Kim and the game makers with their game players.  The Kim Kardashian:  Hollywood game is just another platform where Kim can intertwine the Kim Kardashian brand with and into the world.

Kim tells us to be authentic, regardless of the medium you are promoting your product on.  Don't be fake and over promotional.  Hmm... Stay true to yourself and what you want.  Engage and interact with your audience.  Perseverance and authenticity are key.  She did mention that she may post a few too many bikini selfies, but that's just her...

After Kim I went to see another Master Class on "Why Advertising (Alone) Won't Get You Too Far" with PJ Pereira, Chief Creative Officer of Pereira & O'Dell.  Often advertising is not enough.  Successful campaigns often come from, or offer something else. They offer something more. Pereira's interest in literature, technology and martial arts made a difference to his career. I think we should sit up and take note. Pereira is, after all, a winner of four Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a whopping forty other Lions.

If you have a good reason for something you are going to make it work.  Stretch your muscles and scratch your brain.

A random user at Quora asked 'will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one, and can put in the necessary work required?' The answer is to choose one thing and become a master of it. Choose a second thing and become a master of that too.  When you become a master of two worlds you can bring them together.  You will have a competitive advantage because you can move between two worlds.  Connect tribes.  Mash elements.  Create fresh insights.  Technology and advertising = Interactive advertising.

Pereira has written three books, and so he uses advertising and literature together.  He has found that fear is everywhere.  It takes time.  There is always someone to dislike.  Create momentum.  Every storyteller should spend time with fans.  Prepare for different levels of geekiness.  Opinions are built through their timeline.  Making is very rewarding.  Characters are fun.  Short is stronger.  Long is deeper.  (snigger snigger, mind out of the gutter, Davidson!)  Diversity is the mother of creativity.  You need to stand out.  What is it in your life that you are so passionate about that you would spend 10,000 hours devoted to, so that you could then combine it with your job to create something extraordinary?

It's time to head outside.  We're on the lookout for a tired and sweaty group of riders in tight red lycra jerseys as the FireFlies are due to roll into town today.

In 2001, Sandy Watson Scott (then Head of TV, M&C Saatchi) together with various co-founders established The Fireflies Tour; a cycling fraternity committed to raising money for the Hammersmith Hospital, London, renowned as a world leader in treatment of Leukaemia and cancers of the blood.

Every year amateur riders from AdLand and Film Production take up the challenge to cycle the most punishing climbs of the Tour de France; inspired by the courage it takes to fight cancer.  Their motto is FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER WE RIDE.  Thanks in part to international media industry sponsors, to date the Fireflies have raised over £1.8 million.

In February this year, the FireFlies launched an Antipodean tour; riding from Christchurch to Queenstown in New Zealand.  The tour, headed up by The Sweet Shop's own Wilf Sweetland, covered 800kms over six long and tough days, raising money for the Snowdome Foundation and their own fight against Blood Cancers.

Once again this European Summer, the FireFlies have covered an impressive 1000+km across the Alps from Lake Geneva to Cannes, riding over 18 mountains in just 8 days.

I'll bet their calf muscles are ginormous.

And their tan lines will be shocking.

Which is a big no no in this glamorous part of the world.

I will suggest they switch their sporty jerseys for scanty swimwear, and get to the 'Official' Cannes Lions Beach ASAP.

Claire Davidson, Managing Director & Executive Producer - ASIA + MENA @ The Sweet Shop, reporting for Campaign Brief Asia at Cannes Lions 2015.

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