My Cannes highlights: Karen See

KarenSee_Keith Reinhard.jpgCampaign Brief Asia asked Cannes Lions delegates to nominate their highlights of the week. As Chief Communications officer for DDB Group Asia Pacific, Karen See is responsible for developing the communications and public relations strategy for the network. With a role that spans 33 agencies across 14 countries, she also manages DDB's regional creative council. Here's her highlights of the Festival this year.
To begin, I will start at the end. On the last night of the festival, I had dinner with the BackPacker intern, Mark van der Heijden. It was a rare opportunity of quiet following a jam-packed week of inspiring Cannes moments. We talked about his life, serendipity, and how it's all led to Wanderbrief. Just hours before, Mark was interviewed by the legendary Keith Reinhard, DDB Worldwide's Chairman Emeritus, a true gentleman and one of the last Mad Men of our times (see pic above).
KarenSee_pic2.jpgAt the end of the session, we held DDBingo - a raffle to giveaway books, backpacks and an internship at DDB China Group in Shanghai!

The crowd went nuts and thinking back on the reaction, I feel for the speaker that followed.
(Picture right: (L-R) Richard Tan, President & CEO of DDB China Group, Mark van der Heijden, the backpacker intern, Amir Kassaei, Chief Creative Officer, DDB Worldwide and Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide choosing the winner for the internship in China.)
KarenSee_pic3.jpgTAKE TWO
My friends' facebook profiles have been decorated with the colours of the rainbow as the US Supreme Court's decision trends across the world. I am pleased that the Lions Festival is also starting to make its mark in advancing diversity by this year introducing the Glass Lion along side the 'See it Be if' Program.
We are only scratching the surface of what is a global issue, and I have been having many inspiring conversations on how we celebrate talented 'people' - who just happen to be a women. A nod to the movement is the PR Grand Prix winner, "Always #Likeagirl: Turning an Insight Into a Confidence Moment".

Creating an impact with men, women, boys and girls, I hope one day soon 'run like a girl' will mean to try as hard as you can to win, as they did the other night. (The Gender Equality flag flies high in Cannes against a sea of blue).
KarenSee_pic4.jpgTAKE THREE
And speaking of inspiring women, I was invited to a special lunch hosted by Laura Gregory (pictured on right, with Karen) and her greatguns team.

A private pop up kitchen by Chef Maria Elia, it was a lovely afternoon of wining, dining and thought provoking conversation that moved from road rage in Moscow (I was sitting next to Ilya Naishuller of bad motherfucker fame), Monica Lewinsky (a disturbing conversation with an American), and great work for good (sitting across from Andy Fackrell, Regional CD of DDB Group Asia Pacific and a crusader for the environment).
KarenSee_pic6.jpgTAKE FOUR
Cheering on the DDB China and Vietnam teams in their pursuit of Lions in theI nnovation category. The first for themselves and for their countries, it was a very proud moment to see such simple ideas, 'Clean Air in the Box' and 'Kinetic Energy Shoe' can make such dramatic differences to people's lives. (Pic: John Sampson, ECD of DDB Group Vietnam and Karen standing next to the shortlisted work, 'Kinetic Energy Shoe').
KarenSee_pic7.jpgTAKE FIVE
I have a favourite restaurant hidden away from the madness of the Croisette that I visit each year, Il Teatro (Rue de Gambres). While having a quiet drink, the waiter asked me to sign a photo - it was of me from my last visit that has been pinned to the wall! Flattered, I obliged (left).
IlTeatro is where the Backpacker Intern and I had dinner, and the waiter proudly showed us the new addition to his wall (below).

A lovely way to finish off my week of special moments at the Cannes Lions Festival.

Karen See is Chief Communications Officer at DDB Group Asia Pacific.


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