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Creativity & Brand - a recap from Cannes unCanned

Updated: Aug 28

With this year’s Cannes Lions Festival cancelled, Cannes have gone digital! As there were so many interesting sessions to watch, we compiled the top learnings and highlights from some of the best speakers.


This week's summary captured a few of the talks that specifically focused on creativity and brand. Hopefully everyone reading this will appreciate the impact that strong brands and clever advertising can have. As discussed in this article innovative brands and powerful creative can change the way people talk about minorities, think about politics, perceive the arts and progress the way we deliver future communications.

So, what did our three Cannes Panels have to say about creative and brand?


First, we tuned into ‘In-Conversation with David Droga’ – founder of Droga5. Here are 5 things we took from his conversation

1. We're moving back to a world where we need to do what it says on the tin... sincerity goes further than perfection. Can't help but think this brings those lofty brand purposes into question.

2. We hope people come to agencies for creativity, but they stay for the strategy. It's about being honest about what your agency is great at and knowing why people buy/stay with you.

3. Holding companies will dramatically change. Is advertising over? No. Is the model broken? Yes. It's time for agencies to rethink how they operate and deliver value for clients and customers.

4. AI is intelligent, but it will never replace the imagination and emotion we have... I have to believe that. Creativity is the last great bastion / defendable form of intellectual property.

5. We like to try and codify creative... 'a big idea is THIS' It's not. A big idea is anything that has a big impact.’There is no need to make creative fit into a box.

Click here to watch the full-length conversation > Watch now


Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash


We also tuned into ‘The Brand is Back!’ a panel with Pia Chaudhuri (GCD, BMF) Carmela Soares (Creative Strategist, Facebook) & Tara Ford (CCO, DDB Sydney).

1. Great lines aren’t just lines

Big brands need to make sure that their great lines aren’t just lines – they need to reflect the brand principles and what it stands for.

These brands also need to be careful that lines like these aren’t just used everywhere, they need to be locally relevant or made locally relevant in each market.

2. Don’t change things for the sake of it

Companies should be conscious of not changing things for the sake of it. Memory structures benefit from long term repetition, and if the communications still have meaning they shouldn’t be thrown out on a whim. This is often not helped by short term brand/agency relationships.

The general population usually takes a lot longer to be bored of a good identity/line than we do, we sit and work with it every day, they don’t.

3. Shorter & quicker can be harder

We aren’t just competing with more ads, we are competing with more news, more memes, more Kardashians.

That said, short sharp meaningful moments have always been key, a billboard has always been about 6 words.

4. Meaningful set of value cut through, not a USP

Tesla grabbed people by talking about changing the world, not talking about electric cars.

Click here to watch the panel > Watch now

Lastly, we tuned in to Fernando Machado on Burger king’s meteoric rise. His top 5 takeouts were:

1. If it looks like an ad, sounds like an ad, smells like an ad it’s not a good ad!

We all know that the only time people really like to watch TV ads is during the Super Bowl. We need to strive to create ideas that are so big and bold they do not seem like an ad and have live outside this category.

2. No budget, no problem!

An idea so great has the potential to earn media on its own. To be so talked about so much, it ignites itself. When it’s boring – that’s when it becomes then expensive! As you need to put a lot of paid media behind it for people to simply notice.

3. Stretch & learn

Sometimes when you have an idea you have no clue how to bring it to life. Bring the right people so you can work around it. You need to push and stretch to uncover this. And from this you with learn.

4. First or nothing

Do something that has never been done, or lose interest. Machado used the analogy of an upside-down toilet – the first man to bring this to a gallery is an acclaimed artist, the second man, well he’s probably the plumber!

5. Creativity & brand

Fast food is a very promotional driven category, it therefore needs a strong component of TV to reach older & price-sensitive consumers.

However, if you are only doing promotions, you will struggle past year 1 as you’re not contributing to building the brand. This is where creativity comes in and plays the role in bringing in new (younger) customers to build the brand.

Click here to watch the full-length discussion > Watch now

We have also recapped other speakers that cover topics in gaming, brand accountability, what’s next for the industry and how to win a B&T away – we will be sharing that recap in the coming weeks!

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We stand in footsteps millennia old, may we acknowledge all traditional owners of this great brown land both past and present.