Cannes: An April Fools’ joke turned reality

Jack Blog

June 23rd, 2015 By Jack Morton

Cannes Lions 2015 | Jack Morton

When my Managing Director pulled me aside and said he was sending me to Cannes I immediately decided he meant Connecticut and thought nothing more of it. When I got the email I was confirmed for a week-long jaunt in the south of France (sent on April Fools’ Day, mind you) I paused…and then thought “Wow…they are really taking this joke the distance!” In fact, it wasn’t until my flight touched down in Nice on Saturday morning that I completely believed this was actually for real.

Cannes Lions 2015 | Jack Morton

So, here are some of the things I’ve come away with after 2 jam-packed days.

Kevin Allen is the coolest person in town

Okay, perhaps I’m biased, but IPG-alum Kevin Allen is teaching the Young Account Executives Academy, which I’m attending. He is brilliant, engaging, exciting, and a perfect example of why the people are just as important as the idea when it comes to good work. The course is more than just a how to be a great account person intensive. It’s a confidence builder, process definer, and inspiration incubator. I am the luckiest to have five full days to soak up his wisdom.

Rosé is king

No really. Everywhere I go, some brand hosting a pop-up lounge is trying to coax me in with free rosé (which really isn’t a hard sell). Even more so, Rosé Time is an app designed specifically for Cannes, which brings you a glass within minutes if you request on your Apple Watch. I’m already plotting the perfect moment to make James test this on the beach before a night at Gutter Bar. May the force be with us.

As with agency life, there is just not enough time

Cannes is a melting pot for everything cool, all under one roof (or just a quick boardwalk stroll away), and all at the same time. There’s no way to see it all, so you’ll have to prioritize and feel confident in your decisions to go one direction as opposed to another. It seems Cannes is a metaphor for working at an agency – trust your gut and you’ll end up seeing Marilyn Manson talk about brand experience marketing (and embalming tables – yuck).

Be a renaissance (wo)man

The loudest voice I heard pushing for brands (and their agencies) to be reactive was R/GA’s Barry Wacksman, who spoke at to our Young Lions group about working at the speed of culture. As technology, consumers, and products change, the work we do must change as well. It’s a real nod to being renaissance men and women in this ever-evolving world we live in. And let’s be honest – it’s a scary, scary thought. He left us with a big statement that resonated with me due to one of our core values here at Jack Morton: “You have to be brave.”


Want more insights from the Cannes Lions Festival? Read our white paper Cannes guide to buzzwords: 8 newbies on what’s real and what matters to brand experience to learn about the marketing trends you can’t afford to miss.