A marketer’s POV from Cannes: blog 2

Even though her brand's short-listed entry didn't make the final cut, the Campbell Canada assistant brand manager is elated with her experience as a first-timer at the international ad fest.

Day three and four in Cannes passed much faster than I wanted them to. Beyond the screenings and seminars, I’ve had a great opportunity to get to know many agency creatives from around the world – but, surprisingly, very few clients.

Over the past two days, I’ve been spending time with my BBDO partners, getting to know them and gaining a stronger understanding of how creatives are inspired and the way they think. Over dinner on Tuesday, for example, we had an impromptu creative brainstorming session on my brand, Campbell’s Gardennay. I found myself being asked some on-the-spot, provocative questions by the creative teams – a truly new experience for me.

The patio dinner setting was the catalyst to take the extra time to interact and be collectively inspired. Who knows – some of the ideas might even find themselves in my next Cannes-worthy ad! This was a unique interaction – and perhaps the key to inspiring even better creative?

This thought drifted into my continuing short nights at the Gutter bar, where hundreds of people literally spill into a popular intersection. There I had the chance to talk to many creative teams from around the world. Incidentally, the conversation in Cannes usually starts with ‘Where are you from?’ rather than the typical Canadian ‘How’s the weather’ – because the weather here is perfect! I had some great conversations, but there seemed to be a common reaction (following the positive response to me being Canadian) of surprise that a client would even be here.

But from what I’ve experienced this week, we’re here for the same reason as everyone else: to be inspired to support our agency to create even greater work and ideas. As I continue to watch the screenings, I believe this is something we need more of. And as sunrise approaches (again at the Gutter bar – don’t tell Mum!), that point seems to resonate, and my presence is gratifyingly well-received.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to want to come to Cannes, last night was a huge night for Canadian pride, with Dove’s ‘Evolution’ bringing home the Grand Prix – a clear international celebration for Canadian work. At dinner with the strategy team, I had the chance to congratulate Mark Wakefield and the Ogilvy & Mather crew and be personally inspired while touching real Cannes Gold!

So, if Cannes is about creativity, and the best creative comes from great agency-client relationships, then why aren’t more of us here? Food for thought.

Nicolle Nordmann is assistant brand manager at Campbell Company of Canada. She is now coveting Cannes Lions Gold for Campbell’s Gardennay next year.

Continuously updated lists of winners are available at: www.canneslionslive.com.