Some parting thoughts on Cannes 2007

Now that the 54th Cannes Lions Advertising festival has come and gone, a Canadian media leader tells MiC about the continued advancement of media creativity evident at Cannes, and in her industry overall.

In addition to our illustrious judge – Cathy Collier of Cossette Media – I was one of five Canadian media people attending the Cannes Lions. Two of the five – Michelle Marcy of Starcom and Ryan Van Dongen of Cossette Media – were there as winners of the National Advertising Awards Young Media event. That left three – Laura Gaggi and Kelly Dutton from Gaggi Media, and me. Just three people who paid to be here? We can and should be able to do much better than that.

The festival continues to grow and to involve the display and presentation of the best work from around the world in an ever-increasing number of cross-functional communication disciplines. In addition, the festival now offers seminars every hour on the hour. One could hear from the likes of Contagious and Leo Burnett on the most ground-breaking current communication initiatives, or from ZenithOptimedia on the latest in communication planning, or from myriad companies and speakers on the latest in digital communication. Last week in Cannes also offered the opportunity to talk and build relationships with a wide variety of creative talents.

But a media person can rationalize being here for one reason alone – to be inspired about the possibilities. To dare to dream.

There is nowhere else in the world where one can have the opportunity to review the most innovative thinking in our craft. Ideas beget other ideas, and there is no better fodder for a media person who is passionate about creating, breaking the rules and leveraging the creative to new heights.

One of the most important things we need to do in our industry is to inspire our talent, and we can’t do that if we are not inspired ourselves. I’m sure all would agree we need both greater media creativity in our industry and more inspired talent. The investment in Cannes pays for itself.

Although I was inspired, motivated, engaged and challenged, I was also disturbed. The majority of media winners this year had one thing in common – they were creative agencies. Creative agencies are increasingly delivering integrated creative/media solutions, with or without us. They are grasping the magic of brilliant content and ideas.

Let’s make sure we media guys step up to the plate and lead and collaborate in this important frontier.

Lauren Richards, chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group, tells MiC she’s also ‘a proud board member of Canada Cannes.’