Cannes Lions Live | OVERVIEW

Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity has been high on my ‘must do’ list for years. Ever since I graduated university and attended the likes of D&AD I knew I had to one day make it happen. I was so excited when I heard the news that it would be going completely digital this year, as logistics and location make attending quite tricky from Vancouver. 

Nonetheless, I was very happy to tune in from the comfort of my sunny balcony. I learnt so much during the 5 days and after every day I was left feeling so inspired, I can see why people go back year on year. Therefore I decided to create a memoire of my top take aways from day 1 so if I ever need some inspiration, I have something I can refer back to. I hope it can also be a great overview for anyone who missed the live streams in June or wants a refresher!

Cannes Lions originally started in 1954, in Venice at the legendary St Marks Square. The festival got more and more popular year on year. The festival brings the creative communications industry together year on year to learn, network and celebrate. The virtual 5 day live festival created a true sense of belonging, and highlighting creative possibility for all. It’s amazing to hear this is only the beginning for Lions Live, I’m very excited to see what they come up with going forwards.

The main agenda this year was; ‘Exploring the value of the creativity and where it’s heading from here.’ Over the 5 days they spoke with various Chief Marketing Managers to get their take on this topic. Investing in brand health is more important than ever during a pandemic and it was great to hear from people leading the way during this uncertain time.

Highlights from day 1

Marmite gene campaign all lovers

We’ve always known that people either love or hate marmite, the Marmite Gene project was made to help families find out. I absolutely love marmite so this one really hit home for me. I add marmite literally to everything and since living in Vancouver it’s incredibly hard to get hold of. I make it happen but it’s nowhere near as easy as going to any supermarket in the UK and putting it in the trolley!


Another big one for us Brits is waiting for the John Lewis Advert to come out every Christmas. This one is by far my favourite they’ve done. The mix of animation with everyday life tugs on the heart strings of their customer and creates such a sense of Christmas spirit.

Josy Paul - Chairman & Creative officer BBDO India

Josy did a very emotional talk on: ‘How to find yourself through advertising and creativity’

Josy Paul started his career at Ogivily and transitioned over the years to starting his own agency called ‘David’. He now works for BBDO India.

How to research at 30,000 FT.

Josy and one of his co-workers were both on a flight on route to a pitch. They both thought the other had gone through all 30 pieces of work and selected one which they would present. It turns our neither of them had.. Thankfully Josy and his colleague were sat at the front row in economy. Josy got up out of his chair and asked the people around him for advice. ‘We are from an ad agency and we have a lot of ideas to pick from in very little time, we need your help..’ The response from people all around him was phenomenal, the air hostess helped out too. Walking up and down the isles, displaying the work like a fashion show, so everyone could see it. They managed to eliminate the projects down from 30 to 6. Then from 6 they picked ‘the one.’ The people on the flight had given so much energy and positivity towards the chosen project, they had everyones spirit and encouragement behind them.

The pair walked into the room and they won the pitch in 5 minutes! Seeing the peoples faces light up with excitement on the plane for ‘the chosen one’ seemed to have worked wonders in transferring that energy to Josy and his co-worker. They didn’t just win that job but they won all of that company’s work. I’m pretty sure I can speak on behalf of all the viewers in saying, Josy’s story was incredibly amazing and if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak – do it!

Leanne Cutts - HSBC Group Chief Marketing officer

Due to a decline in brand value and branch closures, this year HSBC launched a global brand refresh project called ‘Together We Thrive’. This was a collaboration between Saatchi & Saachi and Wunderman Thompson.

The new brand identity was created to help the bank tell highly localised stories. Having lived in various countries, and travelling frequently over the last 8 years I always found a comfort in landing in a new country. I can always guarantee seeing HSBC adverts when I get off any flight and this is partially the reason. At 16 years old, I opened up my first bank account with them and have continued on using HSBC accounts even whilst living in Canada. The brand have cemented the idea of being connected and dependable, no matter your location. The new brand explores the use of HSBC’s iconic red and white hexagons, which appear now across all touch points globally. From app loading screens, branches, brochures and social media. The tone of voice used is consistent but with customers speaking 144 language in total, this has been adapted locally to ensure the correct meaning in the local culture it’s in. This increases consistency for consumers long-term and therefore trust, no matter your location.

In 2019 they also created a sound identity which is completely bespoke to HSBC! Take a listen! [ Warning – it’s incredibly relaxing! ]

The last highlight.. My shoutout on the Thursday Live Stream! Apparently I've moved to LA - I'm okay with that...

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