Everything you should know about the year’s biggest communications festival

The 2015 Cannes Lions Festival is getting under way this week, with industry experts flying in from all corners of the globe for this celebration of creativity, innovation and communications set in the heart of Europe. With the belief that ‘creativity is the driving force for business, for change and for good’ and the aim to ‘inspire creative bravery that changes the course of communications’, the Cannes Lions Festival is a must for industry experts and opinion leaders in business. Here OTB takes a look at some of the highlights so far, the events not to be missed and our top picks of who to watch for the coming week…


Although only a few days into the festival with may more exciting days to go, the highlight so far has to be the Cannes Young Lions competition which encourages up-and-coming young people in the creative industries to challenge themselves and get involved with this prestigious festival.

Open to UK residents who are 28 and under and currently working in the industry, the Cannes Young Lions sees the contenders given a brief by a charity and then only 24 hours to respond to it. With the prize being an all-expenses paid trip to the Cannes Lions festival itself this week, the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working on a live brief and meet industry experts is one not to be missed.

With the winners in each of the four categories already announced, and a line-up boasting talent from media giants such as Carat, Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann London, the future of media, marketing and film looks bright and filled with creativity.


With all eyes on the festival and marketers eagerly waiting to see what events will have in store, it’s easy to get carried away with the array of choice on offer. Yet one event not to be missed is the launch of a new Cannes award, the Glass Lion, which aims to address gender inequality or prejudice and spark a debate about gender equality in the media and marketing industries.

Created in partnership with LeanIn.org, an initiative initiated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg which aims to support women in business, the award will head up a series of not-to-be-missed talks throughout the week.

According to Marketing Week, perhaps one of the best events on this topic looks set to be a session hosted by LeanIn.org themselves on 25th June ‘on the business case for gender diversity’ with Dana Anderson, senior vice president and CMO of American confectionary giant Mondelēz. Marketing Week also suggests heading to the beach to catch other interesting events on gender equality in the industry, where Microsoft’s Beach Club will be holding a ‘Fast Talks’ session with Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark, and a speaker panel on ‘Creative women at the forefront’.


With so many influential industry experts visiting the Cannes festival, choosing a one to watch could difficult. Thankfully AdAge.com has given us a sneak peek into who to watch this week as the awards begin to be presented…

Our favourite here at OTB has to be Tim Vance & Paul Knott of  creative agency Adam&Eve/DDB London, the ‘masterminds’ behind Honda’s The Other Side’ marketing campaign. One of the most talked about entries at the Cannes awards, The Other Side demonstrated the beauty of simplicity as it allowed viewers to choose between two story lines of a journey in Honda’s Civic Type R model simply by clicking the letter R on the keyboard. The video is as much about generating original, rich content as it is an advertising campaign, and the pair have received huge credit for their innovative approach to marketing.

Didn’t manage to bag yourself a ticket to Cannes Lions this year? Don’t worry; you can see highlights of some of the key talks here on their YouTube channel. You’re welcome.

Everything you should know about the year’s biggest communications festival