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Top Takeaways From Cannes Lions 2014

Industry leaders talk about the key points agency execs can take from this year's festival.

The industry loves to debate over creative awards and what they really mean. But people still show up and aren?t shy if they return home with a few more statues for the office lobby. So is Cannes still worth it? And what did agency execs learn at this year?s festival?

The Best Ideas Don?t Fit Into Categories

At Cannes, we?re seeing an explosion of categories, but an increasing difficulty fitting the best ideas into them. It?s a reflection of how people experience our work: disparate, non-linear, and honestly, rejected the moment they stop being fun, touching, or useful. The best ideas usually don?t fit into tidy platform boxes ? they spill out, get mixed up, passed around, and at their best, fit nowhere and everywhere. It?s time to stop defining categories by platform and start defining them by things like budget or business sector. The best ideas win across current categories, so let?s create some new ones.

- John Patroulis | Chief Creative Officer, BBH New York

Brands Need a POV on Culture

While networking and parties are a huge portion of Cannes, the winning work remains at the center of the experience. This year, there?s lots of buzz about work that?s focused on the betterment of humanity. We?re seeing less overt persuasion and selling and more work that?s putting out a point of view on culture. The brands and the work that have the strongest view on culture are the most effective and most buzzed about on the ground. The only way to break through (and win at Cannes) is to have a strong POV on culture and humanity as a whole.

- Ed Brojerdi | President and Co-Chief Creative Officer, KBS

Connect in a Personal Way

I have been to Cannes before, but in this first year of Lions Health, dedicated to life-changing creativity in health and wellness marketing, my perspective grew bigger. As president of the inaugural Health & Wellness Jury, I saw firsthand in the body of work how marketers are driving positive change around the world. My message to clients is: sometimes you have to start small to create big change. Our industry typically focuses on creating world-changing ideas that do good for the masses, but the most effective advertising can impact large change by starting with one human being and connecting with him or her in a personal way.

- Kathy Delaney | Global Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness

Try Different Things

Make more and do it faster. Brands today are competing with YouTube stars, startups, and social publishing platforms, and every great and weird thing the web has to offer. Expectations are sky high, and attention is scarce. Brands need to stop being precious and be more prolific. The marketing competition has never been so fierce. Get out there and try a lot of things. See what works and then iterate on it.

- Winston Binch | Partner, Chief Digital Officer, Deutsch LA

Put the Work In

I think the value of Cannes is equal to the amount of work you put in. There is great access to a wider spectrum of brands and creatives and also the possibility to see the work that they have done that they consider noteworthy. But you have to make the effort to go to see the work and to track down the people you would like to meet. Some of the seminars were great. The rest may have been, I just didn?t have enough time to fit them all in. What was clear from talking to CMOs is that they are all looking for new solutions ? which is great news for a company like ours.

- Jon Collins | President of Integrated Advertising, Worldwide, Framestore

Meet the Talent

It?s interesting to see how talent continues to move further up the agenda and is becoming an increasingly important part of the week. More and more communications agencies and now digital platforms are using the week to get to know the best-in-class talent across the communications space and to close out ongoing conversations with the full leadership teams. Grace Blue often works with clients well ahead of time to make sure their time is used to best effect and to ensure our clients get a fair advantage when it comes to procuring the talent that will ultimately define their success.

- Jay Haines | CEO North America, Grace Blue

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