From the pulpit, The Editor’s introduction

Patrick Collister

Issue 36 | September 2015

Cannes has become bigger and more important each year for the past fifteen years.

Not just more categories and more awards, more delegates and more to learn from more speakers. But more inclusive of marketing and technology, of media interests and the entertainment industry at large.

That's why I make no apology for this issue being very much about the aftermath of Cannes.

While we have the views of four top creative directors, we also have the more objective perspective of Julian Hanford, photographer, commissioned by The Drum to cover the week. And we have Rob Dembitz, who works for Cannes Lions, describing his Start Up Academy.

Cannes is no longer about advertising. It is about ideas.

Twenty years ago, it was a week in the sun for creative directors, who went there to lick their wounds and watch the world's best TV commercials together. Now, it is a place where venture capitalists are as likely to have delegate passes as media owners, media buyers, content creators and entrepreneurs.

I found it bewildering because Cannes has now become several different festivals rolled into one. A couple of these festivals- within-a-festival are engineered by Cannes Lions themselves, launching this year the Lions Health and Lions Innovation events. There was also Rob's Start Up Academy, which could easily turn into one of the most influential sub-plots of them all.

But then there were all the meetings in the hotel bars along the Croisette, where CMOs and media owners met agency chiefs and new tech micro-companies, everyone anxious to find out NOW about the next big thing.

For me, Cannes is usually a wonderful, week-long, rose´-sodden bubble. But a couple of things happened this year to allow real life shockingly to intrude. The first was the death of a young colleague from Google, who was struck by a car on the Croisette on the Tuesday night. Cannes is characterised by the energy, the optimism and the enthusiasm of the young people who come down every year to listen, to learn and to party. It is unutterably sad that this year their number was one short.

The second pricking of the bubble was on the Thursday, when the taxi drivers of France went on strike in protest at Uber. They chose to strike in Cannes week because they knew many of the world's media would be there and the news would spread far and fast.

We love innovation. At Directory, it's what inspires us. And it's what most juries are looking for in Cannes, radical ideas that use new technology to create remarkable and sudden change.

However, when the taxi drivers of Nice set fire to an Uber car at the entrance to the airport that Thursday morning, it was a message to us all inside the bubble that not everyone outside it shares our excitement.

Pip pip. Patrick

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