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Five reasons I love Cannes Lions: Thomas Le Thierry, global president, Vizeum


By Stephen Lepitak | -

June 9, 2014 | 4 min read

It's nearly that time of year again, when the most senior of agency bosses leave their offices for the wine and wonder that is the sea front of the South of France. The Cannes Lions Festival attracts everyone who is anyone in European advertising, and this year is likely to be no exception. In this series, senior marketing services figures offer their five main reasons for loving the festival so much. First up is Thomas Le Thierry, global president of Vizeum.

Fantastic speakers

Innovation is at the core of what we do and this year’s event has some fantastic speakers that are sure to fuel greater creativity. Dentsu Aegis’s Nigel Morris and Jean Lin of Isobar will be delivering the Keynote with Andy Lippmann from MIT on how to bring true innovation principles to marketing. The combination of inspirational speakers and senior management meetings with global media partners will ensure that I’ll leave Cannes fuelled with new ideas to build on our culture of innovation.

Connections that count

Vizeum is about creating ‘Connections that Count’, and the connection that means the most to me is time spent with my global management team. It’s a luxury to meet with them face-to-face rather than through a conference call. We’ve already put time in our diaries to work together on new ideas and build on the momentum we’ve achieved to date. I’m certain we’ll leave Cannes with a renewed sense of energy and passion for what we’ve achieved in the first half of 2014, and enthusiasm for what we’ll deliver in the second half and beyond.

Technology is making it more accessible

In the past, the festival has been exclusive – you had to be there to experience it. However, technology has now opened up an experience that a select 12,000 people enjoyed to many, many more. It’s important to me that we share Cannes with all our people globally. This year we ran a roving reporter competition across the Dentsu Aegis Network, which was won by one of the Vizeum team in the USA. Hugh Cashmore will be our eyes and ears at Cannes, making video blogs of the highlights to post up on our intranet, NEON.


Cannes, quite literally, provides ‘blue sky thinking’ with a view of the sky and sea that stretches off into the horizon. I actually spend my most of my weekends by the sea and I appreciate the impact it has on boosting and reinvigorating the thought process.

A recent study by Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, China's leading business school, shows that designs created in blue are consistently rated as more creative than any other colour. One of my favourite parts of Cannes is walking along the Croisette after a seminar or on my way to meet a client. It’s a lot more inspiring than the way we do business the other 51 weeks of the year.

World Cup atmosphere

Every four years Cannes is gripped by World Cup fever. I’m looking forward to relaxing at the Dentsu Aegis Beach House and watching the games with colleagues, clients and media partners. With a range of nationalities represented in the Beach House, it creates a fantastic atmosphere. The England vs Uruguay match is on during the Dentsu Aegis Network party on Thursday, so that’s sure to be a lively night!

Cannes Lions FCB Inferno Europe

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