Modern Marketing

Five things I love about Cannes Lions: Lindsay Pattison, chief executive and global CSO, Maxus

By Stephen Lepitak | -

June 11, 2014 | 4 min read

It's nearly that time of year again, when the most senior of agency bosses desert their offices for the wine and wonder that is the South of France. The Cannes Lions attract everyone who is anyway in European advertising, and this year is likely to be no exception. In this series, some senior figures offer their five main reasons for loving the festival so much. Today's Cannes love-in is delivered courtesy of Lindsay Pattison, CEO and global CSO of Maxus.

1. The sheer level of access you have to the world’s greatest market is unparalleled. Everyone you could possibly want to meet from the marketing and advertising world is in the same place for one week, and a sunny and fabulous place to boot. Ultimately everyone’s there for the same reason: to discuss great work and network, so nobody’s off limits. And after banking a lot of long-haul hours, Cannes is a refreshingly short flight – you’re barely cruising before you’re descending again, so you arrive feeling fresh and the meeting count and work rate are actually pretty high.

2. Then, the great thing about those meetings is that they are generally more relaxed. Everyone’s working the Ibiza/Miami Vice/St-Tropez-in-pastels look (much more aesthetically pleasing than the London uniform of navy, blacks and greys) and being in ‘holiday’ mode brings a fun, invigorating energy to the work. I’ve seen some very exciting ideas borne from the unique atmosphere at Cannes and each year we send our best young planning talent (as part of our Endeavour programme that nurtures rising stars) to soak it up and ‘steal with pride’.

3. The people-watching and jostling for prime space on the Ritz-Carlton terrace in particular is a fascinating anthropological study. It’s man-eat-man out there to bag the best spot and elbow your way to be seen with the right colleagues/competitors/head-hunters. This is no place for shrinking violets. You’re guaranteed to run into people you haven’t seen for ages, so there’s also exciting gossip potential. You’re more than likely to spot the odd celebrity, so you can kid yourself you’re one of the A-list as you board your next yacht party.

4. Err, winning an award is pretty high up there! The Cannes Lions are obviously the highest accolade globally for our industry and the buzz we felt last year on picking up Silver for Mercedes #YouDrive was immense. Our UK team (Georgia Lindsay and Yewande Sokan) also rocked it in the Media Young Lions, winning Gold by a country mile. This year Tata Tea ‘The Power of 49’ from our India office is our best chance to go one further for a Gold Media Lion. Fingers crossed.

5. My final answer has to be rosé... the great Cannes networking lubricant. There are few pleasures greater than watching the sun setting over La Croisette with a cold glass of the pink stuff, digesting the learnings of another packed day. The key thing is to enjoy just the right amount to remember all the crucial points when you get back. Cannes just gets better and better for the media industry and I’m hungry (and thirsty!) to see what’s in store this year.

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