Digital Transformation

Five Reasons I Love Cannes Lions: Nick Reid, managing director, TubeMogul UK

By Stephen Lepitak | -

June 12, 2014 | 6 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. Tube Mogul UK's managing director Nick Reid relays his reasons for returning to the festival annually.

1. Tech meets creativity

Cannes Lions has traditionally been a festival that is all about creativity, but recent years have seen a steadily increasing technology presence. This is exciting for anyone working in our field because it means that marketers across the board are starting to understand how programmatic technology can help them. Increasingly brands and advertisers are seeing technology companies less as vendors and more as partners. As the traditional silos between creative agency, media agency, and technology company continue to break down, this is something we expect to see more of, with brands seeking to find the most efficient and targeted ways to get their award-winning creative in front of the right consumer. Programmatic means not just real time planning and buying, but opens doors to real time creativity – and what better place to have these conversations than on the Cote D’azur?

2. Building Partnerships

The advertising calendar is full of events that hold potential for networking, but Cannes is one-of-a-kind. It promises a beautiful setting and the brightest and the best of our industry, so it never disappoints. It’s incredibly rare to have so many of the great and the good from a global perspective in one place, and the educational and business-building opportunities are plentiful. This really has become a global event, with many of the agency groups using this opportunity to build on internal and external partnerships and strategies. The awards, exhibitions and master classes provide the platform from which Cannes originated, but relationships and partnerships are the backbone of our industry, so bringing everyone together to collaborate and build continued success in our space is very important. This extends not just from the terraces of the Carlton and the Martinez, but even to the realms of the effervescent Gutter Bar.

3. Celebrating innovation

Cannes is different because it isn’t a convention, a conference or a congress – it’s a festival and we are all there to celebrate innovation, ingenuity and creativity within advertising. The festival really has evolved over the last 10 years, not just in terms of scale, but also in terms of those involved. It’s not just a celebration of media innovation, but also an opportunity to see the businesses that are doing well, and the different creative ways in which they promote their growth and continued success. This started with Microsoft landing in Cannes at the turn of the century and is now illustrated by the creative cabanas, huge advertising hoardings built with prowess, and agency run Cafes. And then there are the boats – it starts to rival the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. This is why when people think about Cannes they think about the work, but also the consuming atmosphere – both of which can’t be matched. Like most festivals, many prepare themselves for the week ahead and repair themselves the week after.

4. Trend setting

Thanks to its mid-year timing, Cannes is always a great opportunity for both reflections as well as predictions. Whatever is on the top of the agenda at Cannes is likely to have been a key theme for the first 6 months of the year – for example, this year we are looking at storytelling and multiscreen – but it also gives everyone a chance to look ahead to new and emerging trends, upcoming challenges and potential solutions. What this means is that Cannes attendees come home with a renewed sense of excitement about the direction that our industry is moving in and inspiration as to how we get there. It's a melting pot of creativity, strategy and now technology – Advertising Week Europe in London illustrated how technology and software is driving media and creativity, and no doubt Cannes will continue this theme.

5. Education and Debate

Cannes always provides vast educational opportunities, and for marketers this no longer just means learning what makes an award-winning creative, but also finding out what technology is available and how it can benefit them. Advertising has evolved well beyond the TV and radio days, and brands need to take consumer engagement across devices into account when developing creative strategy. For us specifically, it means finding out from brands and agencies what they need, and what success looks like to them. This is key because the more that brands, creative agencies, media agencies and tech providers get to come together and learn, the better equipped we are to work towards common goals. This can be found, on the various panel sessions and presentations which occur, across the numerous roof tops as the sun sets over the Mediterranean. Throughout the week there is often late night debate over the best rose from Provence, but we’ll leave that discussion until we are out there. You can find TubeMogul kicking off Cannes in style at the Programmatic View from the Rooftop on the Monday night.

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