Marketing Cannes Lions Will Smith

Celebrities lead the way for speakers at Cannes with Will Smith and Usher creating the most buzz on Twitter


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

June 24, 2016 | 3 min read

As the Rose runs dry on La Croisette The Drum can reveal that the celebrity speakers stole the show at Cannes Lions this year.

usher cannes lions

Usher was one of the most popular speakers on Twitter at Cannes Lions this year

Hogging the limelight on social media during the festival this week was Fresh Prince and film star Will Smith who dished out some advice for marketers on how to shift their focus "from product to people".

Data from global marketing agency We Are Social indicated that Will’s appearance struck up over 2,747 mentions on Twitter, account for 37 per cent of the top 10 celebrities in conversation.

Running second was an interview with Usher chaired by E! host Ryan Seacrest which generated 1,825 @ mentions during the talk. The majority of posts around Usher’s appearance were focused on his outfit and mentions of the benefits of celebrity and brand partnerships, according to the research.

The third most popular talk according to Cannes Lions tweeters was Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour with 921 mentions, while Iggy Pop and Gwyneth Paltro’s appearances clocked up 792 and 567 mentions respectively.

When it came to the most popular hashtag at this year’s Cannes, #OgilvyCannes accounted for a strong 10 per cent of the overall conversation and 43 per cent of the top 10 hashtags. According to Charlie Marples, research and insights analyst, We Are Social this was driven by retweets from the agency, with its popular tweet covering the inspirational quote ‘only those who attempt the absurd with achieve the impossible’ by MC Escher. “The likelihood is that the majority of retweets were generated by employees but the agency did a great job of engaging staff to promote them on social,” said Marples.

Chatter about the creative and design industries made up a third of the conversation (33 per cent) on Twitter this week, while the second most popular subject was data and insights which was a big topic at Cannes Lions this year.

Marketing Cannes Lions Will Smith

More from Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +