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Cannes Lions Content Feature

Cannes About Town: The Beautiful Game

As the giants of the technology industry battle it out to build the biggest stage on the beach here in Cannes, another festival of a different kind is taking place in France, which is surprisingly similar to the advertising frenzy that kicked off this weekend.

Both entice loyal fans to spend boat-loads of cash travelling to France to experience the highs and lows of the tournament, the tension and anticipation of who is going to walk away with the metal. At Euro 2016 only one team will lift the Henri Delaunay Cup, in Cannes each jury awards one Grand Prix. Years of intense training, hard work and creative genius win trophies, but beyond the field of play and the stadiums, the darkened jury rooms and the awards ceremony, there is another competition.

Cannes About Town: The Beautiful Game

Every conceivable advertising space is utilised here, the facades of grand hotels are draped with logos and the roads are closed whilst mega screens are constructed just as the advertising, marketing and business crowd descend on this corner of France for one week a year to party, strike deals and negotiate contracts.

At the heart of both festivals is advertising, but at Cannes you are advertising to the advertisers who see through the gimmicks, tricks and shortcuts. Delegates here expect to be entertained before they part with their marketing budget, to be given a unique experience they can get nowhere else. Away from the official lectures, workshops, dinners and cocktail parties brands hold their own diary of events on the beach and private yachts to seduce the most savvy CMOs, CTOs and CEOs into opening their purses. At Cannes the real business is done away from the spotlight, the cameras and the roar of the crowd. At Cannes the winners are those with the best strategy and the biggest stage on the beach.

About Emma Carpenter

Carpenter judged the 2016 Mobile Lions, which recognise device-driven creativity...

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