Cannes About Town: A judge's guide to Cannes Lions
1. Small dogs and a yellow carpet
You’ll see plenty of things at Cannes that don’t quite make sense, but just accept it and keep walking along La Croisette. By the end of the week I promise anything you see will seem normal.
2. Rumours, whispers and take downs
Seeing and being seen at Cannes is exceptionally important, just make sure you remember that your every move is being watched by a crowd of advertising professionals poised to unleash their distaste the moment you bring the festival into disrepute. This smack-down by Cindy Gallop indicated that sexism is still alive and well in the advertising industry, but on a positive note highlighted we’re finally beginning to talk about it.
3. A bucket of rosé, s’il vous plait
You’ll love the pink drinks in Cannes because that’s pretty much all they serve, just don’t start working out the exchange rate.
4. All roads lead to the Gutter Bar
Due to fact that this legendary watering hole doesn’t close until the sun comes up, never ever commit to an appointment before 11. Make sure you sleep before you get to Cannes because you’ll get none while you’re there, that is unless you are a judge and need to be ready to start watching 241 case films at 8:30am.
5. Floating boat parties
If you don’t have an invite get one, by any means possible. The boats are stacked up in the marina like Ubers outside a train station, just much harder to get into.
6. Opulence at the Carlton
Jury welcome drinks are the height of extravagance at the Carlton. Fill your boots with smoked salmon, king prawns and foie gras because by the time you’ve drunk your own weight in No. 3 you’ll only be eating beans on toast the following week.
7. You are a hero
The badge you wear around your neck indicates your near god-like status as a jury member. It will get you everywhere apart from the keynote by Iggy Pop you are desperate to see downstairs in The Palais as you sit one floor above in a windowless room, debating the finer points of connected pigeons.
I’d heard rumours of juries finishing judging sessions in the early hours and didn’t believe it until I noticed we were still arguing about our Grand Prix at 2:14am.
9. You’ll talk about Cannes endlessly
Not including the articles and columns you’ll write, the interviews and presentations you’ll give during and after the event, being invited to judge at Cannes Lions will be one of your proudest moments and naturally you’ll want to let everyone know. After being locked in a room for five days straight, your fellow jury members will become close friends, which is perfect because you’ll need them when the ones at home get sick of you talking about it.
10. Connect with your emotional side
Even the most hardened creative director will be reduced to tears by at least one entry that will touch the soul they didn’t think they had. That’s the real reason why everyone goes to Cannes, for a chance to see unbelievable work that nobody thought was possible.