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Cannes Lions Content Feature

#Cannes2024: Creative Circle at Cannes - a glimpse into the future

Attending the Cannes Lions Festival is an incredible experience, filled with valuable knowledge and inspiration. This year’s event, known for celebrating creativity in marketing and advertising, brings together thought leaders, celebrities, and innovators to talk about the future of our industry.
Sbu Sitole takes us through Day two of Cannes Lions. Source: The Odd Number.
Sbu Sitole takes us through Day two of Cannes Lions. Source: The Odd Number.


One standout moment was the Liquid Death talk, which drew such a huge crowd that I found myself listening from outside the session. This overwhelming interest highlights the brand’s unique appeal and innovative marketing strategies.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s session also caught my attention. While their presentation didn’t offer many new insights, it underscored how celebrities leverage their brands to create new ventures, blending social media influence with brand development. This trend is reshaping marketing dynamics and shows the power of personal branding.

Inclusivity in marketing is another big theme, highlighted by the Shift 20 initiative, which emphasises the importance of including disabled individuals in content. Moving towards greater inclusivity is crucial for modern marketing strategies, ensuring diverse representation.

Looking ahead to 2029, the festival presents several fascinating predictions. Marketers are urged to appeal to people who aren’t gaming fanatics, address the rise of health-conscious consumers on Ozempic, and cater to marijuana users as they change consumer landscapes. Additionally, the shifting political landscape, with women becoming more liberal and men more conservative, and the evolving concept of family, highlight the need to understand emerging buyers better.

Skinny is back

The rise of the svelte consumer, driven by the popularity of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic, is transforming the market. Brands need to adapt their offerings to cater to this health-conscious demographic, which is increasingly influencing consumer trends.

AI in business is another hot topic. Presentations range from financial savings and efficiency to the concept of becoming a ‘centaur’ – a blend of human and AI. David Droga’s insights on AI’s role in creativity emphasise the importance of blending AI with personal touches. This can be compared to ghostwriting in hip-hop, where the use of AI raises questions about the credibility of the source. Just as some reject rappers using ghostwriters for lacking authenticity, creatives may resist AI for similar reasons. Marketers must ensure AI systems recognise and understand their brands, making AI a crucial ally rather than an opponent.

Adding to the festival’s charm is the chance to see and meet celebrities like Swizz Beatz, Kenan Thompson, Steve Stoute, Shannon Sharpe, and even André 3000, who was seen casually walking around with his flute. These encounters blend star power with insightful discussions.

Cannes Lions 2024 offers invaluable insights into the future of marketing. From leveraging personal brands and inclusivity to harnessing AI and understanding emerging trends, the festival sets the stage for a forward-thinking, innovative approach to creativity and technology.

Over the next few days we as the Creative Circle will profile our experiences, hopefully sharing insights into the work, the philosophy, and what’s driving it.

For more:

As media partner to the Creative Circle SA, we’re proud to publish exclusive daily snapshot updates from Cannes. Don’t miss the first Diary of Creative Circle at Cannes from the SA cohort on the ground in Cannes, every day from 19-24 June! Also Book Now for The Full Circle event, brought to you by the Creative Circle - an inspiring showcase of the top trends, insights and award winning work from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

About Sbu Sitole

Sbu Sitole is the owner and co-founder of The Odd Number. He is also Loeries Chairperson, serves on the Creative Circle, and is currently on the film shortlisting jury at Cannes Lions.

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