Editor’s note: Former Hill & Knowlton U.S. Chairman MaryLee Sachs reports from the 2011 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. She previously wrote for PRSAY about the changing role of chief communications officers (CCOs) in an increasingly integrated marketing environment.
It was a jam-packed week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and I’ve taken in as much as humanly possible, picking and choosing the most interesting speakers and topics to me. The best way to provide a round-up is to impart one key factoid, quote or provocation from each of the presentations I really enjoyed:
- British newspaper The Guardian sponsored a seminar with Dr. Edward de Bono, famous for his “six hats of creative thinking,” and he introduced a new word – ebne – which means “excellent but not enough.” I’m sure we can all think of times to use that one.
- Publicis and Contagious introduced the concept of “the 5% club,” suggesting that we put a percentage of our budget, profit or whatever into taking our thinking beyond the traditional confines, explaining that putting a specific number on it, makes it harder to ignore.
- The obsession with being first makes it harder to profit from the idea according to Malcolm Gladwell, who was brought to Cannes by Kraft Foods. Better to be a “tweaker” and add value to the original idea, or an “implementor” where a larger go-to-market scope is executed.
- And yet UK-based marketing firm and publisher Contagious advocated to be first: “Sieze the first movement advantage – if you don’t, someone else will.”
- What makes a good story? According to Robert Redford, who was brought to Cannes by Yahoo!, it’s “sex.” OK then …
- Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, said we should try to say “yes” more often. Think about it.