Cannes Lions is and always has been THE stop for any marketing, digital or advertising professional worth their weight in sand. I have been there too many times to remember. I have won awards. I have been on the jury (I was on the Titanium jury two years ago). And I can reel off numerous stories about the good old days, the incredible speeches, the whistles in the halls, the Brazilian parties, the leopard women, and many other memorable moments.
In the advertising and digital world, Cannes is the preeminent festival. And Terry Savage has done a most masterful job at not only keeping it extraordinarily premium, but also a must-see. He has achieved a lot considering that Cannes was on its last legs about 10 years ago.
Things are changing in the festival world.
Running fast on the heels of the Cannes Lions 08 event are two very notable festivals that their eyes on being as big as or bigger than Cannes. Or at least as big and important as Cannes, but different.
I recently attended GoaFest in India, the second largest marketing and advertising festival in the world after Cannes. This event has the potential to be even more massive and rightfully so. There was so much fun and energy and optimism at this event. It is also connected to the dynamism and change that is surging through the Asian market.
The other event to watch is WAVE - Latin America's biggest marketing and advertising festival that is held in Rio in May. Both events will/have feature(d) keynote speeches by me and other StrawberryFrog partners.
What's worth noting about both of these new events was the inclusion of the modern challenger agencies as keynote speakers in the heart of the events, rather than being only a platform for the biggest and richest holding firms to present themselves and their clients. I think the newer festivals are aligning with the challenger brands as well as the established corporations because they themselves wish to evolve and by opening the microphone up to rebel speakers helps them see the opportunities in the road ahead.
For example, in Goa, the first day included speeches by StrawberryFrog and Naked. The second day featured the CEO of LOWE and Craig Davis the CEO of JWT.