Great Stories Start in Cannes.

This year the Cannes Lions Festival theme focused on the truism that ‘Great Stories Start in Cannes’ – celebrating the best storytelling techniques in marketing and witnessing storytelling between attendees.

Written by Andy Sexton.


A live experience is unbeatable when you want people to connect, communicate, and share. At Cannes Lions, the lines blur continuously between audience and participant, digital and live, storytelling and storydoing. Engaging, unexpected, emotive, participative, and shareable, this ‘mecca of creativity’ is essentially one huge multi-faceted visitor experience, one epic celebration of experiential principles.



Creative bravery was centre stage, and rightly so, but the fuel came from a mixture of well-executed technology. Whilst this year’s tech trends may have been (arguably) predictable, the velocity and depth of application was inspirational. VR/AR/MR is evolving into deeper storytelling platforms, AI is more real than ever (Adobe Sensei, IBM’s Watson), robotics are rising (Intel’s drone show, Ollie the Robot), and wearables are breeding (Snap spectacles, iTBra).

What binds all this technology together? Data. It’s the fuel for AI and robotics, the product of wearables and the foundation of next generation web/app tools. Creative use of data was clearly part of the formula for those winning the biggest awards this year.

But let’s be clear, technology alone is not enough to impress. As Sir John Hegarty said: “We’ve got to remember that technology enables opportunity, but it’s creativity that enables value.” Winning work will make you first look up, and second give a shit (Fearless Girl, Meet Graham, Potatoes on Mars).



As a lead experiential agency for Cannes Lions Festival and many of its sponsors, 2LK has the absolute privilege to spend all year researching, planning, creating, and crafting huge parts of the overall festival. Ultimately we provide unique spaces and engaging content to deliver inspirational brand journeys. Designing and delivering ‘Lions Health’, ‘Lions Entertainment’ and ‘Lions Innovation’ lets us touch and shape every delegate in some capacity; things like the award entries ‘Showcase’ and sponsorship activations for Vivendi, Cisco, Facebook, Alibaba and this year’s unmissable ‘Oracle Deck’ – right on the beach outside the Palais.

OK, brag over… but we’re proud and honoured to have spent many years digging deep under the skin of Cannes Lions, not just attending. It’s one huge celebration of the power of brand experiences and we love it.