'Great Stories Start in Cannes'

This year's festival was based on the idea that 'Great Stories Start in Cannes', and they absolutely do. Celebrating the best storytelling techniques in marketing, witnessing storytelling between attendees, admiring stories told on stage and experiencing new forms of storytelling through hands on technology demonstrations. Day and night the Croisette was alive with participative, shareable experiences, all based around great stories.

Written by Andy Sexton.

When you want people to connect, communicate and share, a live experience is unbeatable. In Cannes the lines are continuously blurred between audience and participant, digital and live, storytelling and storydoing. Engaging, unexpected, emotive, participative and shareable, the ‘mecca of creativity' is essentially one huge multi-faceted visitor experience, one epic celebration of the principles of experiential.

Creative bravery was rightly centre stage, 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 becoming more real (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 is data: 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 winning the biggest awards this year.

But let's be clear, technology alone was 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).

At 2LK, we create unique spaces and engaging content that deliver inspirational brand experiences. As lead agency for Lions Festivals, we have the absolute privilege of spending all year researching, planning, creating and crafting huge parts of the overall festival experience.

Our work designing and delivering ‘Lions Health', ‘Lions Entertainment' and ‘Lions Innovation' gives us an opportunity to touch and shape the experience of nearly every delegate in some capacity. We've designed the award entries ‘Showcase' and created sponsorship activations for the likes of 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, honoured and uniquely privileged to have spent many years not just attending but digging deep under the skin of Cannes Lions and as far as we can see, it's one huge celebration of the power of brand experiences and we love it.