I've got my dance card nearly full already of what I consider top picks for the marketers attending the festival, and I'm highlighting three sessions in each of three categories below.
Big brand Olympic fever
First of all, caught up in pre-Olympic fever, there are three big brand/Olympic sponsor seminars which are musts:
- On Monday at 2.30pm, Visa's Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing, strategy & corporate development officer, will be presenting with former Gold Medalist Nadia Comaneci, Patrick O'Neill of TBWA\CHIAT\DAY and Timo Lumme of IOC Television and Marketing Services. The panel, entitled "Visa & TBWA - The Making of a Global Olympics Marketing Campaign - Right Approach, Right Message, Right Time" will be moderated by AdAge agency editor Rupal Parekh.
- On Tuesday at 9.30am, Coca-Cola's Joe Tripodi, EVP, chief marketing & commercial officer, will be speaking about "The Coca-Cola Company: New Rules of Marketing and Consumer Engagement".
- And on Thursday at 3.30pm, P&G's Marc Pritchard, global marketing & brand building officer, will take the stage to talk about "What's the Big Idea at P&G?"
A couple of seminars are designed to do just that!
- On Wednesday at 9.30am, actor/director Forest Whitaker will take the main stage to present "The Democratization of Content" with David Alberts, chief creative officer of crowdsourcing agency MOFILM, Brian Message, co-manager of Radiohead & chairman of the Music Manager Forum, and Ben Spencer, head of brand management for Everything Everywhere.
- Meanwhile, this year will be Grey's sixth annual "Legends of Music Seminar" featuring a talk with Deborah Harry of Blondie, one of popular music's most enduring and creative icons. Grey CEO Jim Heekin will introduce the seminar at 1.45pm on Friday, and Tim Mellors, chief creative officer and vice-chairman, will interview Debbie.
- And finally, a must for sports enthusiasts - on Friday at 12.30pm, The (annual) Cannes Debate will feature World Cup winning footballer Ronaldo (also member of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2014 World Cup), and Lord Sebastian Coe, chair of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee, moderated by Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP.
The client-agency relationship - how to get the best?
There are a number of opportunities for this, but my picks for the week include a Forum session on Monday, a workshop that will be run and repeated on Thursday, and a seminar on Friday.
- The Forum - entitled "Five Sneaky Ways to Get Great Work" - is on Monday at 3.30pm and is sure to be a lively discussion between Dana Anderson, SVP of marketing strategy and communications at Kraft Foods, Paul Lavoie, co-founder & chairman of TAXI, Nicolas Pimentel, founder & innovation director at +Castro, Chris Palengat, EVP/worldwide account director at Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group, and Maria Mujica, director for Gum & Candy, Kraft LatAm.
- The workshop that will be run twice on Thursday is at 9.30am and 2pm entitled "How Marketers and Their Agencies Can Work Better Together", featuring Mhairi McEwan, co-founder/CEO and Andy Bird, co-founder/executive director of Brand Learning.
- Finally, on Friday at 4.45pm, Marc de Swaan Arons, chairman of EffectiveBrands, will be joined on the main stage with Lennard Hoornik, president of South Asia Pacific for HTC, Nigel Gilbert, CMO of Virgin Media, and Chris Burggraeve, recent CMO of Anheuser-Busch InBev for a session entitled "Building Effective Global Brands".
Of course there are endless other seminars, workshops and forums to tap into. I particularly enjoy Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase for sheer the sheer creativity which is always on the Thursday at 11am, and there are countless other "big names" on board to speak including former President Clinton, Smokey Robinson and writer/philosopher Alain de Botton and creative guru Sir John Hegarty, to name a few.