As well as engaging in the Festival, many of the senior marketers took the stage. Unilever CEO Paul Polman and CMO Keith Weed were interviewed about the challenges facing their business by WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. Polman introduced three drivers of change in marketing which is creating “the new normal”:
1. The shift of economic power to the east and the south
2. Digital and technology
Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke was interviewed by Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy, and other CMOs took the stage to present their brands, discuss challenges and talk about new directions. Andy Fennell, CMO of Diageo, said that flair, agility, consumer insight and execution are the four fundamentals of Diageo’s marketing and creative process. Jim Farley of Ford talked about the client’s role as creative coach in a new people-powered reality which is totally in line with some of the points made in my book.
Some brands brought some star power to the stage. Dana Anderson, SVP of marketing strategy and communications at Kraft Foods introduced Malcolm Gladwell, and Yahoo’s Ross Levinsohn, EVP of the America’s region, interviewed Robert Redford. Dana also ran a Master Class with Rob Reilly of Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Some CMOs were fortunate enough to pick up some impressive awards. Noel Wijsmans, global retail manager and vice president of IKEA Group, picked up the Cannes Lions Advertiser of the Year. Given that the Festival has been renamed to honor Creativity rather than the traditional moniker of Advertising, perhaps the title of that award should be changed as well?
Mark Pritchard, chief marketing and brand building officer of P&G, took the stage three times on the final awards night to pick up an Integrated Gold Lion AND a Creative Effectiveness Lion for Wieden & Kennedy’s Old Spice campaign, and a Creative Effectiveness Lion for BBDO India’s Gillette campaign entitled “Women Against Lazy Stubble.” And P&G CEO Bob McDonald also was at Cannes taking an interest and getting quoted.