Cannes Lions 2012: recap

If you follow me on Twitter or got my OOF last week you’ll know I was in Cannes, participating in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It’s a while since I’ve been to Cannes – I used to be a regular attendee when Mobile World Congress was hosted there so I was keen to compare. For a quick recap, check out the video above from the irrepressible Mel Carson.

MWC is more of a techfest as unsurprisingly as Cannes is by default more of an arena for creatives. During the final day I got to spend some time at the Cannes Palais to view the award nominees for the “Lions” – it’s easy to forget that this is an awards festival that honors the best creative work of the year. I actually found myself strolling around the awards for quite some time as the work is stunning. I was particularly taken by this Coca Cola advert – and delighted to find out that some ex-Microsoft folks were involved in the award winning TNT advert that many of you will have seen. 

So what was happening on the Microsoft front? Well we had a Digital Lounge in the Palais that played host to attractions such as the Nokia Gift Machine, Samsung SUR40, Windows Phone and a Kinect installation from Bodymetrics.


We also had our Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela, in town to meet with customers, agencies and to deliver a keynote speech during the event. Chris talked about the current landscape of marketing at Microsoft – explaining some of the Microsoft marketing principles and peppered his talk with videos including Xbox SmartGlass, Smoked by Windows, Windows 8 and more. Mel caught up with him right after his talk to discuss it.


My time was mainly spent at the Beach Club Experience Centre, meeting with agencies and customers to talk about trends in technology such as Big Data, Displays Everywhere and Natural User Interface. Also there was Sasa Junuzovic from Microsoft Research who was giving live demos of Illumishare which blew people away as expected.

I learned plenty from our Advertising team talked about NUads and in particular Windows 8 Ads in Apps (AiA) Concepts. Jen Creegan’s blog on this topic is well worth a read as she talks about the Windows 8 Advertising SDK and the work underway with AKQA, Big Spaceship, Razorfish, Team Detroit, UM and Y&R to build Ads in Apps concepts.


All in all, a good and busy week. I learned plenty about the advertising business, met some great agencies and customers and got to talk tech with all of them. I’ll leave you with this wonderful short video I nabbed from Jen’s content. I love the part where one kid dreams of exactly what Bodymetrics and Facecake are already delivering. See, the future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.