The 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity kicked off in the usual fashion—with a bang—on Monday, June 17, as industry leaders, innovators, and changemakers converged in France to celebrate the best in advertising, design, and beyond.

Cannes Lions 2024 – Day One

From keynote speeches to award wins, the first 48 hours of the Cannes Lions Festival have delivered a wealth of insights, inspiration, and creative excellence, living up to expectations as the foremost congregation of global players in advertising and communications.

Nick Law’s Keynote on Creativity

Nick Law, Creative Chairperson of tech-powered creative group Accenture Song, set the business end of the festival in motion when he took to the stage to deliver a keynote address titled Creativity as the Great Connector. He underscored the importance of infusing creativity into the entire work process instead of waiting for the last step.

Cannes Lions 2024
Nick Law

His words: “Take friction from the mundane and add texture to the humane. You’ve got to decide what’s invisible and what’s immersive. And those two things together make the best experience.”

CMOs Discuss Marketing Priorities

Following soon after was a lively session moderated by Jim Stengel, President and CEO of The Jim Stengel Company. With the Chief Marketing Officers of Mondelez, Canva, and The Coca-Cola Company contributing, the session examined the marketing investment priorities for top brands over the next 18 months, the measurement and communication of marketing value within their businesses and the evolving role of the CMO.

Manuel Arroyo on Inclusive Leadership

Manuel Arroyo, CMO of Coca-Cola, rallied for inclusion, saying: “Leadership is about creating the conditions in which people flourish. Enable a discussion in which other views are not only welcomed but invited to the table.”

First Awards Show and Winners

Following several other sessions cutting across creativity hacks, talent and cultures, and innovation, the day was wrapped up with an awards show at the Lumiere Theatre, The Palais, where the first winners of the week in the Health & Wellness, Outdoor, Pharma, Print & Publishing and Audio & Radio Lions were announced.

Cannes Lions 2024 – Day Two

On Tuesday, Global Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, Intelligent Devices Group and International Markets, Lenovo, Emily Ketchen; Chief Brand Officer, Adobe, Heather Freeland; and Chief Marketing Officer, Project Management Institute, Menaka Gopinath continued the conversation on what it takes to be a CMO in 2024, with Jim Stengel of The CMO Podcast still moderating.

Sessions and Insights on Authenticity and Strategy

That was swiftly followed by several insightful sessions, including an insights and trends session on driving authentic representation, a talent and cultures session on overcoming bias at scale with brand power, and a creative impact session on the future of strategy, among others.  The beachside chat between artist and producer John Legend and the Founder of Cannes Can: Diversity Collective, Adrianne C. Smith, was another day’s highlight.

Cannes Lions 2024
John Legend at Cannes Lions 2024
Entertainment and Craft Track Awards

In a fitting end to proceedings on day two, winners across the Lions in the Entertainment and Craft Tracks were announced with Germany taking home two Grands Prix, one for ‘The Square Meter’ and another for ‘The 100th Edition, and Iceland taking home its first-ever Lion, winning the bronze trophy for its work with Icelandic brewer Olgerdin on the energy drink Orka.

Festival’s Continuing Legacy

As the Cannes Lions Festival unfolds, industry leaders and creatives alike will be inspired by innovative ideas, insightful discussions, and outstanding work on display. With its rich legacy of celebrating excellence in advertising and communication, this year’s festival is shaping up to be another unforgettable experience, setting the stage for a future where creativity, inclusivity, and innovation come together to shape the industry’s future.

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