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Jacques Séguéla, France’s leading advertising pioneer and former co-vice-chairman/chief creative officer at Havas, will be honoured on stage in June. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that Séguéla will receive the prestigious Lion of St Mark award. With a career spanning over 60 years, Séguéla has created iconic campaigns for brands like Air France, Apple, Carrefour, Citroën, Louis Vuitton, and Microsoft, alongside highly successful political campaigns and numerous best-selling books on advertising.

Cannes Lions Festival honours Jacques Séguéla

Séguéla began his career as a Doctor of Pharmacy at 25 but soon realised his true calling lay elsewhere. He completed the first round-the-world trip in a French car and wrote his debut book, “The Earth in the Round,” which sold 150,000 copies. After a brief stint as a journalist, he teamed up with Bernard Roux to form the agency Roux Séguéla. Their first major campaign featured French President Pompidou steering a Mercury engine in the bay of St Tropez with the headline ‘Grab the Express and take off’. The agency soon expanded with the addition of Alain Cayzac and Jean-Michel Goudard, evolving into RSCG and eventually Euro RSCG.

Cannes Lions Festival

Séguéla has masterminded numerous successful campaigns. For Carrefour, he produced the groundbreaking ‘Produits Libres’ work. For Citroën, he orchestrated the memorable stunt of sending a Citroën AX down the Great Wall of China and was the first to name a Citroën model after Picasso, predicting the public’s approval despite initial skepticism from the art world.

He also led the campaigns for former French President François Mitterrand, creating the historic 1981 slogan ‘La Force Tranquille’ and later ‘Génération Mitterrand,’ cementing his place in French advertising history. Séguéla’s passion for political communication has led him to steer 15 successful political campaigns.

Philip Thomas, Chairman of LIONS, said this about Jacques Séguéla…

“Jacques Séguéla turned 90 years of age this year and still comes into the office every single day to work on campaigns for his clients. The word is overused, but Jacques is an icon. He is bold, passionate and creative – and all with a tremendous sense of warmth and humour. He’s been to Cannes Lions more than 50 times, his first visit being to the Venice edition in 1975, where he was a member of the Jury and won his first Lion for Aéroports de Paris. His stories and experiences are captivating. As an industry, we are delighted that he made the career change from pharmacy to advertising because we have all benefited from his creativity as a result. In the meantime, he is the most charming, delightful presence and we cannot wait to honour him on the Cannes Lions stage in June.”

Séguéla commented on receiving the Lion of St Mark award…

“After 60 years of festivals, I have seen this industry evolve with every decade, but one thing has never changed: advertising is, has been, and always will be about having an idea. I have had the great honour of working my whole life not to sell products, but to make brands eternal and I love it. I am incredibly moved to be recognised with this iconic award and I share it with all my fellow creatives who stand behind their ideas, choose optimism and give brands the only thing that will keep them alive – a soul.”

Jacques Séguéla will be honoured with the Lion of St Mark at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He will also speak on stage in the Lion of St Mark seminar, where he will recite tales and lessons learnt over his illustrious career on Friday, 21 June. Cannes Lions runs from 17 to 21 June, in Cannes, France. For more details about the Awards and attendance options, click HERE!

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