Maja Pawinska Sims 14 Jun 2019 // 11:11AM GMT
It’s 11 years since public relations agencies got the chance to play on the Croisette with their advertising cousins and were included in the Cannes Lions for the first time.
Over the past decade-and-a-bit (and the five years since I was first at Cannes) earned ideas have won plenty of Lions. But these trophies haven’t always been held aloft by PR agencies at the Palais awards ceremony, much to the industry’s chagrin, as the rest of the advertising and marketing world has now cottoned on to the power of earned media.
We’ll see next week whether PR agencies manage a stronger showing this year, or whether the soul-searching will continue as to how the industry can get its fair share of recognition in this playground.
The PR world’s attendance at Cannes is likely to again be fairly low-key: the days of agencies taking dozens of employees plus clients out for a heady week of magnums of Provençal rosé on the Carlton hotel terrace are over, at least for the time being.
Belt-tightening from the holding groups is still much in evidence: as budgets remain tight – austerity seems to now be the status quo rather than a temporary state of affairs – the consensus is that agencies must at least be seen to be rather less conspicuous in numbers and consumption than a few years ago.
And, arguably, there’s more value to be gained from taking a few more junior members of the team along for total immersion in extraordinary creative work from around the world, rather than shoals of execs in Havaianas.
Cannes, it’s fair to say, no longer feels justified as an “investment” by agencies or holding groups, at least not on the scale we’ve seen previously. But nature loves a vacuum and the Festival – from the Palais main stages to the Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter beaches – is likely to once again be dominated by technology and social media platforms.
As a result, there’s plenty of content devoted to how technology – as well as advertising – can improve people’s lives and change the world. Purpose, brand-activism, equality and politics all have their fair share of the agenda this year.
Nevertheless, as PR is an ever-more integrated element of creative brand building, agencies and brand CMOs are clearly visible not only on the main programme but also in the growing number of (arguably just as interesting) full-week schedules of events on the fringe, from organisations including Whalar and The Female Quotient.
The Holmes Report will again be covering events on the ground, in partnership with several agencies and with ICCO’s House of PR which plays host to numerous sessions. You can find our schedule and all our coverage in our dedicated Cannes section.
Highlights of the week, across the official and fringe programmes, include:
Monday 17 June
11:00 Young Lions Winners Talk and Chinese PR Perspectives (House of PR)
11:00-11:30 – Conversations that Shape Culture: The Participation Playbook (Twitter & Contagious) (Debussy Theatre, Palais I)
13:30-14:15 – Less Stuff, More Joy: Life-Changing Japanese Creativity (Lumière Theatre, Palais I)
14:30-15:00 — Why did we stop thinking? (Archetype) (Audi A, Palais I)
16:00 – How to win in China – international panel debate (PRHK) (House of PR)
16:45-17:15 – Why We Don’t Need Another Diversity Talk (The Unmistakables) (Terrace Stage)
17:00 – PR Pros Opening Party (House of PR)
Tuesday 18 June
08:30 – Your Data Is Biased, Now What? (Weber Shandwick) (Martinez)
10:45-11:15 – The Intersection of Purpose, Brand, Technology: Finding a Mascot’s Purpose (Healthcare Insights Stage, Palais II)
10:30-11:00 – The Value Of Agency Creativity (Debussy, Palais I)
11:00 – How creative can (and should) be nurtured with social good in mind (Don’t Cry Wolf) (House of PR)
11:15-11:45 – Beyond Brand Purpose: The Future of Brand Activism (Audi A, Palais)
12:00-12:30 – Connecting Culturally In China (FleishmanHillard) (Audi A, Palais I)
11:00-11:30 – The Pursuit Of Privacy (Dentsu Aegis Network Beach House, 45 Boulevard de la Croisette)
13:00 – Live Holmes Report Interview Podcast: Kass Sells WE Communications (House of PR)
14:00 – Circuit Breakers: Insight from Behavioural Change Makers, with FleishmanHillard, moderated by the Holmes Report (House of PR)
15:00 – Why Your Employees Don’t Like You (Reuben Sinclair) (House of PR)
15:00-15:45 – The Hyper-Physical Revolution: Killing Ubiquity With Unique Creativity (Edelman) (Lumiere, Palais I)
15:00-16:00 – The Network One Indie Panel (Little Black Book Beach)
16:00-17:00 – Has the Influencer Marketing Bubble Burst? (Audi A, Palais I)
16:00 – Live Comms Crisis Simulation Workshop (House of PR)
Wednesday 19 June
12:00-13:00 – How do firms remain relevant in turbulent times? With WE Communications (House of PR)
12:45-13:30 – The Economist Big Debate (Debussy, Palais I)
12:00-1400 – Edelman/Ad Age Influencer research (Whalar Influencer Marketing Gallery)
15:00 – Common Ground – Measurement and Evaluation Best Practice (AMEC) (House of PR)
15:00 – How funny things can change the world. Interview with comedian Jamali Maddix and Don’t Cry Wolf (House of PR)
16:00 – The Power of Your Network Debate and Drinks (Global Women in PR) (House of PR)
16:15-17:00 – News Makers or News Fakers (WE) (The Terrace Stage)
17:00 – Pre-Awards Reception (House of PR)
18:30 – PR Awards (Palais des Festivals)
Thursday 20 June
09:00 – Holmes Report CEO Breakfast (invitation only) (House of PR)
11:00 – Holly Brockwell’s New Makers or New Fakers, with WE Communications
11:30 – Maintaining Brand Purpose (Wall Street Journal venue)
12:30-13:15 – Brand activism in a hyper-charged society (Lumiere, Palais I)
14:00-14:30 – Building Brand Love With Purpose (LEGO) (Debussy)
14:35-15:05 – CMO Growth Council Deep Dive into Data and Technology (Palais II Main Stage)
13:00 – PR Jury Insights, with PR jury president Michelle Hutton, moderated by the Holmes Report (House of PR)
14:00 – The Culture Curse, with Reuben Sinclair, moderated by the Holmes Report (House of PR)
15:00 – Cannes Lions Official B Corp Social (Don’t Cry Wolf and B Corp) (House of PR)
16:00-17:00 – Go Big Or Go Home: The New Rules of Social (Coolr) (Whaler Influencer Marketing Gallery)
17:00-17:45 – Trumped by Data (Cambridge Analytica) (Debussy, Palais I)
17:00 – House of PR Closing Party (House of PR)
Friday 21 June
12:00-12:45 – Sir Martin Sorrell In Conversation (Lumiere, Palais I)
15:15-15:45 – The Road To Cannabis Normalcy (Palais II Stage)