Thinking back to Cannes in the week Britain imploded (Brexit, football, weather) makes the glitz and glitter of Cannes feel even further away, but I will try my best to recap on the most amazing experience.

I don’t think I had a proper sense of what the Cannes Lions would be like when I left, but it completely surpassed all my expectations. I learnt so much over the course of the few days I was there, and I fear I may have done some minor damage to my poor liver.

Some highlights from my week:

  • A talk on “Sex, Lies and Advertising” by Madonna Badger, asking us to move away from objectifying women in advertising and setting out some clear ways of understanding if the creative did this. She received no less than two standing ovations for her incredibly emotional talk
  • Being shown this amazing video: in Samsung’s VR talk
  • Jess Glynn performing at the AOL party. Amazing
  • Watching Anna Wintour and her perfect bob talking about moving Conde Nast into the digital future
  • Getting excited by Wunderman’s talk on data with the immortal line “Data guarantees your ideas are seen as bigger than your ego”
  • Will Smith being exactly as I hoped he would be; hilarious, personable but also making some brilliant points about marketing. He pointed out that the day of smoke and mirrors in marketing is over post social media. If your product is rubbish, you’ve got no chance of getting away with it. (He frequently sitedWild, Wild, West as being an example of terribleness)
  • The PHD talk with Kevin Kelly on all that is VR and AI; making me feel ready for the future (and slightly less scared)
  • Watching Take That and Fat Boy Slim perform on a yacht with only 119 other people. And getting a photo with Fat Boy Slim.

Thank you so much to PHD and the lovely mentors for giving us all the opportunity to experience the amazingness of Cannes. It was an unforgettable four days and, if I hadn’t got married this year, I would definitely have described it as the highlight of 2016! (But I won’t, as I’m trying not to get divorced) I would definitely urge everyone eligible to apply next year – it’s the best!

The Emotions of Cannes:

EUPHORIA: Cannes! Sun! Rosé! Yachts!
EXHAUSTION: Party til dawn, up at talks 4 hours later.
ELATION: Take That and Fat Boy Slim on a yacht. Yes.
FUZZINESS: Only so many rosés a girl can drink.
STUDIOUSNESS: Lots of talks, lots of learning.
AWE: AI. VR. So many smart people.
SADNESS: Going home.