Foreign Correspondents
Design works in Cannes

As the 2010 recipients of the Designworks Bloody Brilliant Travel Award, two Designworkers have travelled to Cannes to attend Lions International Creative festival. The lucky duo are Damian Alexander and Nicki Chapman, both senior members of the Auckland team.

The event offers participants a choice of more than 50 seminars, all delivered by the most innovative thinkers in the global communications industry today. The full seminar programme also includes talks by clients such as Yahoo!, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook, MasterCard, Kraft Foods, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hewlett-Packard and Coca-Cola. The Festival presents a stellar line-up of speakers to learn from, challenge and meet, including Spike Jonze and Ben Stiller; top creative innovators David Droga, Jeff Goodby, Akira Kagami, Marcello Serpa, Mark Tutssel, Erik Vervroegen and Fernando Vega Olmos; as well as industry leaders Sir Martin Sorrell and Maurice Lévy. An amazing event to be part of.

This is their first report from the event:


Hi guys, hope you are all well.

Damian and I have been soaking up the atmosphere in Cannes and have been inspired many times over!  When we are back we will document our trip but see below for an update on the great content so far.

Day One

Day one started with a hiss and roar.  We had to be at the conference early to register and get our passes and party invites!  We attended the below sessions:

1. Wunderman – Mobile mania

The second Internet revolution – mobile phones

70% of the people in the world own a smart phone and they are predicting that in 2015 all phones shipped will be smart phones.

Phones are taking over the world!

Through out the session they encouraged user participation where you could text any questions/thoughts or feedback and they uploaded them to a screen for all to see.

2. Textappeal – super global vs. hyper local

Check out this review of Axion Bank (Belgium bank).  Pretty cool campaign targeted at the youth.  There insight was that My Space is a hub that a lot of the younger generation are using to promote their music. Axion decided that they would give them a helping hand, the bank rented a factory and then built boxes they reflected banners on the web.  They asked a whole lot of bands to come play and then filmed them playing in the spaces which they played on the web.  Genius!

3. Tribal DDB – social media

For me the greatest thing I learnt from this session is ‘Listen First – Sell Second’.

They had great case studies of brands that are doing the social media well – Monopoly City Streets was the one that stood out for me.  Check it out online.

Following the day’s session we then meet with the wider STW crew for dinner in the old part of Cannes.  Most of the crew were disappointed not to have Sven and Mike over – you left a lasting impression from your Melbourne trip.

Day Two

Day two was a slow start, but things soon heated up.

1. A nest for ideas

How to foster a creative culture, interesting thoughts on this.

‘The best way to kill an idea is to share it with someone that does not have a point of view’, enough said.

2.Electronic Arts EA

Some really great partnering with brand like Renault to launch their new electric car through a game.

EA is centered on ‘experiences that ignite the emotions of sport’.

3. Wunderman – where does inspiration come from

Looking at the science and the mystery of inspiration and where it comes from.  Key insights were given from leading scientists on how intangible inspiration is and, when it happens, how powerful it can be.

Agencies need to develop rituals to ensure that the teams are inspired on a regular basis.  Great ideas come from the sub conscious, not conscious, thought.

Tuesday is looking packed full of good sessions and Ben Stiller is part of the Yahoo presentation tomorrow.

There are so many weird and wonderful things we have seen so far; Damien especially likes the condom vending machines on every lamppost.  We are doing our best to photograph everything for a show and tell next week and getting as many audio recordings as well so we can podcast them.

We have yet to see the mother and daughter team – but they are the talk of the town!

Off to our first awards show tonight, will send another update in a few days time.  Damian has just come back from the dentist with a new tooth in time for the show.  Long story – will let him tell you when he is back.

Nicki and Damain

PS – go the All Whites; even the Aussies are cheering for us!