“It is still the most premium advertising event,” said Terry Savage, Chairman, Cannes Lions International Advertising, in a conversation with exchange4media, on the sidelines of the event, which is now in its 56th year. Savage added, “We have done all that we had to do, to ensure that the delegates can make the best of being here.”
Slowdown or not, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival has taken off this year, almost as it would, in any other year.
There is a significant drop in the delegates this year. There are only 6000 registered delegates, which is a 40 per cent drop from last year. The entries have also dipped by 20 per cent --- there are 22,652 entries in all from 86 countries that would compete at the Cannes Lions. Despite this, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival’s team has ensured the scale and the pace of the event.
Interestingly, like the last few years, the Palais was brimming with people on June 21, 2009, the opening day of the festival. And as the day unfolded, a sense of drama and grandeur spread across the Palais. The heady mix of creativity and networking can be sensed amidst the delegates this year too.
The registration began a day before, on June 20, 2009, and the queues were long on June 21, 2009 too. The speakers’ profile, the preparations for the event, the layout of Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, were in line with previous years. The sessions such as Coca-Cola and Sapient at noon saw a full audience and the energy around the shortlists for Promo, PR and Direct Lions was the same too.
Perhaps the only thing missing were the Nestle counters that offered free chocolates, ice-creams and drinks during the last two years. But no complains there, as one revels at the prospect of quaffing in free Coca-Cola in copious quantities, not to mention the really “cool” vending machines.
In all, despite all that was heard and read, the festival has begun on a good note. But as they say, it’s not over till it's over. One would soon know whether this buoyant streak continued for the rest of the week.