NFTs, diverse storytelling take centre stage on Cannes Lions Day 3

The day was replete with insights on the big wins at the festival of creativity

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Jun 24, 2021 8:54 AM  | 4 min read
cannes lions

After reams of conversations on whether the Cannes Lions should be an in-person or an online-only event, the fest has finally kicked off albeit in virtual form, this year too. 

While azure seas of the French Riviera, the rosé, the live networking sessions and yacht parties were missed, day 3 of the Lions definitely managed to dish out some thought-provoking discussions. 

The day overall was marked by adland delving into interesting issues like what it takes to build a sought-after 21st-century brand, the rise of NFTs, celebrating differences and unexpected works.

The day was off to a great start with Juan Senor, President, Innovation Media Consulting, announcing winners from the Entertainment Lions for Sport, Entertainment Lions for Music, Entertainment Lions, Industry Craft Lions, Digital Craft Lions and Film Craft Lions. 

This was followed by an insightful session by Andreas Dahlqvist, Chief Executive Officer NORD DDB, on unexpected works and how it is of the essence in creativity. Dahlqvist shared how brands like Klarna dared to do the unexpected, carved out a unique space for their brand and became the 2nd highest valued fintech company in the world.

Entertainment Lions for Sport Jury President Ben Hartman in Melbourne was joined by Ben Hartman - Octagon, Louise Johnson - Fuse, Huntley Mitchell - B&T for a one-hour special which delved into all of the winning work, along with some of the winners. It packed in data analysis, comments from the jury and the opportunity to unpick some of the winning work in detail.

Another interesting discussion of the day was Merlee Jayme, Global President, Dentsu Mcgarrybowen / Dentsu Jayme Syfu’s session on celebrating differences. Jayme spoke of how Asian storytelling has long been admired and celebrated. While it is with cultural insights, traditions, beliefs based on religion and history, these are not easy to understand for other parts of the world.  

She explained how coming from the East, they tell stories in a unique manner given language barriers, and cultural differences and hence more often than not, have been misunderstood or stereotyped and lost in translation. Her session encapsulated how if you do want Global Asian stories to fly, brave, distinctive Asian creativity should be showcased l. It concluded that with DEI conversations today, all the more we have to stay true to ourselves. We just need the world to listen, understand and be amazed. 

Jonathan Mildenhall, Co-Founder & Chair, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand spoke of how to build an iconic influential 21st-century brand. Having worked with the world’s most ambitious leaders and brands who have successfully scaled globally with purpose, he revealed what it takes to build and lead an iconic, influential brand in the 2020s.  

Mildenhall spoke of how the foundation is achieving excellence in 21CB’s four pillars of brand-building; being purpose-led, community-driven, tech-enabled and narrative-based. The session brought to light why investing in building an iconic, influential brand is an effective driver of business growth and financial value. It creates competitive advantage on four dimensions - financial, consumer, employee and culture is imperative today. 

Another interesting session had Neda Whitney, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing Americas, Christie’s speak on the advent of NFTs. Whitney spoke of how the Christie's sale of Beeple's "Everydays---The First 5000 Days" was a watershed moment in history, fetching $69.3M and a huge spotlight for the NFT space and how since then, everyone from Taco Bell to Kate Moss has rushed into space, looking to capitalize on the digital gold rush.  

Her session answered questions about what the normalization of NFTs mean for creators, curators and creatives and looked at what opportunities NFTs hold in the entertainment, art, luxury and fashion industries. She also delved into pertinent questions like will this generation's digital artists be recognized as the creators of future great masterpieces or will the NFT bubble burst once the marketing hype fades. 

Next up the Digital Craft Lions Debrief had Digital Craft Lions Jury President Jax Ostle-Evans in London for a one-hour special show. He was joined by Jax Ostle-Evans - Stink Studios, Luciana Haguiara - MediaMonks/Circus, Sonoo Singh - Creative Salon who looked at data analysis, interviews with the jury and winners talking through their work. 

The day ended with Lions Wrap Up that had Susie Walker, Vice President of Awards and Insights, LIONS pulling the 10 most important stories into a neat package for the audience to enjoy and stay up to speed.

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