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The Struck + Vice Recap of Cannes 2023

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

I wrote this post for Struck; it was originally published on Struck's website.

In June, our Strategy Director, Jess Vice, and our President, Pauline Ploquin, took off for the south of France to attend the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Jess was slated to lead a workshop on The Lab stage about centering accessibility at the beginning of every project. And Pauline was looking forward to networking, meeting old friends and potential new clients.

Pauline is wearing big sunglasses and a red dress, and Jess is wearing big sunglasses and a denim button down. They are taking a selfie and smiling broadly in front of a backdrop of white and blue circles that form the roof of the Amazon Port at Cannes.
Pauline and Jess at the Amazon Port at Cannes 2023

The key themes from the Festival–whether on small, beach-side stages or in the main auditorium–were consistent and clear:

  1. Purpose-driven brands (and purpose-based marketing) are not dead; they are the key to success as audiences get more savvy and shift their concerns to inclusion, climate change, representation, and meaning.

  2. AI featured across many talks (no surprise there), but there was a surprising optimism around harnessing AI to expand people’s time, helping overdeveloped and underserved communities, and taking identity protection seriously.

  3. Brands from Google to Moderna and to Expedia are shifting towards inclusive design, as they realize that starting from a place of accessibility is easier and more effective than retrofitting accessible features.

Each day, Pauline and Jess recapped the inspiring stories, amazing insights, and exciting brands they encountered on LinkedIn. Here’s the schedule and links to each post:

Day 1: Mars Wrigley, Johnson & Johnson, GM, and Mattel

Day 2: introducing FYI, Danai Gurira, Moderna, Google, Expedia, Canva, Diageo, and Kantar

Day 3: A panel with Tiffany Haddish, andre gray, Jason Lee of Hollywood Unlocked, and the VP/CMO of Genentech; Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, IDEO; TBWA\Chiat\Day, Mindshare, The Weather Company, and more

Day 4: Jess gave an interactive workshop on how to make accessibility a core pillar of your creative work.

Day 5: The legendary Spike Lee! Plus, several more inspiring panels on authenticity and taking a stance, Contender, EGAMI Group, Brand Impact, GRADIENT, Asahi Europe & International, Mother, The Cre8tors, Publicis Sport, GUT, Nike, Wieden+Kennedy, and more.

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