Cannes Journal - Friday

Jun 23, 2017

It's been an exciting and insightful week at Cannes! As the ending draws ever closer, we're taking in as much knowledge as we can. This Friday, we enjoyed two engaging seminars from industry leaders in sports, film, and the restaurant business. View our highlights below.



In today’s ever-evolving world, it’s increasingly important to evaluate and improve the client-agency relationship. Axel Schwan, CMO, and Fernando Machado, Head of Brand Marketing, at Burger King led a seminar tackling the client side of the relationship. They shared insights on how Burger King learned to make its relationship with agencies strong and successful. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Brands need to be clear in communicating what makes their product/service different and have a strong grasp on their strengths and what draws customers in. For example, Burger King focuses on communicating it's key differentiators such as the iconic Burger King crown, the slogan, "Have it your way," and the promise to always have "perfectly grilled food."
  • Create a great brief. The key to doing this is knowing your target audience, having a target insight, and articulating that clearly. Burger King believes in one line briefs; they’re hard to forget because they’re short and insightful. Their brief, “We flame grill burgers” led to work like the mobile phone fireplace sweater.
  • Let ideas grow by trusting uncertainty. If you do research and invest in execution, your idea will work out more often than not. The McWhoppper campaign from Y&R New Zealand had a lot of uncertainty, but both sides put great work and passion into it, and the result was successful.
  • The biggest risk is not taking any risk. The important thing is not to be fearless, it’s to do it even if you’re scared. If you get it really wrong, the nightmare will last 72 hours. In today’s society, people move on; the media cycle is short and frequent (24-72 hours)
  • Don’t be a client, be a partner. The agency you work with should be treated as an extension of your own team.

Notable Quotes: 

“We’re at our best when we’re real, fun and edgy. Not a little bit edgy - that’s like being half pregnant. Every time we did something ‘a little bit’ we failed.” - Axel Schwan

“We are not afraid sometimes. We are afraid all the fucking time. If you’re not afraid, your work doesn’t have enough voltage.” - Fernando Machado



The lines between entertainment and other industries are more blurred than ever. As industries become interconnected and fluid, it becomes increasingly important to continue learning and growing. Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and CEO of WPP, hosted a debate with special guests Robert Kraft, Owner of the New England Patriots, and Academy Award-winning Director and Producer, Ron Howard. They had a wide-ranging discussion covering a variety of topics from politics and technology to the intersection of filmmaking, sport, and marketing communications. 

Key Takeaways:

  • There must be a balance between linear TV and over-the-top digital content. The NFL, for example, is experimenting with Amazon and will stream NFL games to Prime subscribers next season. Kraft believes that to keep growing, the NFL must continue to offer more content on digital and non-traditional broadcast platforms.
  • Adapt to the platform you're on. Working with Netflix and Amazon are different from traditional media. According to Howard, this provides an exciting challenge, “You can tell more specific stories to niche audiences, and it can be a viable business decision as well.” This new arena has created a competitive, yet experimental, environment that offers a realm of opportunity.
  • Subscription models are flipping the traditional ratings/box office model on its head. It may be difficult for investors to know how far to go to compete, but they should always remember that audience is king. Listening to your audience provides valuable insights on what they want, and what they don't. 
  • Going forward, brands and media companies must continue to embrace the many different platforms that are emerging. Brand partners can step up and use these platforms to find new and interesting ways to tell their stories. Brands need to bring people from diverse backgrounds together and embrace debate/innovative ideas. 
  • Don’t accept defeat. Defeat is an opportunity to grow; let it motivate you going forward. If you create a culture of never giving up and resilience, you’ll create a winning environment. Culture is key.

View the full Cannes Debate below via Creativity On Demand:



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