Cannes Journal - Thursday

Jun 21, 2018

Japanese trendsetters, China’s unparallelled digital market, and a tech giant’s investment in creativity -- Thursday at Cannes was filled with fantastic insights from brands like Google, Tencent and LDH reaching billions across the world. View our highlights below:


Session: Creating Exceptional Experiences for One Billion Users
The scale of the digital market in China is unparalleled, and Tencent has become an internet powerhouse of over one billion users. The very meaning of connectivity has been redefined by the desires of the Chinese people to be interconnected in every way. SVP and Chairman of Tencent Advertising and Global Branding, Seng Yee Lau, gave a powerful session on how brands, media and services must adapt to user experience in the age of digital. From a cultural lens, Lau discusses China's vast digital landscape and explains why culture and technology are at the forefront of our growing digital civilization.

Key takeaways:

  • The impact that technology has on the future of work, education, diversity and culture is transformative at its core.
  • Winning the heart of the people is one of the many reasons platform companies like Google and Amazon are so powerful.
  • Four key factors go into winning the heart of billions of users: the founder's spirit, an open platform mindset, digital lever, and craftsmanship.
  • The art of craftsmanship - fundamental in providing an exceptional experience for users - is a declining art, in danger of being completely lost.
  • Culture is at the root of exceptional experiences amongst billions of users that extend far beyond the product.
  • The interplay of technology and culture is the foundation of the new digital culture.
  • The digitalization of culture happening around the world will spark the digital civilization that is to come, transcending nations and connecting them on a human level.
  • A digital civilization brings three things to life: efficiency, inclusiveness and sustainability.

Notable quotes:

  • "Good experience satisfies individual demand while exceptional experience resonates within a human nation." - Seng Yee Lau, Senior Executive Vice President, Chairman of Tencent Advertising, Chairman of Groupe Marketing and Global Branding, Tencent
  • "The devotion to excellent user experience can only be created by an unwavering commitment to craftsmanship." - Seng Yee Lau
  • "Extraordinary experience has a second half to the equation: culture. Culture responds to the inner voice calling out to be connected, culture understands that this voice is deeply rooted in human nature, and more importantly, culture brings out the strongest resonance within the human nature." - Seng Yee Lau
  • "Great companies - the Googles of the world, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent - are creating billions of users around the world, and at the same time indirectly causing all sorts of disruptions that are restructuring the ecosystems of many industries." - Seng Yee Lau
  • "Every great experience shaped by one billion users is not simply a product experience, but a culture experience." - Seng Yee Lau


Session: Love, Dreams, Happiness - The Japanese Model Changing Global Brands
Tetsuya Honda, the founder and CEO of BlueCurrent Japan, sat down with an international panel to go in-depth on the Japanese creative artist management group, Love Dreams Happiness, and its evolution into one of the world’s largest entertainment content powerhouses. LDH played live to over two million people — putting them among the world’s top ten touring acts. This session also examined how leading consumer brands like BEATS partner with LDH to crack new markets on a massive scale.

Key takeaways:

  • When you structure your system so that it integrates care for the people who use it, and combine it with the right core values, then the possibilities for your brand are limitless.
  • If you implement your happiness and passion into a company’s structure, then your business can differentiate itself from others.
  • Having a holistic view over the development of the talent pool makes people excited to come and grow instead of excited to leave and clock out.
  • Understand and learn from others already within your market. If this is done effectively, then the campaign will resonate and be a part of your market’s lifestyle.
  • Lead your brand with a strong moral compass. It builds trust within your company and within your consumers.
  • Using a spiral business model to develop your business system allows your brand to make, test, get feedback, tweak and repeat. This, in turn, makes sure that your business is built on growing and learning.

Notable quotes:

  • “Nine out of 10 times we do something because it makes us happy.” - Afrojack
  • “If you can harness creative in a real way because it is in the core of your values and the core of your mission statement, then you’re going to have success.” - Luke Wood


Session: What Can Creativity Do?

How do you build one of the world’s most valuable brands while staying true to its core principles and beliefs? Google is motivated by creativity, is a driving force for what matters next to them, its partners, and the billions of users it serves. Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director, Google Creative Lab along with Robert Wong, Vice President, Google Creative Lab presented a glance into the works that inspire them to continue innovating.

Key takeaways:

  • What can creativity do? The real question is what can creativity not do? Google uses their creative people and brand to build products that make an impact.
  • Innovation needs to happen as a whole. The world is increasingly more complex -- so while there is lot of innovation going on in the world, it is happening in parts. There is often a loss of the big picture.
  • Robert and Steve presented highlights of work Google has done that has changed lives for the better. Through creativity, Google built a mobile website for Syrian refugees, gave a voice to global youth using uPort - a digital platform that questions and pinpoints current issues for youth - and designed an interactive shareable doodle.

Notable quotes:

  • “No matter how awesome technology is, technology in and of itself is meaningless until it actually impacts a person’s life positively.” – Robert Wong, VP, Google Creative Lab
  • “Creative people are maybe some of the best people on the planet to invent the future.” -- Robert Wong
  • “The big idea at Google is to give superpowers to others. We create these products and platforms, give them to ordinary people, and let them do extraordinary things.” - Steve Vranakis
  • “I found that I don’t think there is a limit to what creativity can do. It will always be the human heart and human imagination that changes things and moves things forward. Creativity is that heart and imagination manifesting itself into sketches and prototypes.” – Robert Wong


Moonlight on the Promenade
Last night, we resisted the usual and took some time out from the chaos of Cannes to reflect on our little place in the universe and the incredible journey that brought us here. Thanks to everyone (and the adorable dogs) who joined us to do some stargazing and to the Cannes Society of Astronomy for being our guides.