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Cannes Over a Few Cans

by Sam Moorhead, Copywriter

Sitting in the sun having the chats over a few cans is an age-old Irish tradition. This year, Shane, Mikey and I decided to share this tradition with the South of France, with our interview series, Bag of Cannes. The crystal-clear waters of Cannes were no scaldy canal, but we made do. Over the four days, we interviewed four very different people at the festival, and got four very different perspectives on the famously extravagant creative festival.

Rory Hamilton ECD of Boys+Girls (A.K.A. Our Boss)

To kicks things off, and to lay down a few ground rules for the week, we spoke to the boss, Rory Hamilton. As always, our fearless leader taught us a lot. We learnt that Rosé O’Clock is 11am, you should always go big on the first night and that lunch can cost you €495 if you get stuck with the bill. And most importantly, we learnt that our job in Cannes was to see amazing work and meet the people who made it — so that we can try to produce it ourselves.

Resh Sidhu Creative Director at AKQA New York

Next up, we got to speak to Resh Sidhu from New York agency, AKQA. She was on the jury for Digital Craft and gave us some great advice on how to win a Cannes Lion. Resh told us that original work that connects with people, moves out of the mediocre and into the incredible will win at Cannes. Sounds like a lot of effort. Luckily for us, she revealed her winning secret — at concept stage, write the press release. This forces you to think about how you’ll communicate it to the world, and will help you decide if you truly think the idea is original and great. Easy.

Matt Lawford Cannes Veteran

Matt Lawford is in insurance for TV, film and advertising. He’s been to 15 Cannes Lion festivals. This was his 10th in a row. He’s more used to €60 Gin & Tonics up in the Carlton Terrace, but he kindly agreed to slum it with us on the beach. He shared a warm can with us, and a few great stories. As we know absolutely nothing about insurance, we learnt a bit about that. Apparently, it would cost 200 grand to insure Bag of Cannes, and that the insurance game is a lot sexier and exciting than we thought. He’s worked with Cara Delevingne, Zac Efron and a vicious monkey. And interestingly, he much prefers Cannes Lions over the film festival, as it’s shorter and more manageable. Didn’t want to go to the other one anyway.

Michael+Patrick The Shirtlist Guys

We met Michael and Patrick on our first night at the LadBible pool party. They’re a young creative team from agency Zulu Alpha Kilo in Canada. Even amongst the models, the floating DJ and the sax player, these guys stood out. They both wore matching yellow t-shirts with a list of things they needed to achieve at Cannes — ‘The Shirtlist’. This included comparing shoes with Shaq, blagging their way onto a yacht, expensing dinner at a Michelin star restaurant, sharing a bucket of chicken with The Colonel, shooting a music video in a fast car, and lots more overly extravagant things only available and acceptable in Cannes. They achieved them all, bar the Shaq one, they were pretty cut up about missing that.

This project taught me two things. Firstly, the power of a great pun. But maybe more surprisingly, how far something physical can still get you. This year, Cannes was full of technological advances, such as giving people with ALS their voice back through old recordings, or a complete VR music video. Yet, these two boys connected with everybody at Cannes through the medium of a simple t-shirt. Well 5 simple t-shirts, they changed it every day, apparently.

To sum up, we learnt that drunk people who agree to interviews don’t mail you back. We learnt that we can’t afford to pick up the cheque in most places, and we learnt that all we have to do to win is to create great work. Oh, and we learnt that we definitely should have worn Bag of Cannes t-shirts.


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Or see all our articles from Cannes Lions 2018