Cannes: The Young Lions POV

This year at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we sent Editor Fabienne Tyler and Creative Gayatri Bhudia along to the event with the Young Lions pass to explore everything the festival had to offer – here’s how it went and what they discovered.

“I was immersed in a world of innovation, inspiration, and artistic brilliance”: Fabienne Tyler, Editor

The Cannes International Festival of Creativity is an event that every creative dreams of attending at least once in their lifetime; and I had the incredible opportunity to experience this prestigious festival firsthand as a Young Lion. I was immersed in a world of innovation, inspiration, and artistic brilliance.

It opened my eyes to the immense power of creativity and the endless possibilities it holds. From the awe-inspiring talks (hello, Kevin Hart), to the breathtaking exhibitions, the festival was a testament to the incredible talents and innovations shaping the future of our industry. 

It is a celebration of creativity in all its forms. Throughout the festival, I was surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. It brought together some of the most talented minds from the worlds of advertising, marketing, film, technology, and design, creating a whole world of diverse perspectives and ideas.

I attended a panel talk hosted by actress Halle Berry, Partricia Corsi from Bayer, and Kristen Cavallo from Mullen Lowe, called ‘Every Body’s Business’, where they discussed the importance of women’s health within the advertising industry. Advertising has the power to inform, empower and challenge societal norms – historically, women’s health has been a topic that has been surrounded by taboo’s and stigmatism, but times are changing. The industry has the opportunity to break these taboo’s, challenge social stigmas, and openly address topics related – and this talk gave an insightful take into the future of this. 

My experience in Cannes has fuelled my passion and inspired me to push my creative boundaries further than ever before. I left the festival with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to making a meaningful impact through my work.

“Opened me up to the possibilities of creativity”: Gayatri Bhudia, Creative

When I was asked if I wanted to attend Cannes Lions 2023 as a Young Lion, I was over the moon! It’s somewhere every Creative dreams of going and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend and be immersed in one of the most – if not the most renowned event in the advertising world. 

Arriving in Cannes and being surrounded by so many talented people, industry legends, new innovation and most importantly – the award winning work, really opened me up to the possibilities of creativity. 

I was shocked at just how much there was going on – not just at the Palais but along the beach and within different hotels located on the Croisette. The brand beach areas were a great place to network – I went to several Bloom and WACL (Women in Advertising Creative Leadership) networking sessions and met amazing people from all around the world, all with interesting and diverse perspectives.

There were also some incredible talks featuring interesting speakers – people like, Kevin Hart and Sir John Hegarty who talked about various topics including the hot topic across the festival – AI. Something that said during his talk about AI was – “You can’t say you want an idea to be futuristic and then be afraid of the future – you have to embrace bold ideas to make great work’’. It’s true – if we really embrace innovation and technology, who knows what could happen! 

As I wandered through the Palais, the amount of case studies and award-winning work that I was surrounded by just blew me away. There were rows and rows of work, all different and all shortlisted to win a coveted Cannes Lion. It truly opened up my mind to the possibilities of campaigns and how to stretch an idea to make it the best it can be.

I’d often see members of the jury for each category leading tours, which I’d join in on to learn more about the work itself and what was being discussed in the jury room. There were some great insight talks that helped me get an even better understanding of what the jury was looking for when judging. I loved the Jury room talk for ‘Entertainment Lions in Sport’, highlighting what they wanted to see in the work next year – inclusion, bravery, global resonance and most importantly, entertainment that needs to shine through. 

If I was to summarise my time in one word it would be – inspiring. I’ve come back wanting to push the boundaries of creativity in advertising, wanting to create game-changing campaigns and ultimately wanting to win a Cannes Lion myself!