The Most Talked About Topics: Takeaways from Cannes Lions 2019

We've worked with Accenture Interactive to uncover the biggest trends and most important insights from this year's Festival, wrapped up into six key topics for you to take away from 2019.

This year, the biggest talking points at Cannes Lions were brought to life across the ideas we heard on stage and the Lion-winning work we saw awarded over the week of the Festival. You can see the six key topics explored with a line-up of mainstage talks and behind-the-scenes content now available to watch on-demand with the Digital Pass.

Catch up on this year’s talking points with access until 19 July for only €195.


01. The Impact of Brands

Brands really showed up at the Festival this year and they had a lot to say: about disruption, a bigger purpose and marketing-led transformation. We heard from Wendy's and WPP/VMLY&R talk about how creativity reinvented an ageing brand, LEGO's CMO on brand purpose and a Cannes Lions Festival-first from Mastercard, and three of our major themes were:

  • The Brand’s Impact on Culture
  • The Value of Brand Listening
  • Brands Fueling Disruption

02. Transformational Storytelling

The canvasses might have changed, but the big (often simple...) idea still reigns supreme. As the world continues to block ads and cut cords, how can advertisers offer truly entertaining and crave-worthy content?

Burger King looked at the 'Adpocalypse' in advertising, we heard from the President of Colombia on the knockout power of ideas and collecting insights from the new disrupters featuring on the app which is taking the world by storm, TikTok. Trending at the festival were conversations around:

  • Co-Creation and Fluidity
  • Raw and Real
  • Sound is the New Screen

03. Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility

These themes were explored both on stage and in the winning work, with Grands Prix awarded to Microsoft's Xbox/McCann and for work that redefines inclusivity and shatters historical conventions.

We saw P&G’s Hesham Tomahy discuss the landmark #EndPeriodPoverty campaign, Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB on the benefits of business inclusion and heard expert views on the goldmine that is older consumers and big in discussion were:

  • Intersectionality
  • Intrinsic Inclusivity
  • Perennial Engagement
President of Colombia Ivan Duque in conversation at Cannes Lions 2019, discussing the power of ideas and creative thinking.

04. Future-Proofing the Creative Business

Headline-grabbing buyouts, big, bold collaborations and the proven value of creativity. David Droga spoke to a packed auditorium about why he decided to sell the world's most successful independent agency to the behemoth Accenture Interactive.

Plus, we heard from Kasha Cacy, CEO, Engine and Jon Wilkins, CEO, Karmarama debate the future of creative agencies and L’Oreal on the future of CPGs. Three ideas explored on stage were:

  • Collective Creativity: Tech + Creativity Working Together
  • Creative Experience as the New CX
  • Applying Madness to Methodology

05. Trust and Ethics

It comes on foot and leaves on horseback. The Festival explored trust from all angles. How can we re-build trust with disenchanted audiences, who increasingly value their privacy? What practical action will Facebook take to restore consumer trust? What are the new ethics of AI?

See Sheryl Sandberg on what's next for Facebook, Steven Pinker on asking the right questions and Matt Rivitz from the provocative internet activist ‘Sleeping Giants’. Three major Festival themes were:

  • Power to the People
  • All Eyes on AI
  • Data Done Right

06. Brand Experience

Omnipotent and continually evolving, the experience of a brand can create a base of devoted fans forever. New technologies like Voice offer even more opportunities for brands who are already struggling with executing a frictionless experience from beginning to end.

See Insights from the Jury on one of the Festival’s most exciting categories, Creative eCommerce, with Daniel Bonner plus ideas from CMOS on one of the highest-rated Cannes sessions, ‘Wake up with The Economist’ and D2C brand Away on how to get experience right from the first encounter. Trending topics at the Festival were:

  • Multisensory Storytelling
  • The Power of Social Conscience
  • The Importance of Truth
Leading Marketers from Pinterest, EY and Marriott International dissect industry issues in 'Wake Up with the Economist'.

Read more on the key 2019 takeaways with the Digital Doggy Bag, featuring the official wrap-up and six editable topic decks both available for download.

Want to watch content that sparked new conversations and brought this year's talking points to life? Access the Digital Pass until 19 July for only €195.


Buy the digital pass