Capturing Cannes: Challenging How We Look and Listen

My goals this week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity were to observe, listen, look, engage, and document the event through the power of video and sound. I wanted to capture the essence of Cannes: the work being displayed, the discussions being had and the inspiration it all sparks.

Continue Reading

From Opening Your Eyes to Finding Your Voice, You Can Find It All at Cannes

The reasons why people go to the Cannes Creativity Festival span from winning awards to making deals, to networking with clients to gaining inspiration. And sure, there are some, maybe more than some, who would say that everyone comes to Cannes for the parties and the yachts. But to me, a self-professed Cannes nerd, it’s the serendipitous moments – the ones that broaden our thinking, the ones that open our eyes to a new way of seeing and the ones that give us a new voice – that provide the greatest richness at Cannes.

Continue Reading

#InspiredbyCannes: Insights from the Inside

It was truly an honor to be a PR juror at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Deliberating with esteemed colleagues and peers and, ultimately, rewarding innovation within the industry was an experience I will not soon forget.

Along with my fellow jurors, we had the pleasure of acknowledging some truly exceptional cases that represent the future of our industry.

So, what is the process like behind the scenes? Here are a few insights from the inside…

Continue Reading

When the Stars Align: Celebrity, Brands & Content That Connects

At Cannes Lions on Sunday, I had the amazing opportunity to moderate, “Classic Hollywood Meets the YouTube Generation: Who Are Fans Following?” A discussion between two stars at the peak of their respective fields: Hollywood actress Laura Dern and YouTube sensation Grace Helbig. It was Ketchum’s first appearance in the Festival’s 2,200-seat Lumiere Theatre, and we used the opportunity to get them talking about the different ways they approach their careers and their work with brands. It turns out that are more similarities than differences.

Continue Reading

There is a Creative Echo Chamber: Now what are you going to do about it?

With all the evidence that echo chambers polarize society by affirming people’s beliefs, it had to be asked whether this phenomenon is also warping creativity.

Simply put, it is. And the reasons are complex, extending far beyond our reliance on like-minded people and media that echo back what we already think or want to hear.

A new Ketchum-Fast Company survey of creative professionals reveals that most creatives believe they are working in an Echo Chamber because diverse views are insufficiently encouraged or heard in most workplaces.

Why is this still happening in 2017?

Continue Reading

Three Creative Directors Walk Into the Gutter Bar… Where’s the Comic Relief?

A creative director for an ad agency, a PR firm and a digital shop all walk into the Gutter Bar in Cannes. Over cocktails, together, they mastermind a campaign of such noble purpose and seriousness, it’s a lock to win a Cannes Lion award in 2018.

And you were hoping for a humorous punchline?

Actually, these days we’re all looking for some comic relief, so how come most of the marketing campaigns predicted to win Cannes Lions next week are SO NOT amusing?

Continue Reading

Out & Standing

If you told the 24, or even 34 year-old version of me that one day I’d be sharing thoughts publicly on what Pride Month means to me I’d have called you crazy. Or worse, back then, misguided. My path to Pride hasn’t been clear or easy, and it’s probably been more private than some. The truth is, this 44 year-old is still figuring it all out, and every day gives me a chance to learn something new about myself, my community and our place in these evolving and complex times. So what Pride Month means to me is that how you define yourself doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stand up.

Because I “sat down” for a long time.

Continue Reading

All it Takes Is a Spark

I recently attended the New York benefit for our pro bono partner, Room to Read, an organization that believes world change starts with educated children. At the event they honored David M. Solomon of Goldman Sachs and Sean “Diddy” Combs for their contributions. It got me thinking about the difference an individual can make. A catalyst or “Spark” – famous or not – brings their passion for a cause to others, which ignites actions and campaigns that make a significant difference in the world.

Then today, an email hit my inbox listing all of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities the agency has going on in June. It was such an impressive list that I stopped what I was doing and took time to reflect on what was driving all the activity.

Continue Reading

Making Sense of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker, an analyst turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), has published her annual Internet Trends Report for 2017.

It’s more than 350 pages of incredible insight on the development of the internet. It explores the impact of technology on society, and the implications for organizations on how we communicate, how we buy and how we live. I got together with our resident online strategy guru Ben Foster to make sense of the findings within the report. Here are our top six takeaways…

Continue Reading

Culture: The Hidden Factor in Successful M&As

Corporations continue to merge, divide, spin and acquire at record pace: 2016 saw more M&A deals globally than at any previous time since the 1980’s, just eclipsing the pre-financial crisis record high in 2007.

There have been recent headline-grabbing failures, but deals that don’t make it to the altar are exceptions. Most transactions are approved by shareholders and regulators. However, an approved transaction isn’t necessarily a successful one. In his 2016 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett wrote “As is the case in marriage, business acquisitions often deliver surprises after the “I do’s.” How true. According to KPMG, 4 out of 5 M&A deals fail to deliver promised shareholder value.

Continue Reading