Sally O’Dowd has written numerous articles for the Social Media Week blog since 2011, reporting from Paris and New York. Sally served as special correspondent for SMW from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in 2012. This post, focused on Brand Union, was originally published here

cannes-lions-logoNo doubt there is amazing content inside the conference hall during the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Even President Bill Clinton spoke last night on the power of advertising to change the world.

Inspiration is firing on all cylinders outside as well, thanks to Cannes Also, a showcase of the creativity that exists beyond the branded communications usually celebrated at Cannes Lions. A partnership between the festival’s organizers, The Brand Union and Lambie-Nairn, Cannes Also launched last year as a photography exhibit. This year’s showcase, “Play, Make, Master” celebrates design across a wide range of disciplines.

brand unionSimon Bolton, CEO of The Brand Union, says the showcase illustrates the importance of design to the ad world, and that he would like design to play a larger role in the festival. Hit play for more on that topic.

Festival delegates from all over the world have been coming to the Play, Make, Master tent this week to express their creativity. The following two videos feature Sue Daun, head of brand experience at The Brand Union, and Adrian Burton, executive creative director at Lambi-Nairn. Thanks to them both for sharing their views about the importance of playfulness in the ad industry and for their tour of the tent featuring balloon art, Lego constructions and clay models made by the delegates.



Simon also talked to me about the acquisition of AKQA by parent company WPP. We shook hands with WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell at the Play, Make, Master tent but sadly didn’t get the chance to interview him. Here is Simon on the acquisition:


The induction of Play, Make, Master was a perfect fit for Cannes Lions, and hopefully returns next year.


%d bloggers like this: