Zombies, Sorrell and Kim Kardashian: What to look out for at Cannes

More and more PR people are getting involved in Cannes but if you're not headed there then you're probably already rolling your eyes and sighing heavily. If you are going, here's what I think's worth sharpening your elbows for at this year's Creativity Festival.

Always allow for a bit of randomness at Cannes, writes Claire Bridges
Always allow for a bit of randomness at Cannes, writes Claire Bridges
Following gallons of rosé and pavement pounding you may well be ‘The Walking Dead’ towards the end of week. But what better way to start your Sunday morning than with a ‘Guide to Surviving a Zombie Attack?’ 

I’m interested in what’s to be gleaned from the team behind the global TV show and how what’s going on culturally can affect audience engagement.

Given time is always an issue I’m intrigued by the ‘You Only Need 48 Hours to Solve a Brief’ workshop. I’ll keep you posted on whether that’s true or not.

It wouldn’t be Cannes without the roll call of celebrities and Jefferson Hack and Samantha Morton talking about the hot industry issue of female creative talent looks worth getting in line early for on Monday. 

I think one of the stampedes of the week will be to see Pharrell Williams. Following the controversial Blurred Lines copyright ruling I’m interested to see if he’ll talk about where ideas come from and how to protect them.

That night the PR Lions are awarded so I’ll definitely be in the Grand Audi to see whether PR agencies can keep improving their standing year on year.

Wednesday’s jam-packed agenda includes an interview with my old boss Sir Martin Sorrell. This will be rammed and no doubt sound bites galore are being prepared for the world’s media. It’s useful for the macro view.

Sorrell is also involved in one of the big annual set pieces on Friday - in conversation with former US Vice-President Al Gore. The festival is all about inspiration and learning from game-changers and this will definitely be a hot-ticket.

The rubber-neckers will be out in force to catch a glimpse of one of the world’s most photographed women, Kim Kardashian, talking about her digital game. Guaranteed social media meltdown and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m thinking about joining the circus.

For me Cannes is about brain food and exposure to out-there stuff that you just wouldn’t engage with normally. 

So, on Saturday, I’m keen to see Professor Ishiguro, a Japanese expert in robotic engineering with his guest robot MATSUKO-ROID who is apparently a massive Japanese celebrity and TV host.

You’ll want to allow space for a little Cannes randomness and serendipity too. Last year some of my best bits were unplanned and happened outside seminars.

Bono and Jonathan Ive took to the stage on Saturday last year and I’m betting that there’s still time for a big-name announcement if you can force yourself into one last hurrah before the closing bash that night. 

If creativity is "just connecting things", to quote Steve Jobs, then despite its critics there’s no denying Cannes provides plenty of dots to join.

Claire Bridges is the founder of Now Go Create and Cannes Lions Mentor 2015

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