Overheard at Cannes

Overheard at Cannes
Cannes Lions 2024


Some sobering reading. A Philips Avent breakfast event at the Wacl Empower Café unveiled new research that found 83% of working parents in the creative industries feel the pressure to prioritise work over parenting duties. In addition, 73% believe their employer offers inadequate support for working parents and 79% agree societal pressures and expectations on mums have increased in the past decade.

The panel featured Marci El-Deiry, Philips business unit leader — mother and child care and women’s health; Chloë Davies, founder of It takes A Village; Frank Starling, chief DEI officer at Cannes Lions; and Sandrine Le Goff, LePub’s executive creative director.

The Media Leader can confirm the extreme popularity of Pinterest‘s tattoo parlour. Here’s one lucky tattooee:


Reddit‘s activation at the festival focuses on discovery.

Reddit 1

AI is unsurprisingly the big topic at the festival. LinkedIn’s vice-president of marketing, Minjae Ormes, said now is “the time for CMOs to find AI wins that can power their team’s creativity, boost efficiency and enable marketers to spend time on higher-value work”.

Omar (fourth from left) with some of the GroupM team at its rooftop at the Martinez — from left: Carol Middleton (Wavemaker), Elliott Millard (Wavemaker), Kelly Parker (Wavemaker), Fleur Stoppani (Mindshare) and Katie Lee (Wavemaker).



FreeWheel invited music icon Chaka Khan to its party.


Wake Up! It’s Arcade Fire‘s little Rebellion at Spotify’s concert (sorry).

Arcade Fire

Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson made a toast at NBCUniversal’s cocktail hour, speaking earnestly about the importance of sports for TV in-between jokes.

Kenan Thompson

Dom Williams at the Mail Metro Media lunch at the Martinez.

Dom Williams

In his much-anticipated interview with WPP CEO Mark Read, Elon Musk took the opportunity to clarify his notorious “Go f*** yourself” comment to advertisers in front of a packed crowd at the Palais.

Breaking news: there’s rain.


Want to remember your Cannes experience forever? Among the activations at Pinterest‘s Manifestival space is a tattoo parlour led by One by One Tattoo, who can create one-off designs for festival-goers.

EssenceMediacom swag, as modelled by Omar in the name of journalism.

EssenceMediacom socks

Suzi Watford, chief strategy officer at The Washington Post (pictured centre), shares a perhaps unpopular opinion: “We want AI everywhere.”


Ever wondered how much it would cost to live the high life during the Lions? Carlton, one of the main hotels on the Croisette, handily shows room costs on a screen by the entrance. (It does include Wi-Fi though…)



In what is now an annual tradition, the media industry took over Bâoli in the evening, with Clear Channel hosting.


Cannes Celeb Corner: Disney’s Dorian Bunker (left) bumps into André 3000 on the Croisette. Not pictured: André’s flute.

Dorian Andre

LinkedIn‘s Carlton terrace area has a number of activations. The most popular by far is an area where photographers will take new networking profile shots for you — with a “glam squad” on hand to do touch-ups (read: look less sweaty) before you go in front of the camera.

LinkedIn 2

Yannick Bolloré with Jacques Séguéla, recipient of the 2024 Lion of St Mark, the Cannes Lions equivalent of the lifetime achievement award. Séguéla, Havas’ former chief creative officer, turned 90 last month. His appearance at the Havas Café was met with great applause.


Violinist Damien Escobar, also Havas’ global chief music officer, performing at the Havas Café this morning — watched by an enthusiastic Yannick Bolloré.

Damien Escobar

Netflix‘s rooftop area at the JW Marriott included a chance to play a spot of croquet.


TiVo has a fun car that showcases TiVo tech on the Croisette.

TiVo 1

TiVo 2

Obligatory photo: Omar in front of the Cannes Lions sign. Were you even there if you didn’t take one of these?

Omar Cannes sign

Omar with The Brandtech Group’s David Jones.

David Jones Omar

Entrance to the Palais, “the home of creativity”, for Cannes Lions.

Palais Entrance. Cannes. Credit Jack Benjamin

Shortlisted Media Lions work on display at the Palais. One luxury brand strategist told The Media Leader their favourite Media Lions nominee was Coca-Cola’s “Frame the Magic” campaign, because it was a relatively basic, no-frills campaign executed especially well.

They also noted that, despite AI dominating discussion around the festival, the awards themselves do not feature a great deal of content produced with AI. Will there be an AI category in the future?

Cannes Media Lions. Credit Jack Benjamin. (2)

Cannes Media Lions. Credit Jack Benjamin.

Spotted on the promenade: Criteo ad name-checks one of the big star appearances this week, Kelis.

Criteo ad. Cannes. Credit Jack Benjamin

Spotted on the promenade: Amazon opts for French word play for this year’s Cannes Lions.

Amazon Ad. Cannes. Credit Jack Benjamin

The Olympic Torch has been spotted by the Palais in Cannes as it makes its way to Paris before the Olympics start on 26 July.

Olympic Torch at the Palais in Cannes. Credit Jack Benjamin

Olympic Torch on Promenade in Cannes. Credit Jack Benjamin


Kelis performed at Snapchat’s (extremely busy) party in the evening at Bijou Plage.


Omar with Amplified Research’s Karen Nelson-Field and DDB’s Les Binet, who appeared on an RTL panel.

Karen Les Omar

Stagwell has gone big on sports personalities. Appearances on Monday morning include footballer Roberto Carlos and snowboarder Shaun White.

Roberto Carlos

Shaun White

Here’s a power shot: a “who’s who” map along the beachfront:

Beach map

Amazon Port, next to the Palais, has areas for each of its divisions. Amid all the “AI will take your job” discussions, Amazon Web Services opted for a sillier use of AI at its activation, with the opportunity to get a vintage portrait painted by AI via Amazon Bedrock. When The Media Leader visited at 11am, the operator said he had already done 100 portraits.

AWS v2

The Cannes Lions organisers have announced that there were 26,753 submissions for the 2024 awards. The number of brands submitting was up 6%, while media owners were up 31%.

Plenty of crowds on the Croisette already, with the temperature a mild 23º. The Palais steps are once again clad in red.

Palais steps


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