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Blog: Of Lions & Rosé – season 1, episode 3 | Abhinay Bhasin, Associate Director- Data Science, Dentsu Aegis Network

20 Jun 2018

Day 02 of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2018 began in a fantastic style. Fueled by a very sumptuous breakfast (exploring my new found love for pancakes and French bread) – I made my way to the Temple of Creativity. Like a devout follower, I queued up to attend a morning sermon on “Is Technology the Downfall or Savior of Creativity?” delivered by YoungHee (YH) Lee (Global CMO – Samsung Electronics) and Malcolm Poynton (Global Chief Creative Officer - Cheil Worldwide). 

Addressing a question that’s plagued the AdWorld for the last decade and one that has come to the forefront in the last few years, YoungHee highlights how innovations in technology in the last decade have irreversibly changed people’s lives and revolutionized the communications industry.

As consumers (and the industry) embark on a new adventure, one that’s powered by smarter (AI), faster (5G) and ubiquitous (IoT) technology – creatives must latch on to the power of this newly developed weaponry in their journey to move people. “Creativity has the power to move people. At the same time, technology is moving and transforming creativity.” says Poynton. 

The session indeed set the tone for what would be a power-packed line up of speakers during the rest of the day.

Highlighting some of the other fantastic sessions I sat through during the day: 

Scott Hagedorn ( CEO - Hearts & Science) and Tristan Harris (ex – Design Ethicist at Google and Co-Founder - Center for Humane Technology) got candid in revealing how social platforms are designed to “maximize attention” whilst giving rise to societal problems around mental health, depression and adolescent loneliness. They highlighted the need for creatives and marketers to take cognizance of these impacts and implore them to judiciously disperse their messaging while reaching consumers.  

In their discourse on the Ethics of AI, Hollie Lubbock (Interaction Design Manager – Fjord) and Jivan Virdee (Data and Design Consultant – Fjord) lay down the key principles for an ethical code to make users comfortable with the transparency, security, bias and values of AI – basing it on 3 key pillars – Fair & transparent Data Science, Trust and Responsibility & Accountability.   

Bringing a close to the sessions of Day 02 was by far my most enjoyable session on the very topical subject “Truth in an era of deception” by the Global President of iProspect, Ruth Stubbs and the CEO of NY Times, Mark Thompson, at the DAN Beach House on the Croisette. In today’s hyper-sensitive media landscape, transparency and privacy are more important now than ever. Thompson and Stubbs discussed the relationship between and power between global tech and media platforms and consumer responsibility. “The more intelligent we become, the more intelligent the bad actors become and we have to be careful about them slipping through the cracks” says Ruth, towards the close of the session leaving all present for the session re-examining what content they are really opting in for.

  After yet another set of inspiring sessions – Cannes isn’t Cannes if you don’t have a glass of Rosé in your hand – vibing to good music and soaking in the atmosphere. That’s precisely what I did at the Annual Dentsu Aegis Network Beach Party as the sun set on the Palais des Festivals at the close of Day 02.

Top 3 Sessions to Look forward to in Day 03:   

“The Break Up of Big Tech” Speaker: Scott Galloway (Founder, L2 Inc; Professor of Marketing NYU Stern School of Business) When: Wednesday 20, 11:00 - 11:45 (45min)  Where? Innovation Stage, Lions Innovation, Palais II  

“Conan & Shaq– Jacks of All Trades, Masters of Some”

Speakers: Conan O'Brien (TV Host, Comedian, Producer - Turner),  Shaquille O'Neal (15 time NBA All-Star and Analyst, TNT's 'Inside the NBA' – Turner) & Chris Cuomo (Anchor, CNN 'New Day' - CNN)

  • When: Wednesday 20, 14:00 - 14:45 (45min)
  • Where? Lumière Theatre, Palais  

“David Schwimmer the Rainbow”

  • Speakers: Rankin Carroll (President, Fruity Confections CBU, Mars Wrigley Confectionery), Ari Weiss (Chief Creative Officer - DDB) & David Schwimmer (Actor, Director, and Producer)
  • When: Wednesday 20, 15:30 - 16:00 (30min)
  • Where? Debussy Theatre, Palais  

Overheard on the Croisette (Cabanas, Yachts and Beyond)

  • “Is Marcel for Real”  
  • “I’m so done with Rose this year…hand me some of that Prosecco”
  • “I’m headed to the Facebook Beach House only to eat”  

Tune in tomorrow for more on the Chatter on the Croisette!   (Abhinay Bhasin is Associate Director, Data Sciences at Dentsu Aegis Network, India. He is a  post graduate in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.) 

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