A Brazilian ad agency is spending $500,000 to take over Cannes' newest hotel during next year's Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity and rebrand the six-story, 45-room building as Hotel Africa for the week.
Grupo ABC, No. 19 in Ad Age 's ranking of the world's top 50 agency companies, has international ambitions for Africa, one of its Sao Paulo ad agencies. Africa opened a New York office last year, and works closely with Dojo, a Grupo ABC-backed agency in San Francisco.
The Five Hotel & Spa opened in late June, behind the Majestic Hotel and a block away from the ocean front Croisette boulevard. During the 2012 Cannes Lions festival from June 3-9, the hotel will be renamed Hotel Africa, complete with the agency's logo, the map of Africa. The rooms, complete with Africa-branded sheets and towels, will be filled with the agency's guests, and Africa will host meetings and events in the hotel, which includes a pool and a private strip of beach.
Nizan Guanaes, Grupo ABC's chairman, described the Africa Hotel as a "networking hub." He also appears to be considering the agency-hotel as a possible Cannes entry, saying that the project "is a Titanium Lion and a PR Lion."
Brazilians are big fans of the Cannes festival, and the country usually ranks second in total number of entries, after the U.S. In Brazil, Africa's clients include Inbev's Brahma beer, Itau bank, Procter & Gamble and Walmart.