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Cannes Lions

Top Marketers From McDonald's, Heineken, P&G, Visa Share Their Cannes Plans

Brands Aim to Soak Up as Much Creativity as Possible on the Croissette

By Published on .

Matt Biespiel, senior director-global brand development, McDonald's

What does your schedule look like for Cannes?

I have a packed schedule this year; but it's like that every year. … This year, I'm committing a significant amount of time to the Young Marketers Academy, the Start Up Academy and the Official Lions Beach Club, to share McDonald's view of the central role that creativity plays in creating brand excitement.

What do you think is going to win?

It's always hard to predict what will and what won't win Lions because juries are human; that makes them unpredictable. The most irresistible content is unpredictable. This is what creativity is about, making the seemingly ordinary… extraordinary. Some of my favorites are: Carlsberg's "Beer Poster," Volvo's "Life Paint," Sainsbury's "Christmas Advert" and "Like a Girl" from Always.

Are you up for any awards?

McDonald's has entered into many categories with content from every corner of the world. I'd like to tell you which of those entries will win Lions but it's not that easy. I have a very simple filter for creative: Yes, No or Wow. I hope the juries see lots of Wow from McDonald's.

What do you hope to get out of the festival?

Cannes is a virtuous circle with five dimensions: competing, sharing, seeing, learning and inspiring. I hope that I need a new suitcase to bring back a pride of Lions, and I hope to share McDonald's take on creativity. I'm eager to see how the world's most-inventive brands are advancing and learn from the industry's best and brightest. I want to be inspired to share that creativity with my partners from around the world.

Soren Hagh, executive director-global marketing, Heineken

What does your schedule look like for Cannes?

Cannes is the perfect opportunity to explore and to challenge the thinking of my team and myself. We do that by attending as many diverse presentations, discussions and events as

Are you up for any awards?

Yes, we are very fortunate to have quite a few nominations this year. Fingers crossed...

What do you hope to get out of the festival?

I hope to leave feeling inspired and paranoid in equal measures. Inspired, because the future of great creativity has never been as bright as it is at the moment; and paranoid, because only the most nimble will succeed in our fast-changing world.

If you could change one thing about Cannes, what would it be?

Use digital to further enhance the experiences. I know Phil Thomas and his team are working on that already.

How has your company's participation in Cannes changed?

We want to become even better at sharing the experience of Cannes with the colleagues who are unable to join us physically for the week. Cannes is a fantastic learning opportunity for all our teams across the world and we can improve that experience further.

Marc Pritchard, global brand officer, Procter & Gamble Co.

What does your schedule look like for Cannes?

This is our 13th year at the festival, and we look forward to it as the one time each year where the brightest minds in brand building come together to experience the best creative in the world. While our schedule is always busy, we have a fairly low-key approach to the festival in that we make it a priority to see as much of the work as we can. We also make time to see the presentations of our agency partners. At the end of the week, we have a two-plus-hour debrief on what we experienced, what we felt was truly innovative and best-in-class, and what we want to take back to our brand-building.

Are you up for any awards?

Yes, we know there are submissions for creative that we and our agency partners are particularly proud of, including work for Always, Pantene, Pampers, Crest, Ariel, Gillette, Old Spice and others.

How has your company's participation in Cannes changed?

It hasn't changed much. We've consistently made the festival a priority for our brand-building leaders. Each year, we send between 20 to 30 leaders, and we've found this works well for us.

Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer, Visa

What does your schedule look like for Cannes?

It's packed! It's literally a bit overwhelming in a sense of how many different meetings and opportunities there are, and I think it kind of begs to be really choiceful and selective about what you're going to do and with whom and with what desired outcome.

Are you up for any awards?

I think Visa has more submissions than we've ever had in the past. We feel like we have a very good and solid portfolio that we put before the different creative juries there. And I feel we have a global body of work that represents a lot of different initiatives that we're quite excited about.

What do you hope to get out of the festival?

I definitely want to use it as a learning opportunity. I think it's easy to forget how much you don't know or how easy it is to get in a routine of working projects and initiatives and just developing them and clarifying them, perfecting. So, the opportunity is to take a step back and look at what your peers in the industry are doing and the way in which they are doing it, the success they have found, the challenges that they've encountered, how they've handled those challenges -- I think it's healthy.

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