Cannes 2010

Cannes Diary: Babs Rangaiah, Unilever

For the Final Day of Advertising Festival, Marketing Exec and His Team Celebrate Advertiser of the Year Award

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It's been a good week of presentations, meetings, seeing great creative work and of course hanging with some old friends and meeting new ones. Today is an exciting day for those of us at Unilever, as we'll watch our CMO Keith Weed collect our "advertiser of the year" award tonight. Its a proud day for us all. But before, we discuss today's activities, i thought it would be nice to share some pics from the week. So here goes...

TUESDAY Laura Klauberg (SVP Global Media) was on a panel other senior marketers from Microsoft, Coke and LG and hosted by Michael Kassan.

We then chatted with Ben Stiller and his wonderful wife Christine at a yahoo event at Malmaison on Croisette blvd

WEDNESDAY We had a packed day where we saw Abbey Klaassen and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook have a great discussion on stage, then went to a lunch by Miles Young, CEO of Ogilvy, saw Mich Matthews, CMO of Microsoft do a great demo of Kinect on-stage, had some power meetings with Yahoo and Microsoft, and we closed the night with a great dinner at at La Maschou (with tomatoes the size of softballs) hosted by Mark D'Arcy of Time Warner.

Later in the evening, Laura Klauberg, myself, Ian Maskell (VP Unilever ice cream), Alini Santos (VP Unilever laundry) and Kathleen Dunlop, director of our OMO brand, had a late evening hanging with Mark Zuckerberg and others at The Carlton.

Had a chance to chat music and brands with Natasha Bedingfield one night...

THURSDAY Keith, Paula (VP agency relations) and I had lunch with DDB executives on the pier outside the Majestic.

We then checked out our showcase of the work in the exhibit hall, where we had our cyber-winning ice cream smile recognition vending machine..

That evening we (Unilever) threw a cocktail party for all of our agencies and media partners to celebrate and thank them for our advertiser of the year award. (The picture is of Keith, in the neon green jacket, making a thank-you speech to everyone)

FRIDAY Keith and Sir Martin Sorrell had a great discussion (in fireside chat format) on the main stage. Keith spoke of his vision, priorities, global markets, digital, etc...

I also did a podcast interview for mofilm as part of our consumer generated campaign for 13 of our global brands. The contest started in Tribeca and will culminate at the London Film Festival.

We had lunch at the Hotel du Cap with Caroline, Mich Mathews, Kassan and several industry execs...

We watched Jim Stengel on the main stage speak of "the burning questions" in marketing, Keith did several interviews, and we closed the night with a private dinner with several colleagues at Bacon in Cap Antibes...

SATURDAY, 2 p.m. Now at lunch with Keith, Paula and Phillip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions festival, to discuss Keith's speech and our involvement in tonight's advertiser of the year celebrations...

7:28 p.m. Sitting with Paula and Keith in the VIP Mayors Box getting ready to see Keith accept our advertiser of the year award. Pumped!

8:20 p.m. Dove for men and Skip just won film Silvers...

8:51 p.m. Axe "Clean Your Balls" video just won a Gold Lion for film..

10:31 p.m. Just watched our CMO Keith Weed accept our award for advertiser of the year... they showed a video (that Paula made) of Unilever's historical reel of creativity and innovation. Proud and inspiring moment for Unilever.

Now celebrating at JWT after party... at the terrace in front of the Majestic..

11:09 p.m. Fireworks on the beach to celebrate our advertiser of the year win :-)
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SUNDAY Well, the Cannes ad festival is finally over. And in the end, it was exactly what it was meant to be: inspiring, energizing, thought provoking, FUN, but also maybe more than ever, extremely productive. We met with most of our ad, media & digital agencies, had discussions with some of our most important media partners, discussed industry issues with our marketing colleagues at other companies, did several interviews with press from all over the world, spoke on-stage, saw some of the best work in the business, saw some of our own great brands win awards (Axe, Dove, Skip, Hellmans, Walls Ice Cream, etc...) and received the ultimate award, advertiser of the year, and of course ate and drank at restaurants up and down La Croisette and beyond.

Paula Quazi, Keith Weed and myself with the Lion for Advertiser of the Year.

Babs Rangaiah is vice president, global communications planning at Unilever.
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