The Cannes Lions Festival is coming back in person for the first time since 2019, and while the agency world is ecstatic, the locals may feel just the opposite given the impact of the ad world revelry brings to the town. So Boulder agency WorkInProgress wanted to help some of these people “escape” from the chaotic week by paying for each of them to take a trip of their choice.
In a video, created by the agency, locals voice their frustrations with our typical “American” behavior, including taking shots at 1 p.m. and filling up the restaurants. One woman says, “You can’t park and the sidewalks are crowded and then there’s already a bit of a fart and it’s a pain in the ass." A man adds, “Last year, the Americans couldn’t come so we were safe.”
After conducting man-on-the-street interviews, the agency picked three lucky locals to "rescue." Julien will be scuba diving in Cancun, Christophe will be rum tasting in Guadeloupe and Stephanie will be riding horses in Italy. Flight, hotel and each experience are completely paid for by WorkInProgress.
“What impact does Cannes have?” said Matt Talbot, co-founder and chief creative officer at WIP. “Like it’s really fun in the advertising industry, they love it. But what impact does it have on other people? We have to ask those questions whether for work for a brand or ourselves, so that was really the core of it. We can get people out to do something they really wanted to do.”
The idea was inspired by the agency’s WIP Fund program, which gives employees $1,500 a year to put towards anything that will provide them with personal growth. Some have taken flight lessons, gymnastics classes and trapeze lessons.
Over the course of the week, WIP will be uploading on its social channels videos and selfies from each of the locals on their trips. Meanwhile, Talbot will be the only person from the agency attending the festival, keeping WIP's impact at a minimum.