If advertising is in crisis, a glance over the city of Cannes in late June might explain why. Where the view over the old port once hosted agency yachts, this year you were more likely to see ad tech revellers or Bermuda-sporting consultants ambling shakily along the quayside. Snapchat's ferris wheel in front of the Palais and the elegant Facebook and YouTube beaches compounded the visual reminder that the battle for attention has shifted focus, and is now being fought by a new breed of combatant.
For agencies, and their creatives, this is all deeply worrying. After all, the festival – ostensibly of creativity – was designed for them. It's grown over the years and its detractors argue the money could be better spent elsewhere, but at its core, the festival is an awards show running over an entire week, with ceremonies held every night. The sheer volume of entries is colossal. As a result, distinguishing the brilliant from the good has become incredibly difficult, leaving juries "looking for the most powerful creative idea," rather than the best campaigns, said Malcolm Poynton, Global Chief Creative Officer at Cheil Worldwide, speaking at a WARC event in Cannes.