Day four, the weather’s not getting any better, we wonder what’s happened to Facebook and our reporter ponders more large things.
A CMO panel ended mid-sentence on The Terrace Thursday morning as the sun sails over the venue quickly filled with the torrential rain and appeared alarmingly close to dropping on the delegates below. After attendees and panellists were ushered out, two men with long poles attempted to empty the bulbous sails of water. Rain continued through the day, later knocking out the festival wifi temporarily and leaving staff mopping up surface flooding in the cabanas. A truly British summer in the south of France.
Wearing her iconic aviator sunglasses, tech journalist Kara Swisher – host of the hugely popular Pivot podcast with Scott Galloway – offered a masterclass in building a media career for a gaggle of rain-sodden journalists and hardcore Pivot fans in the shadow of Meta Beach. Swisher, a high profile critic of Facebook’s role in spreading disinformation in recent years, noted that her invite to the massive Meta Beach set up had not turned up this year. Can't imagine why.
Meta Beach is very much about Meta and its virtual worlds. There’s just the odd reference to WhatsApp and Instagram and our person on the ground could see no logo or mention at all of Facebook, still the company’s biggest brand. It’s like it’s been airbrushed out of the picture.
In an ambitious eight person panel at the AdWeek cabana, four couples discussed how they manage work-life balance with busy high-level careers in the marketing industry. Their solution: get separate hotel rooms when attending the same conference, and don't be afraid to excommunicate your partner to the garage if they are too loud on work calls. Sound advice!
Down at the Wall Street Journal’s very classy Cannes activation, WARC heard from Google’s CMO about the hugely influential role of the Doodle on the search engine’s home page – people even email Lorraine Twohill to ask whether their birthdays might be celebrated. Well, she said, first of all “you have to be dead”. Celebration indeed.
Midway through a forgettable plate of pasta, WARC witnessed a victory lap by representatives of a Lion-winning agency (Business transformation, in case you’re interested). Believe it or not, this was a new one on this correspondent, at least. Each restaurant and its patrons cheered and clapped, applause cascading along the street. We hope said winners had a blast and that in the mayhem they didn’t misplace their hard-won trophy.
Talking of trophies, if you watch The Effectiveness Show, you can not only find out all about the winners in the WARC Awards for Effectiveness, you can also see just how the team managed to get sunburned at the start of the week.