More snippets from the WARC team in the south of France at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. They’re hot and sweaty and definitely in need of a drink.

Punctuality is a challenge for everyone at Cannes Lions – who hasn’t found themselves by the Palais and realised they have a meeting in the Martinez in just a few minutes’ time? Speakers can be late to arrive for sessions or, in the case of GroupM CEO Kirk McDonald, fail to turn up entirely, leaving the redoubtable Raja Rajamannar from MasterCard to tackle an early morning panel debate alone.

There are various ways to decide which sessions to attend. Usually you’ll go for the ones that really interest you. Or you might work on a process of elimination, striking out those you definitely don’t want to go to. The latter approach may be dictated by the combination of speakers and subject matter … 

At a main stage session, tech-focused agency R/GA pulled off quite a stunning feat of metaversal prowess. Reflecting our hybrid world, global creative chief Tiffany Rolfe and global strategy chief Tom Morton were able to make transatlantic video connections with experts who demonstrated the capabilities of digital clothing to create myriad identities, and the manner in which brands in a virtual world may prefer to be a jetpack rather than a billboard. However, the biggest tech question mark remains whether the humble clicker is able to trigger a video to play. Plus ça change. 

Some say there’s not a centimetre of beach-front real estate that’s not covered in advertising during Cannes Lions. It is an advertising festival, after all. Case in point: Cannes famous Le Petit Train – the city’s iconic tourist train which chugs happily along the Croisette footpath – is sponsored by video advertising company Unruly. The best outdoor placement in town?


On their way to a Guinness session at a fringe beach, one WARC writer neglected to check the map and made their way needlessly along the Croisette as far as the Martinez. Upon reversing their journey and just about making it back in time, said writer heard Diageo’s Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director for the famous stout, explain how fans’ yearning to get back to the pub in the pandemic led to spontaneous outpourings of creativity such as the now-famous pint of Guinness in a sofa, a reflection of the power that comes from brands built over so many years. In their sweaty misery, WARC’s writer laments that they too found any visions of a Guinness to be just that: a mirage. 

Spotted at the Palais on a balmy evening: a gaggle of ad execs optimistically discussing their case study’s prospects in the WARC Awards for Effectiveness ... while taking photos with the freshly-minted Lion trophy they had just won. Stay tuned for the WAFE winners, announced on Thursday.