From Will Smith to Anna Wintour to David Copperfield and more, Cannes Lions brings together the biggest names in media, marketing, tech, and entertainment. We know you can’t make it to every seminar, so Mindshare’s Jason Maggs, Associate Director, Invention Studio, and Patrick Lylo, Manager, Strategic Planning, have pulled together highlights and takeaways from some of their favorites.
The Art of Curating
Speakers from Flipboard, The New Yorker, and The Whitney Museum came together to discuss the art of content curation. It may sound easy on the surface—after all, anyone can curate content on the Internet—but real storytelling is necessary if you truly want to make an impact.
In fact, there’s actually many similarities between online content curation and the curation of art in a museum. Every choice needs to make sense; there needs to be an underlying story behind every exhibit or piece of content.
The group also talked about how algorithms are being used for automatic content curation. But the thing is, even with the dawn of the algorithm, the human element still plays a very important role in curation. Humans have taste, humans have emotion—and the emotional response is what really defines good storytelling. And ultimately, the best curators are those who take risks.
Making Magic: The Art of Illusion in Modern Brand Narrative
Fact: David Copperfield has sold over $4 billion in ticket sales, more than any recording artist in history. In a seminar with Copperfield and memBrain’s Ken Hertz, they talked about how to create great storytelling, particularly highlighting the importance of simplicity and emotional resonance. As Copperfield himself said, “Simplicity is so important yet one of the hardest things to achieve.” Think about something like writing a children’s book – it’s harder than it seems. And while Copperfield has performed countless illusions over the decades, his magic hasn’t been just about the trick—there’s emotional context beyond the magic.
For example, thinking back to when Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear, it was much more than just an illusion—it was a big idea of what life would be like without that iconic symbol. The magic formula for magicians is a big, simple idea revealed through compelling storytelling—a lesson that’s equally applicable for our work.
The biggest takeaway from the seminar is that we as brands must strive to be simple, consistent, and always tell a great story. The best ideas are simple and digestible, but it takes a ton of complicated work to eventually get to this stage. And sincerity is a key part of that, particularly because today’s consumer has a sophisticated bullshit detector.
Anna Wintour in Conversation with Christopher Bailey
As the Editor of Vogue and the Artistic Director of Condé Nast, Anna Wintour is one of the biggest names in fashion and publishing. In a conversation with Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, she talked about driving creativity and breaking through the noise on digital platforms, highlighting the speed and capabilities of the digital world. She explored how digital has evolved her industry – from the role of the artistic director to the editing process (which now happens on an “imaginative, collaborative scale”).
The biggest theme from her talk was the importance of taking risks and pushing for radical, big ideas. As Wintour put it: “Stepping outside of the mainstream is frightening. Being true to yourself and your vision takes true confidence.” But it’s worth it, she explained, because “…audiences respond to people who dare to be different.”
Wintour took the audience through four lessons that guide Condé Nast creatively:
- Aim higher
- Dare to be different
- “Use all your gold”
- Make interesting friends
That’s advice that any marketer should consider.