Cannes 2015: Around the sessions

Kim Kardashian.
Kim Kardashian.

Wednesday's speakers included Kim Kardashian, Yannick Bolloré, Keith Weed, John Hegarty and Wendy Clark

CANNES — On Day Four of the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, media and advertising figures offered glimpses into the state of their empires.

Kim Kardashian on inauthentic social media and what Kanye West persuaded her to do

Reality TV queen Kim Kardashian may not have been on the main stage, but her session was definitely the hot event of the day.

Last year Kanye West took Cannes by storm with his thought-provoking but sometimes mystifying views on branding and the cult of celebrity.

This year it was the turn of his wife, Kim, in town primarily to promote her phenomenally popular mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which allows users to virtually live her life.

Such was her pulling power at Cannes that not only did she pack out her session room but more than 100 hardy conference goers braved the baking sunshine to watch her via an outdoor screen. Her talk covered her game, social media strategy, the commercialization of Instagram and how to create authentic celebrity tie-ups. Appropriately, she ended it with an Oscar-style selfie with the audience.

Yannick Bolloré: 'Nothing makes me more angry than losing a client'

The chairman and CEO of Havas told Cannes he feels more pain when losing a client than joy when winning new business. Speaking at the Havas Café Wednesday, Bolloré discussed Havas’ approach to mergers and acquisitions, explaining that any buyout has to benefit clients.

"The problem is not the amount of money we have because if you look at the financial situation it’s very healthy," he said. "We have a low average debt ratio so a very strong capacity to do acquisitions.

"We are living in period of opportunity and also danger. We could raise lots of Euros, but it’s not that because we have access to money that we need to spend it. We need to have a rational [approach to acquisitions and make sure the transition is smooth]."

He said that mergers and acquisitions are not simple and require a lot of work, no matter how much money the company is set to make on paper. Bolloré said: "One plus one in M&As never equals two. It can be 2.1 or even zero which can be a disaster.

"The question for us is, what will it bring to people and clients? Maybe we are wrong [not focussing on] new business and making clients happy but there is nothing that makes me more angry than losing a client.

"I feel more pain in losing a client than joy in winning a client. It can be more expensive to win a new client."

First global cinema ad will feature animated animals and Liam Neeson

The first global cinema ad, created by Sir John Hegarty, will feature animated animals and Liam Neeson.

Hegarty spoke Wednesday alongside Richard Curtis, the film director and founder of Comic Relief. They spoke ahead of the United Nations' launch in September of Global Goals, a series of targets to end poverty and tackle climate change by 2030.

Curtis has founded Project Everyone, which aims to get seven billion people in seven days to see these goals. The centerpiece of the body's campaign will be "the first global cinema ad" which has been created by Hegarty and will be shown in cinemas around the world on Sept. 25. Cinema attendees will be asked to download the Cinime app, and to "leave your phone on – except on silent."

Keith Weed: ‘Without measurability, digital advertising is going to start undermining itself’

Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer of Unilever, underlined the need to move from the "marketing to people" approach of the past, and the "marketing with people" of the present, to the future: "marketing for people."

Weed based his presentation on learnings from conversations with over 20 C-suite thought leaders from the world of advertising, marketing and technology/media. "I found three recurring themes in the course of these conversations: The Idea, The Trust and The Transformation."

Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark: ‘Bravery is resisting the status quo’

Addressing the Young Lions, Wendy Clark, president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing at Coca-Cola North America, discussed why bravery, belief and being underestimated will act both as a fuel for a career and a brand. 

She wanted to convey to the Young Lions what’s critical for them – work and leadership principles. 

"It’s a big word. It’s hard to do sometimes. We’ve done some brave work for Coke Zero. It’s a great brand, but it hard being Coke Zero. It’s the child in the Coca Cola family. We worked on the insight that two thirds of the population in the USA hadn’t tasted the product. From the people who tried it, 50 per cent had gone on to have it for a second time. So, we launched the ‘Taste it’ campaign," he said.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky: 'We want to expand the role of creative agencies'

Crispin Porter & Bogusky is bringing brands in-house, according to three of the agency's most senior leaders. Chuck Porter, founder and chairman of CP&B, Andrew Keller, the agency’s chief executive, and Neil Riddell, the executive director of product innovation, spoke at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity yesterday (23 June).

Porter kicked off the seminar by talking about what CP&B had learned from its different kinds of work, from TV ads to helping to launch B-cycles, a bike-sharing initiative that has spread to 34 states.

He joked: "I was going to talk about the apps that we’ve made, but I won’t. Everyone and their brother makes apps now and no one gives a shit."

Cannes Lions 2015 Coverage

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