Publicis chiefs insist on celebrating awards in Cannes

Journey of Arthur Sadoun and Maurice Lévy to Cannes features in film to promote Cannes-Do Awards.

So there will be awards in the Palais after all and Publicis Groupe is planning a grand sweep.

The holding company has annouced that it is holding its own Cannes-Do Awards ceremony at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Friday 26 June at 6pm through a virtual event.

While the awards are internal, Publicis said that it would be using the Palais "in partnership with the mayor of Cannes, who has under exceptional circumstances agreed to open the doors".

A light-hearted film chronicles the journey of chief executive and chairman Arthur Sadoun and his predecessor Maurice Lévy by train to Cannes, only to find the Palais doors locked. But thanks to a hidden key found under the red carpet, the pair are allowed to enter and take the stage in an empty auditorium.

"We thought it was important to do this event in Cannes to support the city in this challenging time. I want to thank the mayor and his team for their warm welcome and great partnership," Sadoun said.

He added: "In a world full of can’t, thanks to the engagement of our people and Marcel, we are able to celebrate the best creative work from around the Groupe and recognise our fantastic talent. It is also a way to thank our people for their very hard work in this tough period and hopefully put a smile on their faces."

The inaugural Cannes-Do Awards saw 1,400 campaigns submitted globally from 400 agencies, 60 countries and 110 cities, reviewed by a jury of 25 creative leaders across Publicis. More than 15,000 votes were cast by employees globally on Marcel, the network's collaboration platform, with the winners to be announced at Friday’s ceremony.

There is of course a certain irony to Publicis using Marcel to run an awards show from the Palais, since the development of the technology platform was cited as a reason why Publicis opted out of Cannes Lions and all awards shows for a year in 2017.

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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