Reflections on Cannes Lions 2022 from our Chief Marketing Officer

Reflections on Cannes Lions 2022 from our Chief Marketing Officer

30 Jun 2022
Images from Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022

I spent last week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It was brilliant to be back after a two-year break, due to the pandemic, and celebrate the impact and creativity from the marketing and advertising industry over the past year.

As important, if not more, was the opportunity to share and discuss the most pressing topics and issues on the horizon for the industry – both by sharing our own thinking, our work and our learnings as well as be inspired and learn from others.

Sustainability was a key theme at this year’s Cannes. I was proud to see us present our new Brand Activism framework on the Forum Stage and share how we are driving knowledge and empowering Diageo’s marketers to take action and lead this agenda.

We have bold and important commitments for 2030 and whilst we still have much to figure out, the theatre was absolutely packed. This is in my view just a demonstration of how much everyone is trying to figure this out for their brands and their businesses, and we have an important role to play driving collaboration and sharing learnings to create substantial change for consumers and planet. In a panel on Thursday, I spoke about how we had started to communicate some of our sustainability initiatives to consumers, including Guinness’ regenerative agriculture commitment. Figuring out how we creatively bring our sustainability efforts to life for consumers is something we will be driving much further in the coming year.

Another hot topic of conversation was the constant state of volatility in the world and what it means for marketing. When I was asked by Forbes what I thought the most underused word was in the industry right now, I said “data,” and here is why:  more than ever, we must understand consumers with real depth and breadth; we need to be granular and specific and at the same time we must be able to identify and anticipate, to the best of our ability, what’s coming next. We must understand and prepare for the future, while continuing to be agile and deliver the present. We call this “Creativity with Precision,” and it will ensure that our brands are relevant and meaningful at the heart of social celebrations now and in the future.

I was delighted to see our team speak, debate, and inspire on multiple industry panels about responsible advertising, creative effectiveness, inclusion and diversity, building brands in culture, the role of creativity in an age of consumer expectation, and more.

As custodians of some of the world’s most famous and iconic brands we will continue to push boundaries, innovate, and adapt just like Arthur Guinness and John Walker did over 200 years ago.

I left Cannes feeling encouraged about the industry’s collective efforts to pursue sustainability and diversity much further, proud of our fantastic team who could not have fit more activity in one week and immensely proud of the important role Diageo plays in the industry.

Until next year Cannes.