Maxus WW CEO Lindsay Pattison VS Aus trading director Ricky Chanana – the final round

This article was originally published by AdNews

For 2015, Maxus decided to shake up its presence at Cannes by contrasting the perspectives of its Young Guns vs the Establishment, sending its next generation of rising talent to attend alongside its senior team.

As a six-time Cannes veteran and Media Lion judge this year, WW CEO Lindsay Pattison represented the Maxus Establishment. Championing the Young Guns was Ricky Chanana, national digital and trading director, Maxus Australia.

Lindsay Pattison: World Wide CEO

So 11 days in Cannes and I have escaped.. despite both the taxi strike and airport blockade (railing against the rise of uber). Phew. It’s been intense.

So what’s it really like as an Establishment attendee? Judging the media Lions for three days was a great start to the marathon. I met some fab media people from all over the world as fellow judges and we reviewed thousands of cases. Our mission was to find work that really demonstrated the craft of media, not just a brilliant creative idea with media tagged on.

We found some worthy winners but I saw some very poor entries too with limited or zero results. What a waste of entry money as effectiveness equals 35% of the score…

After a more relaxed weekend, my second week was a blur of top-to-top meetings with media owners, panels, interviews, lunches, blogging, drinks, and some dinners. You may have noticed a clear gap. I didn’t actually attend any of the sessions at the Palais and sadly this is pretty normal in my role as the working day here is just as demanding as when in London or in NY as the media world (and tech world and creative industry who started this all) are all here.

Our Young Guns collating, curating and commenting on the seminars and sessions has been a god send for me. They have been my eyes and ears inside. And they were an awesome beach volleyball team too.

My main and broader observations are we have shifted from a war of attrition to a war of invention in a new ‘attention economy’. Cannes itself is massively diverting and FOMO preys heavily and mirrors our challenge in media today: how do we attract engage and keep attention when there is simply so much choice? How do we ensure that this attention isn’t lost as consumers cross devices? How can we make the communications we produce seamless and adaptive to platform and how do we ensure we reward this attention back?

One especially rewarding takeaway from this year is that we saw many more female empowerment stories and the introduction of the Glass Lion is such a great idea. I also like the fact that its wish is to become obsolete – we shouldn’t really need it – but right now it provides a focal point and helps shine positive light on the issues. So I’m all for it.
One final plea with my Establishment / judge’s hat on: can we please ban the descriptor ‘millennials’? It’s lazy, flabby and a nonsense to think people aged 18 are the same as those aged 34. Merci!

Ricky Chanana: National Digital & Trading Director, Maxus Australia

This year, I had the fortunate opportunity of being able to pop my Cannes Lion’s cherry. And boyyyyy, was it good!

Aside from the glitz, glamour and the most elegant garbs you could imagine, the hobnobbing with world famous celebrities and stunning fashionistas, enjoying the endless free flowing flutes of Rosé, surprisingly genuine French hospitality and the usual media banter. There is something very special about Cannes Lions Festival.

Maybe it’s the exponential amount of creativity oozing within people from around the globe or maybe it’s the likeminded attitude that makes the heart of Cannes Lion’s and sets it apart from any other media/ad tech festival I’ve attended in past. (SXSW, ad techs etc.)

For first timers Cannes can be extremely over whelming, there is so much to do and so much to see that your senses are sent into overdrive. So, in preparation to your departure you must put together an action plan which will act as your survival guide and help you get the most out of the festival. It gets very tricky to navigate through hundreds of sessions, numerous workshops and multiple networking catch ups, jam-packed into only 6 days.

The best piece of advice I can give would be to make a “Tier 1” priority list which is essentially constructed out of two secondary lists. Lists should be made on a need vs want basis. One list should be based on the speakers you want to see and the other based on the essentials, workshops and panel discussions you want to attend. Like any festival, there is always the drama of choosing a sacrificial lamb. Often you will notice that one of your favourite speakers clashes with the workshop you want to attend, hence, the importance of putting together your ultimate action plan.

Save your networking at parties for night, because that’s when the stars, celebrities and us media folk truly come out. Sure you will have to sacrifice a few hours sleep every night for 6 days straight but you can catch up on your beauty sleep on the plane or once you’re back home.

Now on to what matters the most – the event itself. There were tons of amazing inspirational sessions and speakers this year. Lastly, one important tip on a casual front – in Cannes it’s the social norm to wander the streets between midnight and 2am going to all the parties you RSVPed to. If you mention that you hit the sack by midnight in conversation the next morning, make sure your confession also comes with an apology.

And that’s a wrap from this Cannes “virgin”. Given the amazing time I had this year I might consider coming back again next year as well and perhaps name the article “A Cannes Pro”.