The Cannes Lions Festival & Google Beach Parties: Insider Report!

cannes lion

My friend Anna is amazing. She works in a digital agency in Moscow, has perfect legs, speaks Russian-English-Italian fluently, blogs on her spare time and recently travelled to Cannes to attend… the Cannes Lions Festival, the world’s biggest festival for creative communications industry! Needless to say, I asked her to report on it!


So I guess right now right here – while waiting for my connection flight to Moscow in Zurich and trying to sober up from all the rose I had during past 5 days – is the best time to tell you my story of Cannes Lions

cannes lion

Should I start by saying I arrived to Nice airport an hour before my flight straight from Martinez hotel – our usual hot spot for after 3 a.m. gatherings?

Or should I rather start from the very beginning by saying I am extremely lucky to work with amazing people in a digital agency in Russia – Mosaic.


This year just like last one we headed to the Cannes Lions festival – an annual gathering of the most brilliant creatives from around the world – USA, Asia, Europe, Russia – celebrating the beautiful work of creativity and sharing ideas and inspirations.

Cannes Lions

This year the atmosphere was heated up even more by the fact that it was the Festival’s 60th anniversary. Some very special and inspiring speakers were invited this year – only to mention Vivienne Westwood and P Diddy among them. Days are filled with lections, tech talks, work sessions and labs on all the possible topics concerning advertising – arts, creativity, technology, management etc.

cannes lion

Those who entered their works are impatiently awaiting the awards – Lions are given out daily, so that each day covers several nominations, among which are cyber, print, media, outdoor, direct, press, mobile, innovation etc. This two hour shows are beloved not only by the contestants but by the lazy us as well – they give you a short summery of all the best brought to the Festival from around the world. You can go online and go through all the details of the case later but now it’s time to celebrate those people lives!

cannes lion

But ok, lets face it, it’s Cannes. And there is sun and sea and crowds of young and talented people. What do we want to do? Socialize – it’s crucial in advertising world.

There is something fascinating in meeting people randomly and then keep inevitably bumping into them among all the crowd. However like everywhere, you have to know the hotspots. Generally the crowd starts from dinner at a restaurant around the Palais and moves steadily from one bar to another along the Croisette. Here I am sharing with you my favorite ones when walking from the Palais des festivals and moving towards the new port:

cannes lion

cannes lion

Google Beach (opposite to the Grand Hotel) – when you are tired of highly interesting but inevitably getting boring at some point lectures, this is the ultimate place to escape to. Google guys are doing amazing job from year to year. You can surely sunbath and go for a swim here however this is not the point. There is just so much going on here that you don’t have time for a simple lying on the beach – launching new products, speeches of interesting representatives of the digital world, show cases of interactive games and apps. All that accompanied with great music and amazingly tasty fruity cocktails during the day and some rising YouTube artists and Rose in the evening. Basically you can start your day here from morning Yoga at 10 a.m. and leave by 7 p.m. just in time for the awards ceremony.

cannes lion

Gutter Bar ( 72 Boulevard Croisette) – favorite spot of all the creatives. You come here after the awards and dinner and some other social duties by 1 a.m and stay till 4 or 5 a.m. Nobody knows why this place is so popular – no fancy surroundings or incredible drinks. You just get yourself a glass of rose and dive into a noisy crowd standing outside the bar and spread along the road blocking the way so that cars don’t pass any more. Stay awake though – your neighbors in the mix could be some very interesting and powerful people. If feeling hungry, there is a nice pizza spot just on the left hand, you can’t miss it.

cannes lion

Martinez and Carlton Bar – same people in a more sophisticated surroundings. Stop by the bar to grab a bottle of rose or champagne and move on to the terrace or pool. Lazy piano is sometimes not even heard ‘cos of the crowd buzzing around. However here you a have a chance to spot a chair and have a little rest before continuing your social marathon. Been told that these bars are popular among the accounts treating their clients to a glass of something sparkling while trying to talk into a new marketing affair.

cannes lion

Parties – best ones happen on the beach and require a hand wrist to enter. Thus start trying to get on the lists long time before they close – it is worth doing so. While walking along the Croisette you stumble upon Google, Microsoft and other big names parties. My favorite (oh well I’ve been bought by Google so far) is the Google party. This year they had this pink glittery bracelets – this might have been the crucial point for my interests though. ;)

Cannes Lion

That’s all for today!

I am off to Paris for the Van Cleef & Arpels show for Haute Couture week. Stay tuned!

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