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Storytelling and diversity on the agenda at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

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By Damon Embling
Storytelling and diversity on the agenda at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

More than 10,000 creatives from around the world have descended on Cannes this week for the French city’s other big festival – the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The five-day event, now in its 66th year, debates and celebrates what's hot in the communications, advertising and marketing industries.

Big themes this year include taking diversity into consideration while reaching consumers; new technologies, including AI; sustainability, and travel.

Festival chairman Phil Thomas said: “This is the biggest one we’ve ever had. We have our first delegates ever from Mongolia, from Cameroon, Senegal, from Greenland. So, there’s a globalisation and more and more different types of companies are coming here as well.”

At a time of polarising politics in Europe, diversity is a big concern. Attendee Asad Dhunna runs a cultural consultancy, The Unmistakables, in London. He said: “The Muslim market is massively underserved in countries like the UK, in France. Billions of pounds, or euros, or dollars are being missed because mainstream brands don’t know how to target and create campaigns that are really creative, but to a different audience.”

Storytelling is another current buzzword for big brands, creating advertising and marketing that works as entertainment, using the latest technology.

Richard Brim, chief creative officer at London communications agency Adam & Eve/DDB explains: “It’s not about the interruption thing anymore, it’s about giving things that people actually want to engage with and find and view.

“With the onset of technology now, there are many ways to tell a story – VR and augmented reality. We’re just getting more toys.”