For The Love Of Ideas

Sitting on the lower level of the Palais at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

This is the area where work from the top marketing campaigns in the world is on display—hundreds of boards and short films that tell stories about how incredible ideas come to life, and the results they produce.

It is my last day in this marketer’s paradise.

As I study the campaigns and reflect on the events I have seen and people I have heard speak during my 100 hours on the ground here, one word keeps coming to mind.


That’s it. The one thing all of these campaigns have in common is love.

The people who created them love what they do.

I truly believe that. And it comes shining through in the work. This is the work of people who have a deep passion for making a difference in the world and producing work that moves people. And without them, the world would be a far less interesting place. The countless hours that go into these campaigns help to start tough conversations, drive social change, move business, make people laugh (and cry).

It is the work of people who care deeply about what they do; they care about the clients that trust them with their business and they care about elevating the causes that need it most.

Looking back at my notes now, here’s five things people said that showed me the love:

  • Jessica Walsh is a partner at the Brooklyn-based design firm Sangmeister & Walsh. This girl is really passionate about her work. She reminds the 2,000+ people listening to her speak that “if no one hates your work, no one loves it.” She also says the key to her success is approaching her work as play.
  • Joanna Coles is the editor of Cosmo and she’s interviewing the founder of Snapchat Evan Spiegel. She asks him “how do you know at Snapchat when you get it right?” Evan responds: “We don’t. We embrace uncertainty and press forward. We build stuff all the time that is terrible.” He also confesses to drawing the Snapchat logo himself in his dorm room 🙂
  • Ray Velez is the Chief Technology Officer at Razorfish and says “70 to 75 percent of the world’s jobs 10 years from now have not yet been created.” Whoa! That gets me excited for my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter.
  • Pharrell is on stage being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest and talking about creative process. Pharrell talks a lot about the creative energy people bring to a room when collaborating. He says “it’s not a real collaboration unless you are learning something.” Then he bridges into talking about authenticity and the importance of having “intent” in your work. He says “you know your mother’s cooking because of her intent.” So true.
  • Syl Saller is the CMO of Diageo and she’s in a film discussing her company’s focus on “rooting our brands in purpose.” She also says of the client-agency partnership: “We are one team. Agencies sell too much and clients don’t listen and act upon the expert advice agencies provide us often enough.”

One more thing happened at Cannes that I will never forget. And it involved no words at all. It was when the team from the ALS Foundation took the stage to pick up its Gold Lion award for last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge. As the Lion statue was handed over, a few people in the audience began to applaud and stand up—first 10, then 100, then 1,000 and finally the entire 2,000+ that packed The Audi to the rafters.

The night’s only standing ovation. A thunderous applause, cheers, and yes, many tears.

In our business, that’s the language of love.

Grant Deady with Zeno CEO Barby Siegel and Managing Director of Zeno Asia John Kerr

Grant Deady with Zeno CEO Barby Siegel and Managing Director of Zeno Asia John Kerr