“There’s a real buzz in Cannes this year”

Throughout the week we are speaking to industry leaders from the region who are at the festival

Campaign Middle East is on the road, well sort of. We are covering Cannes Lions this week and each day we will bring you the thoughts and insights from industry leaders from the Middle East who are in the South of France for the world’s biggest festival of creativity.

Here are the thoughts of Dubai-based Mike Khouri, CEO at Tactical, a global creative and innovation studio.

“There’s a real buzz in Cannes this year ahead of the Lions. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the vibes ahead of the Olympics. Either way the city is packed, energy is high and people are excited.

AI will no doubt be on the tip of most conversations this week. Expect AI to be mentioned (a lot) across product launches from the tech players packed in on La Croisette, all the way through to headline making keynotes with the likes of Elon Musk and OpenAI’s Mira Murati.

We also have the usual suspects in Marc Pritchard, Sir Martin Sorrell and David Droga chiming in this week. They’re back and their contribution – and influence – across the industry is always worth tuning into.

It’s also great to see up-and-coming challenger brands like Liquid Death and Duolingo get their time in the spotlight.

These brands have been brilliant with their marketing in recent years, so it’s great to getting an inside track on what makes their leadership tick and brands stand out.

Industry reunion party

And while all this is exciting, personally I’m most interested in exploring the work and connecting with the best creative minds in the business. Strip away the noise and what you have at the Lions is the world’s best platform for creativity, second to none.

Yes the awards are great for recognition and worth celebrating, but the droves of people coming together from all corners of the globe is what makes this week so special to attend.

What’s been further encouraging is the significant presence from across our region. The flight to Nice felt more like an industry reunion party, and the same can be said once you get on the ground.

Creatives, brands and platforms alike are sharing hugs and chit chatting across the festival.

All great signs to see as the week kicks off and we get to celebrate creative excellence on the sunny shores of Cannes.

If you are at Cannes Lions and want to submit 300-400 words on your experiences along with a fun selfie please drop me a line.