Partnerships which allow our customers the sponsor to hopefully increase sales and client relationships. Beyond the awards and content, Cannes Lions provides an arena for business development, for deals to be done.
One of the biggest and most valued benefits in attendance to Cannes Lions is the truly world class networking opportunities. The whole industry gathers in Cannes, providing unparalleled access to create new and everlasting business relationships with customers. Many of our customers look to us when business development is the key driver for coming to Cannes Lions. We provide a variety of solutions which help answer this need including networking suites, full turnkey beach locations and most prominently our beachside cabanas. To demonstrate the different ways business development can be achieved through festival partnerships, we have outlined three customer stories below.
Three years from launching, Snapchat had 71 million users and only 25 members of staff. The business was spending $128 million a year and generating zero dollars of revenue. It needed to start generating income and, to do this, it needed to start serving ads on the platform. The Festival was the perfect environment for Snapchat to activate its strategy, offering networking opportunities and space to drive enormous brand awareness. In 2017, Snapchat went on to the stock market with a valuation of 25 billion USD. Cannes Lions was crucial to its success and was mentioned in the Financial Times write up.
Cannes Lions Activity Timeline:
2015: The Big Screen and external presence at the Palais des Festivals
2016: Snapchat Private Lounge at the Pantiero and the Big Screen
2017: Snapchat Private Lounge at the Pantiero
2018: Artist and composer Christian Marclay at the Malmaison
2019: Multimedia artist Alex Israel at the Malmaison
Whalar originally came to the Festival with a limited budget and a strong aspiration to secure investment. We suggested sponsorship of The Mayor’s Box. This VIP seating area, inside the Awards Show theatre, is used by senior Cannes Lions figures to host networking drinks for select VIP guests before the Awards.
Whalar CEO, Neil Waller, leveraged this time each night to network and build new contacts. As a direct result, Whalar secured an enormous level of investment and won some incredible board members. Whalar now take a big space at the Festival and their own fully functioning content programme. The evolution of this partnership has been so successful that Neil stated Cannes Lions is the single most important week of the business’s year.
Cannes Lions Activity Timeline:
2017: Whalar invited to join the R/GA Start Up Academy at Cannes Lions
2018: Whalar secure investment and board including Sir John Heggarty. Partner with Cannes Lions on the Mayor’s Box.
2019: Whalar hosts the Influencer Gallery at the Festival, showcasing five days of “meet the Legends” content.
When retailer Target launched Roundel, a brand new media agency set up to drive ad sales on Targets ecommerce platform, they were struggling to drive brand awareness and meet with the decision makers that would help them close important deals. Cannes Lions was able to offer Roundel a seat at the table through a prominent, high-traffic cabana meeting space which served as an executive meeting room. The quantity and quality of senior delegates at Cannes Lions meant that Roundel was able to meet with companies and executives who were previously unattainable. Its presence at Cannes Lions 2019 even led to signing its first deal with the multinational manufacturer General Mills.