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Anna Wintour and Will Smith at Cannes Lions, the inspiration dose

côte d'azur | …news & info

22 June 2016

Cannes Lions reverberates passion in all its senses. And passion is about creativity.

It was one of those mornings when we breath creativity in Cannes and we are waiting to be blown away with inspiration. Anna Wintour and Will Smith were on the list - huge names, big moments ! I was looking forward to it !

Anna Wintour was introduced by Burberry CEO, Christopher Bailey, as a huge fashion guru, powerful and emotional, very fond of charity (she helped raised millions of dollars for the Metropolitan Museum) ... with one amendement : not to bother her too much. We couldn't have, though, as, to my biggest surprise, Anna Wintour had a written speech that she read all along the « meeting » like a politician on a campaign tribune.

 "I hold Anna in high regard, not because of her influence but because of the brilliance behind that influence." Christopher Bailey said.

I was expecting interactivity or, at least, I was expectinng effervescence and spontaneity, powerful thoughts, new ideas ! She reminded us about the latest big media stories in the US and their impact (Scientology, Caitlin Jenner - crap stories, Hamilton play) and told us about four lessons (which everyone already knows by now): aim high, dare to be different, use all your goals, make interesting friends. I would say that if you have the last one, you don't need that much of the other three ones.

Anna Wintour in quotes at Cannes Lions

"Personal, emotion-driven presentations can just as easily become blockbusters as the huge extravagances," she said.

 "When I became editor of Vogue in 1988, if you had told me about everything that was to come in digital, that we would be coding our content, not to mention that would also be doing film and books and television, as well as events, podcasts and more, I would have had a heart attack. I was struggling to get the magazine on the newsstand every month."

"We live in an age that prizes authenticity," noted Wintour. 
And because you can't do anything without humor, Anna Wintour showed us a short video with Amy Schumer in which they switched roles.

But then, after this, there was Will Smith who knows perfectly well that in order to conquer an audience you have to make it laugh. And, sure thing, we laughed. Effervescence, interactivity, seriousness, life lessons and jokes made one of the best Cannes Lions speech with Jackie Cooper, Edelman's Global Chair, Creative Strategy. Jackie Cooper told us that Will Smith conquered through authenticity. And this can be one of the winning traits, though he admitted he left authenticity aside many times for success no matter what.

"I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag - around Wild Wild West time - I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it." said Will Smith.

For the first time, the actor admitted his involvement in the company Just Water, that produces a paper and sugar cane-bottled water in order to be more eco friendly and environmentally productive. His son was the inspiration for this when he got his interest for the planet in school.

His conclusion is that we live in a different era right now and we have to return to storytelling and true things and make good movies.

Editor Andra Oprea