Social & Influencers

Cannes 2024: Candy, creativity, and the art of influencing

The advertising festival’s first day was Monday.
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Francis Scialabba

less than 3 min read

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With sandals strapped, sunscreen slathered, and setting spray spritzed, I took on Day One of Cannes Lions 2024. It was a lovely sunny day by the beach, and while Monday is set to be the coolest of the event’s five days, I was dripping sweat before noon. That humidity is no joke!

While I’d heard Sabrina Carpenter’s “Espresso” several times since arriving, I’d yet to consume any caffeine since arriving on Sunday, so coffee was the first thing on the agenda. Then, I turned to something sweet—sort of. I chatted with Rankin Carroll, chief brand officer at candy giant Mars Wrigley. He’s been coming to Cannes for nearly 10 years (!) now, which is, well, about a decade more than me. He said he particularly likes the event because it sparks creativity and brings together decision-makers. “A lot can happen quite quickly here,” he noted.

Later, I followed the blue carpet over to Amazon Port, where I came across a booth for the Prime Video romance series The Summer I Turned Pretty that was handing out friendship bracelets (go Team Conrad, obviously). I overheard an Amazon worker explaining the plot of the show to a man who had clearly never seen it before.

I also watched influencer Alix Earle and Marianna Hewitt, the co-founder of skin-care brand Summer Fridays, on Amazon’s “Now trending: #Authenticity” panel. Earle discussed creating sponsored brand content that resonates with her audience (“I usually look for creative freedom,” she said), citing a recent collab with YSL Beauty for which her boyfriend, football player Braxton Berrios (who I spotted in the audience), did the voiceover.

Then, I spent some time wandering around all the brand activations, from yachts to cabanas. While I got a sunburn and my makeup melted off my face, my sandals proved to be quite comfortable. Thanks, Old Navy!

Signing off for the day like Alix Earle: Bye 👋.

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