Cannes Lions – Cannes Can Diversity Collective at Inkwell Beach
For the first time in its sixty-six-year history, the Cannes Lions festival, also known as the Oscars of Advertising and Creativity, dedicated an entire part of their annual week long programming, to focus on Diversity & Inclusion. The Cannes Can Diversity Collective at Inkwell Beach, named after the famed Inkwell beach on Martha’s Vineyard launched its inaugural event on the French Rivera with over 100 speakers and major star power that included Gayle King, Naomi Campbell, and Gabrielle Union.
With an entrance sign that greets invited quest and visitors with “Welcome Home” several headliners among the group of influencers and executives such as Bozoma Saint John, the former Apple and Uber marketing guru now currently at Endeavor William Morris, April Reign creator of the viral hashtag-turned movement, #OscarsSoWhite, and Bernard Bronner CEO, Bronner Brothers Inc., and Upscale Magazine clearly articulated the need for Diversity, Inclusion, and an equity stake in advertising, and media. Similarly, to the marginalization that exists in Hollywood, the feedback in previous years of Cannes Lions, focused on the lack of inclusivity in various award categories and attendees at his global event Canneslions Winners.
With global powerhouse sponsors such as P&G, CBS, IPG, FCB, WPP, Google, YouTube, and Warnermedia, the focus was on industry insights and data, such as the fact that African Americans are only 3% of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or industry equivalent and Hispanics are only 5%. Many of the other topics and daily panels focused on what these sponsors, as industry titans are doing to rectify this data, diversity images, stakeholders, and human capital behind and in front of the camera, both on and offline.