Linn Frost in Cannes

Cannes Lions as a The Marketing Society Member

A place where we all know each other's name

Linn Frost a The Marketing Society Member since 2016, donned Smart glasses alongside her Co-Global CEO Ashley Cooksley as they joined the ranks of our Cannes Correspondents this year, here are their thoughts from Cannes 2024.

Armed with our new Smart glasses we embarked on a week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with the goal to capture what this year’s Cannes Lions was all about. Taking our role The Marketing Society Cannes correspondents seriously. 

The number one takeaway and top answer, when we asked members for their key takeaways, was that Cannes Lions is all about Connections and Conversations.  And as Marketing Society Members we are never alone, in fact, the comfort of knowing that at every event we would find someone from our network filled us with joy.   Not only because Cannes provides the most amazing backdrop to connect and catch up but also because it's the best place to introduce each other to new faces and areas of expertise. 


Ashley and Linn Social Element in Cannes

Ashley Cooksley and Linn Frost, Social Element sporting Smart glasses


Not surprisingly AI was the top topic and question asked in every panel, even when the panel topic did not necessarily warrant it.  Having attended The Marketing Society Annual Lecture with Matt Brittin, President of Google EMEA, Linn felt better equipped to answer this question. And pleasingly across the Croisette we are all in agreement that Human powered AI is the way forward and focusing on who pilots and leads the charge is the most important decision. Unanimously AI leadership needs to be balanced and representative of society. 

The tech platforms continue to dominate Cannes Lions with innovation sat at the top of their agenda.  Interestingly we heard and had lots of conversations about the level of power they have and if it's time as an industry that we took some back. Cannes Lions was originally and,we believe, should remain about creativity and celebrating the partnership between agencies and brands and what they achieve together.  Also how they are innovating should be top of the agenda above sustainability and positive mental health?  The CAN (Conscious Advertising Network) highlighted that this should not be the case and asked lots of brilliant questions at a closed sustainability round table Linn attended, sponsored by Dentsu. 


Dentsu Creative in Cannes by Linn Frost


Should Elon Musk have been given a platform to speak? Was another question we asked each other and are still debating now. With the conclusion that yes, let's hear what he has to say so we can counteract any madness and stay on the front foot of what one of the most powerful tech leaders is doing. 


Power and who should have it and what power looks like also dominated conversations.   Alongside, let's redefine it.  Female leadership and the worrying fact that numbers are dropping at C-suite level need to be addressed. Lots of reasons for this with one that actually many women are not willing to make the sacrifices expected or behave in the way that we currently, accept from our predominantly male boards.  A huge thank you to WACL and the people behind the Empower cafe which provided the perfect forum to have open and frank conversations and celebrate the formidable women we have in our industry. 

Being sober in Cannes was also a trend (or not drinking quite as much) and the realisation that sunshine, great company and riveting conversations is the only high we need. 


Sophie Devonshire’s ‘let's take a strategic pause and moment to reflect’ rang in our ears as we tried not to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of panels and events to attend - and was the advice Linn gives every Cannes Lions virgin, including Ashley.  Which leads on to the next rather pleasing theme. Let's slow down to speed up and listen and learn from Emma Harris’s ‘Slow the f*** down’ mantra. 


Emma Harris in Cannes by Linn Frost


We ended our week at Google’s Pride party,  undoubtedly the most inclusive, joyous and amazing party of all. Why? Because we are all there to celebrate our individuality and love for each other! With the realisation that we are in an industry that really does and can change the world together.


Google Pride at Cannes The Marketing Society


Linn Frost and Ashley Cooksley are Co-Global CEO's at Social Element and members of The Marketing Society

Published 26 June 2024

Read our other Cannes Correspondents Dispatches from Cannes Lions 2024 here.



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