Why Cannes Lions 2017 Still Matters

Discover all that Cannes Lions 2017 has to offer in this Guide to Cannes Lions 2017 by Bespoke Yacht Charter.

Why Cannes Lions 2017 Still Matters

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017 is set to take over Cannes from 17-24 June where over 15,000 attendees who are passionate about creativity meet to network, share and celebrate ideas about advertising and marketing.

Cannes Lions and the three mini-festivals within the festival – Lions Health, Lions Innovation and Lions Entertainment – become the epicentre for creativity and innovation, where talented independent entries can square off against the media powerhouses to win the highly-coveted Lions awards.

Last year, there were a staggering 43,101 entries and there was industry talk the event had too many awards. However, efforts overseen by Jose Papa in his new Managing Director role at Lions Festivals have ensured the entry process for Cannes Lions 2017 was simplified and improved with a 10-point entry checklist and there has been a lot of restructuring categories.

Charter yachts on the Jetée Albert Edouard
Charter yachts on “Cannes Yacht Row”


Bespoke Yacht Charter have over 14 years’ experience in organising yacht activations at Cannes and in the South of France and we welcome our yacht charter clients who return to Cannes Lions because it is the largest and most significant global event for those working in branded communications to be inspired, collaborate, discuss future trends and acknowledge the leading creative projects.

We can’t predict the campaigns that will win at Cannes Lions 2017, but we can give you impartial and independent guidance about booking your perfect yacht. Whether you’re a first-time attendee to Cannes Lions with the next touchstone concept or a Cannes Lions veteran, we’d like to share our practical guide to Cannes Lions 2017 below:

Cannes Lions 2017 Preview

Entries for the 24 Lions Awards opened in January 2017 with final submissions (with late fees) due by 20 April 2017. For the first time, the entry kit is available in Mandarin, Japanese and Portuguese.

If you think you’ll be pushed to make the final deadline, get in touch with Cannes Lions via email: Note: Any entry withdrawn after 23 March 2017 is not entitled to a refund.

The first shortlists will be available online from 17 June (Pharma, Health & Wellness) through to 23 June (Integrated, Titanium). There are six different Awards Shows across the Cannes Lions 2017 week with all winners announced online the day following the Award ceremonies.

Cannes seafront at dusk
Cannes seafront at dusk


Every year, Cannes Lions throws down the gauntlet for creative debate and controversy – the submissions that should have won Lions awards but missed out, the agencies that ran ads on a limited basis so they would be eligible for submission into Cannes and so forth. Regardless, it remains a pinnacle event for the industry and showcases some of the best debuts in the creative world.

For 2017, 360° video, VR and AR will continue to feature strongly. Last year the New York Times was a double Grand Prix winner for its virtual reality project. This year, there is a new 360° / VR category under ‘Film Lions’, a new 360° video category under ‘Mobile Lions’ and a brand new category for Entertainment Lions called ‘VR, AR & Emerging Tech: Film or Series’. Watch this space for addition of new categories in the future as technology is continuing to prove that immersive entertainment is evolving with brand marketing and content creation.

Other Award reshapes at Cannes Lions 2017 come from the ‘Print & Publishing’ Lions where submissions are now accepted for books, magazines and digital publications and the introduction of four new categories for ‘Product Design’. Lions Health has launched one new category, ‘Health & Wellness Tech’ with Innovation Lions breaking out two exciting additions including ‘Early Stage Technology’ which presents a space for prototypes and beta stage ideas.

Media Network of the Year Cannes Lions
Media Network of the Year
Cannes Lions 2017 Special Awards

These are the awards that are won through the calculation of points from winning and shortlisted entries at Cannes Lions 2017 rather than awarded by a jury. They include Agency of the Year, Media Network of the Year, the Palme d’Or for a Production Company and Healthcare Agency of the Year.

Cannes Lions 2017 Jury

Winning a Lion is the ultimate benchmark of creative excellence. Jurors are looking for great creative and purposeful strategies for brand building, engaging audiences and/or sales.

2017 Jurors include multi-award winning Tham Khai Meng of Ogilvy & Mather (Titanium and Integrated), Olivier Robert Murphy of Universal Music Group (Entertainment Lion for Music) and Amit Akali of Medulla Communications (Pharma) who won 7 Cannes Lions and 7 Clios last year.

Cannes Lions 2017 Speakers

Festival attendees are spoiled for choice with diverse speakers for Cannes Lions 2017 ranging from actresses to CMO’s and Creative Directors for global events.

Look for:

  • David Droga (Founder & Creative Chairman of Droga5; Droga will also be presented with the Lion of St Mark at the 2017 event for his outstanding contribution to creativity)
  • Julia Hamilton Trost (Business Development Lead for Google VR)
  • Kazuhiro Shimura (Creative Director at Dentsu Inc.)
  • Andrew Robertson (President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide)
  • Pam Grossman (Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images)
  • Jeff Bewkes (Chairman & CEO of TimeWarner)
  • Jessica Alba (Actress & Founder of The Honest Company)
  • Tom Calderone (Global Head at Spotify Studios)
  • Sheryl Sandberg (COO at Facebook)
  • Russell Simmons (Entrepreneur, author & philanthropist from All Def Digital)
  • Glory Zhang (CMO at Huawei)
Cannes Lions School & Academies

Cannes Lions School run hands-on learning sessions and talks during the Festival. Courses offered range from executive level ‘Masters of Creativity’ to a five-day programme called the ‘Young Marketers Academy’ open to those aged 30 years or under.

Young Lions

Open to those in creative communications aged 30 years or under, the Young Lions competition runs local selections to choose the best up-and-coming creative and media professionals in each country. The winners enter the final round in Cannes and around 400 competitors have 24 hours (48 for Film) to answer a brief set by a non-profit organisation.

Creative Clients Experience

A new package for Cannes Lions 2017, this package is for groups of 5 people or more featuring private screenings of shortlisted work in your sector as well as bespoke services to plan the best itinerary for your team. Available in two, four or eight day options from Cannes Lions.

Cannes Lions Stories

Cannes Lions Stories, the event’s new content arm, delivers insider knowledge, category history and emerging industry trends. The Awards team will publish weekly features, providing candid insights and showcasing examples of shortlisted and winning work from previous years such as the Story of Cyber, A Lion in Five and The Next Rembrandt.

The Work Space & Awards Hub

An unmissable part of Cannes Lions 2017, follow the path from brief to Lion Award via a series of presentations, workshops and tours about award-winning work. We recommend ‘Tours of the Work’ and ‘Inside the Jury Room’.

Cannes Helicopter Transfers by Azur Hélicoptère
Cannes Helicopter Transfers by Azur Hélicoptère
Bespoke Yacht Charter’s Cannes Lions 2017 Tips
  • The two-day events for Lions Health, Lions Innovation and Lions Entertainment are standalone passes, or you can get access via a Classic or Complete Pass. All passes are bookable online, right up to the last day. Follow the signs for Registration when you get to the Palais des Festivals, with your confirmation email and photo ID to collect your badge. You need to wear your pass to get access to all the Festival venues, including the beaches, Cabana Town and at peak times, some of the bars and restaurants at the hotels along the Croisette. Your badge is also your ticket to the Awards Shows, Galas and many of the official Fringe events.
  • Young Lions and Students aged 30 years and under get discounts of around 40% on their Cannes Lions 2017 passes.
  • VIP Lions passes feature access to the business lounge with food and drink, VIP Awards and Gala entry and mainstage line-skip.
  • For transport between Cannes and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, there are numerous options. Helicopter transfers can be prebooked and offer the fastest transfer (7-minute journey time). Private vehicle transfers are aplenty – ensure you book a VTC transfer which ensures they are registered and insured. A taxi costs around €80 oneway, depending on traffic. The train service is frequent and takes approximately 40 minutes from Nice St-Augustin train station to Cannes and buses leave from both Terminals 1 and 2 to a central Cannes stop, located opposite the Vieux Port. Note: Public transport schedules are limited in the late evenings and weekends. Always expect the unexpected, two years ago a taxi strike altered many transport plans.
  • Cannes Lions 2017 starts on Saturday 17 June – while not crucial information for attendees, you should be aware that Sunday 18th June is observed as Father’s Day (Fête des Pères) in France and many restaurants especially at lunch are very busy with families celebrating. Book ahead if you hope to dine out!
  • Cannes Lions 2017 has two dedicated smartphone apps for event news and networking: Review the content programme, keep up with the latest news from the Festival, see the award winners and shortlists as they come out and network with other delegates.
  • Look for the Live Lions videos on the Cannes Lions YouTube channel where you can see live streaming of the most popular sessions of the day as decided by public vote.
  • The intensity of Cannes Lions 2017 means many people have back-to-back-to-back meetings. If you need some downtime, head for a round of golf at a French Riviera golf course within 20 minutes’ from Cannes or take a day boat to the Lérins Islands just off the coast of Cannes.
  • Strong WiFi at Cannes events has always been a point of contention with thousands of delegates keen to share their experience across social media. The dedicated (and hugely overworked) network at Palais des Festivals is run by ViaPass who facilitate the majority of the Cannes events. Nevertheless, WiFi in central Cannes can be erratic, even in the top hotels, so have a backup plan in case of no internet service. If you’re presenting on stage, never rely on a live connection. If the Palais WiFi has let you down, other places with WiFi in Cannes include Le Mocca and Le Potinière opposite the Palais, Plage Goéland and the Grand Hotel on the Croisette, Il Teatro restaurant on rue des Gabres and of course, McDonalds opposite Vieux Port.
  • Bespoke Yacht Charter have years of expertise arranging Cannes Lions yacht rentals. Yacht berths at the port during events are strictly limited, therefore early booking is strongly recommended and we can guide you through the process to ensure your company gets a great yacht in a prime location. During Cannes Lions 2017, access at Vieux Port to the quays closest to the Palais des Festivals is reserved to event delegates and Yacht Pass / Harbour Pass holders from 8am to 6pm. After 6pm, the harbour will be open to the public.
  • First-timer to Cannes Lions 2017? Follow these sites for case studies of creative talent and predictions for Cannes Lions winners – The Gunn Report, Adweek, Leo Burnett (on social, use hashtag #LeoCannes) and AdAge.
Yacht Party at Cannes Lions
Party on the Celtra Yacht Activation at Cannes Lions
Useful Links for Cannes Lions 2017:

Cannes Lions 2017 website:

Official Cannes Lions 2017 Facebook page:

Official Cannes Lions 2017 Twitter account:

Cannes Lions 2017 YouTube channel:

This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter.

To discuss a yacht charter for Cannes Lions 2017, please contact Rachel Coles, the Cannes Lions specialist at Bespoke Yacht Charter: