Brighton. Durham. Paris. Nice. Cannes. Not the most straightforward route. That will teach me to let my passport lapse (another thing to thank the pandemic for.) But arriving at Cannes Lions 2022 is all worth it.

Straight from the airport taxi into a Department for International Trade event, meeting Japanese, Egyptian and Korean representatives from a range of industries, all looking to meet and connect with international creative, media and tech agencies.

The event was a celebration of different cultures but shared passion for creativity.

Joining the DIT’s Trade Mission this year (with of course a huge tip of the hat to the Ad Association) has already changed my perspective on where we can add value across a range of verticals and markets.

A lot of work has been done in the UK in recent years to quantify and enhance the effectiveness of creativity on ad campaigns. And I speak about my own personal interest in bringing tech to the mix to enhance both here.

We moved swiftly onwards to meet with a bunch of fascinating marketeers including Dr Felipe Thomaz, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Said Business School. Felipe is the renowned author of No Silver Bullet: Cross Media Complementarity – the most comprehensive study of media mix effectiveness across hundreds of brands. I’m probably not allowed to tell you this, but he is currently working with some very special organisations to use marketing techniques in reverse to combat global people trafficking – social purpose with an edge.

Next it was off to a dinner hosted by Ian Edwards, Connection Planning Director with Meta. The aim of the event was to bring agencies together to discuss the future of Meta and how agencies can help clients get ahead inside the Metaverse.

Then we joined Vizer Consulting’s James Hankins for a discussion session on Share of Search – one of my pet passions – and how use it to surface tailored market intel for brands at all levels.

Finally… well, to be honest it was exactly what you’d expect. Sunset beach parties and all the delightful Cannes cliches, mixed in with brilliant discussions with fellow Trade Mission delegates Mike Florence, Global Head of Planning at Gravity Road and OK Cool founder Jolyon Varley, among many others –

Before heading back to the apartment to get ready to do it all again today. I’ll let you know how I go…