First Sessions Confirmed for Cannes Lions 2020

This year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will feature sessions from some of the world’s fastest-growing brands, including Netflix, Amazon, Burger King and Microsoft. Along with creative legends that include David Droga and Rob Reilly, they will share how they have used creativity to unlock brand growth and marketing effectiveness.

At last year’s Festival, Burger King won both the Titanium Grand Prix and the very first Creative Brand of the Year award. In their 2020 session, Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer, Burger King, will call out to the industry: “Don’t F*ck It Up”, as he explains how they ensure brand activism starts with brand accountability.

“Burger King is a brand that has invested in long-term brand building and seen business growth as a result,” said Simon Cook, managing director, Cannes Lions. “Fernando Machado references creativity as a key factor in driving their results, and when Burger King picked up the Cannes Lions Creative Brand of the Year award, they also happened to be experiencing double digit growth. This is a brand that has identified the conditions for success and it’s something our community want to hear more about.”


For the first time, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service, Netflix, will come to Cannes Lions. Ranked as the number one fastest-growing US brand in 2019, Netflix will share the story of how it has built a global business on world-class storytelling.

Jean Tanis, global marketing creative lead, Netflix, added: “Our mission is to create stories viewers love. Part of that, is finding different ways to connect them and allow them to share in those stories, so creating anticipation plays a massive role. We don’t want to sell them a story. We want them to become part of it.”

Tanis will be joined by Chris Breen, chief creative officer, Chemistry, who added: “Any agency can make an ad. What we do is make our clients famous by finding new ways to tap into their unique cultures. That’s what we live for and that’s what we’ll bring to life during this session with Netflix.”

In another first, multinational technology company, Amazon, will make its debut stage appearance at Cannes Lions. Claudine Cheever, head of global brand and advertising, Amazon, will share how it continues to build a sustainable and authentic brand by focusing on creating the best customer experience in every communication, being self-aware but not self-obsessed, and staying humble.


The Cannes Lions content agenda will also provide the platform for some inspiring agency-brand relationships to deliver learnings and wisdom on creativity’s fundamental role in enabling brand brilliance. Reflecting on the now iconic, ‘The Truth is Worth It’ campaign, David Droga, founder and creative chairman, Droga5, and David Rubin, chief marketing officer, The New York Times, will reflect on this Grand Prix winning campaign and the process that brought the brand’s mission to life in 2019; the same year that The New York Times Company reported record digital growth.

Spotlighting another hugely successful creative partnership, Rob Reilly, global creative chairman McCann Worldgroup, and Kathleen Hall, corporate vice president of brand, advertising and research, Microsoft, will be onstage to divulge how creativity has turned Microsoft, once a brand associated with uninspiring advertising, into an award-winning, purposeful and people-focused brand that has seen consecutive growth in recent years.

Says Charlotte Williams, vice president of content, Cannes Lions: “We’re working to build a high-value content programme and we’ve included these global, high-growth brands and creative legends on the roster to provide clear conditions for success, along with best-practice learning for our diverse community. We’ve had more than 1,000 content submissions and from these we’ve selected the proposals that best deliver what our audience have asked for.

“This year’s programme will align with eight content themes. We carried out research with more than 1500 industry individuals and held detailed interviews with over 100 industry-leading creative and brand C-suites to help us determine the themes which are the most business-critical for our global community.”

The 2020 content themes are:
– Creativity is the Business Growth Engine
– Creative Disruption in Commerce
– Post-Purpose: Brand Accountability and Activism
– Your Brand is my Experience
– Looking to 2030: Making your Business Future-fit
– Applied Creativity: When Data, Tech and Ideas Collide
– Storytelling at Scale
– Let’s Get Back to Brand

Content will span the five days of the Festival offering unbeatable learning to inspire creativity as a driver for business, for change and for good. Cannes Lions runs from 22-26 June 2020. Further information on the speakers and schedule can be found at


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