Words by Jamie Tolentino-Deludet
Adrianne Smith, Founder of Vision Corps Media Group (VCMG), created the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective in 2017 to help under-represented communities gain knowledge, exposure, and networking opportunities at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Philip Thomas, Chairman and CEO of Cannes Lions says that an analysis by IBM Watson reveals that diversity is the number one keyword in Cannes, and that diversity is important element in their work. This year, to represent how important this agenda is, they have decided to go all out with a beach activation with talks on all things diversity and inclusion.
Gayle King, CBS Morning News Anchor, talks to a panel regarding their views on diversity to kick off the week of discussions at the Inkwell Beach at during the festival.
After showing the audience, Kelly Rowland’s Crown in collaboration with Dove and Gillette’s toxic masculinity ad, Mark Read claims that it’s important to feature diversity themed ads because “If we can change how one person feels about themselves then that’s valuable.”
Monique Nelson, Chair & CEO of UWG rounds out the panel saying “We (people of color) have to be extraordinary, and not just good. We are often told “oh, you’re a real agency!”
When I asked Adrianne why it’s taken this long for the diversity agenda to reach the C-Suite, she claims that it takes about 10 years for a movement to gain mass impact. The Madison Avenue initiative took 10 years, and then the Madison Avenue project followed suit. The Cannes Can: Diversity Collective is now in its prime time to take action rather than just talk about the issues.