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Overheard at Cannes Lions 2024

A lion with it's mouth beside another lion's ear, covered by a pixelated cursor hand. A photo of a mediterranean coastline is behind them.

Illustration by Robyn Phelps / Getty / Shutterstock / The Current

No matter your stance on AI, both first-time visitors and established pros at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity can agree on one thing: The most interesting conversations happen along the Croisette. In an industry that likes to talk as much as this one, there are always tidbits of gossip and insightful gems emerging from the industry’s hottest (quite literally) annual gathering.

Here are some of The Current’s favorites from this year:

“Why am I on this panel about AI?” – Princess Beatrice
“Don’t worry, every panel is about AI.” – Panel member

“Travis is in his red phase, wouldn’t you say? But State Farm red.”
– Kristyn Clark, CMO, State Farm, on “The Kelce Effect” panel

“It was a nightmare to get to the Axios Women’s Sports House. The shuttle got lost. One shuttle took over an hour to get there.” – Cannes attendee

“We’re all waiting for one song.” – Spotify Shaboozey concert attendee

“How one ad tech company postponed another ad tech company from getting to the Spotify concert because of the drone show.” –Cannes attendee

“Sometimes I put my foot in my mouth.”

Elon Musk, on panel with WPP’s Mark Read

“Everything is covered in dirt this year. From the yachts to the activations. Someone said it’s dust from the Sahara.”
– Cannes attendee visiting a cabana

“I orchestrated Taylor Swift.”
Tim Ellis, EVP and CMO, NFL, joking on a panel

“I think everyone came in with more specific goals and I think as a result, everyone we saw was back-to-back and overprogrammed and overscheduled.”
Lauren Wetzel, COO, InfoSum

“You can never have too many totes. In Brooklyn, you get one every two days.”

Cannes attendee

“Taylor Swift will probably show up at Amazon because of The National. She’s on their album. Oh, but she has such loyalty to Spotify.”
– Cannes attendee

“Wouldn’t she be here for Travis? No, Travis should come to her.”
– Cannes attendee in response

“Let’s do stuff that maybe gets us fired…Wouldn’t you rather go out swinging?”
Nicole Parlapiano, CMO, Tubi, on a panel

“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything!”
Beverly Jackson, VP of brand and product marketing, Zillow, on a panel