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Cannes 2018: Day Four Inside the Palais

Cannes 2018: Day Four Inside the Palais

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

June 21, 2018

Meditation, tech, and hip-hop—all keys to unlocking creativity.

Bernstein gave this gave this advice: “Through meditation and empathy, I’ve actually realized that we can all be successful together.”

11:06 a.m.: “Unlocking Brilliant Ideas with Conscious Creativity”

Amid the constant bustle that so many people experience while attending the Cannes Lions festival, a panel that included a five-minute meditation session was much welcomed at The Terrace, a breezy outdoor space at the Palais.

True to form, Havas New York CCO Harry Bernstein, walked out onto the bright and airy stage sans footwear, his curly long hair tied back. With him was Sah D’Simone, transformational coach and meditation teacher, along with co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline and Good Morning America, Dan Harris, who was the moderator for this discussion.

“I got into meditation after I had a panic attack on GMA back in 2004,” Harris said as he recounted his journey in self-awareness and meditation. “I was a really ambitious young reporter at age 28. Came home from spending a lot of time in places like Iraq. I was depressed. I didn’t know I was depressed.”

Harris continued to share his personal experience to kick start an intimate conversation on emotional health—and the scientifically supported benefits of meditation.

“I started to self-medicate with recreational drugs,” he continued. “It’s not like I started meditating immediately. I thought meditation was bullsh*t. I didn’t think it was for me. But then I found out all the benefits. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

For Bernstein, the journey was different but led to the same revelation: Meditation and focus could lead to positive life changes with tangible results. “I’ve always kind of dabbled and was kind of like a spiritual hobbyist,” Bernstein said. “With meditation, my attraction to food changed. I stopped eating sugar. Started eating healthy—my interactions with people are much healthier.”

Meditation teacher D’Simone was candid about how the practice had a profound impact on his life: “Through this process I harnessed some rules—I started to be a little kinder to myself,” he said. “I didn’t let the self-criticism rule. Meditation is like brushing your teeth. Unless you’re filtering your mind, every day, you’re going to be running old narratives through your mind.”

ABC’s Harris stressed that meditation not only helps in our personal lives, but in every facet, including our professional goals. As the Terrace was filled with people in the business of creativity, he and Bernstein spoke about how meditation could benefit industry professionals. “This makes you better at what you’re trying to do,” Harris explained.

“There’s enough scientific research that shows that meditation does boost creativity,” Bernstein continued. “I really do integrate [meditation] into what I do at work. I really believe my creative process has completely changed.”

Harris’ advice to advertisers was simple: “Reconcile advertising by having purpose. People do interact through product and brand.”

To round out the discussion, teacher D’Simone led the audience in a breathing exercise. The room was silent and calm—everyone meditating together. And Bernstein gave this advice: “Through meditation and empathy, I’ve actually realized that we can all be successful together.”

12:01 p.m.: What Creativity Can Do

Creativity fuels one of the world’s most innovative, influential companies—Google. “As a creative you love making things. You love polishing this. What’s even cooler is making something that others can be creative with,” said Robert Wong, VP at Google Creative Lab.

With several do-good case studies, Wong and Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director, Google Creative Lab, spent 45 minutes talking to a packed audience at the Lumière Theatre about how creativity is driving what matters next at Google—and just as important, how to use creativity and the Google platform to make a difference in individual lives. “We are trying to give people the tools, the information, and the opportunity, so that they can do great things,” Vranakis said.

Wong made sure to stress that although technology can be a conduit for messages and projects, tech alone cannot make all the difference. “I believe that it has always been the human heart, and the human imagination that changes things,” he said. “And creativity is the thing that is the  manifestation.”

To end the session, Wong said that creativity, no doubt, can shape our future: “No one knows what the future looks like, but if we use our creativity, use our hearts, use our imaginations, hopefully they will know when we’re done.”

Peterson made it simple: “Every brand needs to become a social brand—and needs to be doing good things for the community.”

3:03 p.m.: What Brands Can Learn from Hip-Hop

In the late afternoon, the electronic, hip-hop sounds from artist Vic Mensa filled the Terrace—as the musician performed two songs for an energized audience.

The mini-concert came after a lucid conversation with Mensa and Jason Peterson, CCO and Co-Chair of Havas North America. Peterson rattled off his favorite brands. Among them: Apple, Kanye West, Adidas, and Drake. He stressed that brands that have a purpose, that pour into the community, and that interact with the community are the ones that make real connections with consumers. “If you think about how you feel about your favorite brands it’s because they treat you with respect,” he said. “There’s a level of trust and a level of authenticity that goes with hip-hop. So many brands are getting it wrong. There’s a level of authenticity that applies to a brand—where people want to reach out and interact with us.”

Mensa also explained the importance of understanding the roots of hip-hop—and its global influence on society today. “Hip-hop is counterculture. Even as it becomes annexed by the mainstream, it’s still part of the counterculture,” he said. “It’s not that hip-hop is trying to be anti—it’s just we go against convention, because hip-hop is that space. We’ll always be against the beaten path.”

Mensa and Peterson gave five action steps that brands can glean from master marketers in hip-hop: drop bombs, provide experiences, form genuine co-signs and collaborations, recognize the importance of family and inner circles, and remember to put the community first.

Peterson made it simple: “Every brand needs to become a social brand—and needs to be doing good things for the community.”

Bernstein gave this gave this advice: “Through meditation and empathy, I’ve actually realized that we can all be successful together.”

11:06 a.m.: “Unlocking Brilliant Ideas with Conscious Creativity”

Amid the constant bustle that so many people experience while attending the Cannes Lions festival, a panel that included a five-minute meditation session was much welcomed at The Terrace, a breezy outdoor space at the Palais.

True to form, Havas New York CCO Harry Bernstein, walked out onto the bright and airy stage sans footwear, his curly long hair tied back. With him was Sah D’Simone, transformational coach and meditation teacher, along with co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline and Good Morning America, Dan Harris, who was the moderator for this discussion.

“I got into meditation after I had a panic attack on GMA back in 2004,” Harris said as he recounted his journey in self-awareness and meditation. “I was a really ambitious young reporter at age 28. Came home from spending a lot of time in places like Iraq. I was depressed. I didn’t know I was depressed.”

Harris continued to share his personal experience to kick start an intimate conversation on emotional health—and the scientifically supported benefits of meditation.

“I started to self-medicate with recreational drugs,” he continued. “It’s not like I started meditating immediately. I thought meditation was bullsh*t. I didn’t think it was for me. But then I found out all the benefits. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

For Bernstein, the journey was different but led to the same revelation: Meditation and focus could lead to positive life changes with tangible results. “I’ve always kind of dabbled and was kind of like a spiritual hobbyist,” Bernstein said. “With meditation, my attraction to food changed. I stopped eating sugar. Started eating healthy—my interactions with people are much healthier.”

Meditation teacher D’Simone was candid about how the practice had a profound impact on his life: “Through this process I harnessed some rules—I started to be a little kinder to myself,” he said. “I didn’t let the self-criticism rule. Meditation is like brushing your teeth. Unless you’re filtering your mind, every day, you’re going to be running old narratives through your mind.”

ABC’s Harris stressed that meditation not only helps in our personal lives, but in every facet, including our professional goals. As the Terrace was filled with people in the business of creativity, he and Bernstein spoke about how meditation could benefit industry professionals. “This makes you better at what you’re trying to do,” Harris explained.

“There’s enough scientific research that shows that meditation does boost creativity,” Bernstein continued. “I really do integrate [meditation] into what I do at work. I really believe my creative process has completely changed.”

Harris’ advice to advertisers was simple: “Reconcile advertising by having purpose. People do interact through product and brand.”

To round out the discussion, teacher D’Simone led the audience in a breathing exercise. The room was silent and calm—everyone meditating together. And Bernstein gave this advice: “Through meditation and empathy, I’ve actually realized that we can all be successful together.”

12:01 p.m.: What Creativity Can Do

Creativity fuels one of the world’s most innovative, influential companies—Google. “As a creative you love making things. You love polishing this. What’s even cooler is making something that others can be creative with,” said Robert Wong, VP at Google Creative Lab.

With several do-good case studies, Wong and Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director, Google Creative Lab, spent 45 minutes talking to a packed audience at the Lumière Theatre about how creativity is driving what matters next at Google—and just as important, how to use creativity and the Google platform to make a difference in individual lives. “We are trying to give people the tools, the information, and the opportunity, so that they can do great things,” Vranakis said.

Wong made sure to stress that although technology can be a conduit for messages and projects, tech alone cannot make all the difference. “I believe that it has always been the human heart, and the human imagination that changes things,” he said. “And creativity is the thing that is the  manifestation.”

To end the session, Wong said that creativity, no doubt, can shape our future: “No one knows what the future looks like, but if we use our creativity, use our hearts, use our imaginations, hopefully they will know when we’re done.”

Peterson made it simple: “Every brand needs to become a social brand—and needs to be doing good things for the community.”

3:03 p.m.: What Brands Can Learn from Hip-Hop

In the late afternoon, the electronic, hip-hop sounds from artist Vic Mensa filled the Terrace—as the musician performed two songs for an energized audience.

The mini-concert came after a lucid conversation with Mensa and Jason Peterson, CCO and Co-Chair of Havas North America. Peterson rattled off his favorite brands. Among them: Apple, Kanye West, Adidas, and Drake. He stressed that brands that have a purpose, that pour into the community, and that interact with the community are the ones that make real connections with consumers. “If you think about how you feel about your favorite brands it’s because they treat you with respect,” he said. “There’s a level of trust and a level of authenticity that goes with hip-hop. So many brands are getting it wrong. There’s a level of authenticity that applies to a brand—where people want to reach out and interact with us.”

Mensa also explained the importance of understanding the roots of hip-hop—and its global influence on society today. “Hip-hop is counterculture. Even as it becomes annexed by the mainstream, it’s still part of the counterculture,” he said. “It’s not that hip-hop is trying to be anti—it’s just we go against convention, because hip-hop is that space. We’ll always be against the beaten path.”

Mensa and Peterson gave five action steps that brands can glean from master marketers in hip-hop: drop bombs, provide experiences, form genuine co-signs and collaborations, recognize the importance of family and inner circles, and remember to put the community first.

Peterson made it simple: “Every brand needs to become a social brand—and needs to be doing good things for the community.”

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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