Cannes Lions 2016: Creative Collaboration, Virtual Reality and 360 Video Were All Hot Topics At This Year’s Festivity

With: Alexandra Thielke, Co-Founder of Twentyfive & Thirty

After this year’s installment of Cannes Lions, we had the pleasure to do a 1-on-1 interview with the co-founder of “world-traveling” agency Twentyfive & Thirty, Alexandra Thielke. Haven’t heard of the 2-person creative agency? Check out their feature in AdWeek!


Here’s the scoop:

Was this your first time at Cannes Lions? Would you agree that this festival is the most rewarding annual event creative professionals can attend?

“This was our 3rd time at Cannes Lions. This is definitely an inspiring event to attend for all creative professionals. This event sets the tone of what is trending and what will be the tendencies in the year to come. So many inspiring people are gathered to share and discuss their point of view of the creative industry. We believe that this is one of the most educating events you can possibly attend.”


In 3 words, please describe this year’s festival.

“International. Inspiring. Rosé.”


Major brands like Burger King and John Lewis brought home the Lions Grand Prix. Out of all participating campaigns, which one stood out to you the most?

The Swedish number – A campaign created for the Swedish Tourist Association, where they made a number anyone in the world can call to ask about Sweden, which will be connected to any random Swede who have signed up to participate and represent their native country.”

“Breast cancer awareness – The Manboobs campaign takes on social media censorship of female breasts by demonstrating how to do a breast self-exam using a man. We just thought it was so well made, clever and hilarious!”


What was the overarching topical theme at this year’s festival? What was the buzz?

“Virtual reality and 360 video was to be found everywhere – It is really taking off! Passion that beats talent, and the collaboration between agencies and clients was a strong topic at this year’s festival as well”


Cannes Lions always attracts a plethora of celebrities. From Will Smith to Martha Stewart. Would you say that any of this year’s keynote speakers managed to capture what branding and creativity means today?

“Absolutely. One of our favorites was Will Smith. Besides his amazing ability to capture his audience and set a relaxed “down to earth” mood, he had some really good points on how to manage a brand and how social media has changed the entire ball game. One of his main points was the change in running a company, and the increased expectancy of full transparency where companies these days are forced to be completely honest and create good wholesome products. If they don’t, their flaws run the risk of being spread across social media in no time.”


What was the most extravagant occurrence during the festival? Any helicopter entrances or outdoor cirque du soleil performances?

“Our most extraordinary experience was delivered by SNASK who made their talk dressed as a rock band. They just look cool and make great work.”


Lastly, what are the thoughts and ideas you will bring back with you to your creative agency?

“We found the subject on collaboration between agency and client very interesting. We had many discussions about this and how relationships need to change to be more honest and close. There were definitely points that support the way we want to – and already work. Especially the thoughts on working “as a team” instead of accepting the traditional client – supplier relationship.”

“The possibilities with Facebook live and 360 video was also very inspiring and is something that we were already looking into before, but now something we will be looking even closer to get involved in. It is clear that advertising is changing from “making ads” to “solving problems”. As creatives, this is something we maintain a strong focus on so it was very inspiring to see and seeing what others are doing gave us tons of inspiration.”




Alexandra Thielke, Co-Founder & Strategic Planner of Twentyfive & Thirty

Twentyfive & Thirty is the world’s smallest global creative agency set out to challenge the way traditional ad agencies work while fulfilling a dream of traveling the world. It is an agency without a fixed address, without fixed work hours but with the flexibility to work whenever they are needed, wherever they want, and with clients from all over the world. This means they often work with their clients without ever meeting them in person.



SXSW 2016: Brands and Influencers Take The Helm

Since its inception, SXSW Interactive has been a hub enlightening people on new ideas and innovations year after year. Now celebrating 30 years, SXSW has acted as a launch pad for Twitter, Foursquare and Meerkat. Here is a look at what the 30-year anniversary edition brought.


Experiential Branding

This year’s event compelled brands to go full-throttle in activating the attendees by offering experiences we’ve never seen before. Riding its success with Mr. Robot, USA Network made a return to SXSW bringing an actual piece of the show with them. Fans were able to ride a 100-foot Ferris wheel and hangout in an abandoned theme park, just like the one they’ve seen on the show. Talk about bringing a series into actual life.

Warner Bros. were not to be outdone as they transformed a local Austin tattoo shop into Harley Quinn’s Tattoo Parlor – themed after a character from the upcoming film Suicide Squad. Here attendees could get fake or real tattoos identical to those worn by the film’s characters.


Virtual Reality

SXSW further strengthened the claim that this is the year VR truly takes a leap. Anheuser-Busch used virtual reality to bring their Budweiser brewery to Austin. A-B set up a Budweiser beer garage where everyone could help themselves to unlimited amounts of Budweiser. The beer enthusiasts were also able to experience a full tour of the Budweiser brewery through an interactive VR session that included the sights, sounds and even scent of the brewery. The sessions were finalized with a taste of a freshly brewed Budweiser.

VR experiences was everywhere to be found, offered by brands like Samsung, McDonald’s and even NASA was there to show off their capabilities. Together with MIT Space Systems Lab, NASA is working on a free virtual reality experience of Mars that will be released on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Samsung VR Gear, as well as for iPhone and Android.


Big Time Keynotes

Taking time off what probably is the busiest schedule in the US (if not the world), President Barack Obama stopped by SXSW to give a 1-hour long keynote. In contrast with joking about how the Affordable Care Act website launch was a failure, the President urged the audience, and the tech industry to work closer in conjunction with the US government to improve government ailments such as outdated IT infrastructures and voting processes. Obama’s overarching message was to encourage innovative minds to work together to make an impact in their communities and not always identify profit as the sole motivation to develop new exciting tech. In case you missed it, have a look.




Photo Source: Adam Bartlett