by César Vacchiano (@cvacchiano‏) CANNES, FRANCE: Naomi Campbell was a game-changer in fashion and she spoke on Cannes Lions Day 3 about the innovation and designers in Africa — how impressive it is to be in Africa and feel the explosion of innovation throughout the continent. She is building a platform so that young designers may show their work. She first travelled to Africa in 1984 and since then she’s been attracted by its energy.

Fashion as a cultural influence

She realised that she worked with designers, not because of the money but because of their talent and innovation in design, and she helped to promote some designers through working with them (ie Azzedine Alaia). She’s also been working with many NGOs and she’s learned to identify those that she feels 100% safe working for, those that really work for good. She’s been involved in projects with Syrian refugees and she was touched because she realised that their only hope is to return some day to Syria. Meanwhile, they’re happy, even if they have five jobs a day in order to learn new skills and make a living.

She wants emerging markets to be allowed into the world to show their innovative talent. She thinks that building platforms to show that talent is crucial. She says that, if she dreams it, it will happen. She shared with us that the most-important thing is to have passion and be committed to projects, and that this is the formula for success.

Reimagining the retail experience

McKinsey predicts that, while 30% of sales will be online, 70% will still be generated in retail stores, so it’s important to invest in retail and reinforce the experience and engagement of customers in stores.

Apple is building a different type of store, much larger and with spaces to hold training sessions and have closer relationships with clients. The spaces will be built to resemble the boardroom at Apple Park built by Foster. Angela Ahrendts, Apple Retail senior VP, explained this is an educational project within Apple and it’s finding emblematic spaces and buildings in cities to build spaces that are being named “Today at Apple”. Apple holds 16 000 sessions a day, in 501 stores in 30 countries.

GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple)

Scott Galloway, NYU founder and professor of marketing, shocked the festival with some dramatic figures on GAFA. He demonstrated with accurate data how these US tech giants are destroying jobs, stopping innovation and becoming big monopolies in today’s world without paying taxes. Governments and laws do nothing to stop them.

While Walmart pays US$64bn in taxes in the US last year, Amazon only paid US$1bn! Google had a revenue of £5.7bn in the UK in 2017 and only paid £0.05bn taxes. Facebook and Google projected a US$28bn growth and they only need 26 000 employees in their organizations to accomplish that growth. At the same time, Publicis Groupe, Omnicom, IPG and WPP have projected a reduction of 235 000 employees, so there’ll be a nett loss is of 207 000 advertising jobs in the futures.

He made us all realise that, among the global political leaders, Merkel (Germany) will be in power for at least three more years, Trump for four years, Putin for six years… but Mark Zuckerberg will be leading Facebook for at least the next 33 years.

Galloway has written the book, The Four. The hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, where all this data is revealed and he also has interesting talks on TED.

Deviant design

The next biggest innovation is not a technology.

Beau Lotto is a neuroscientist whose studies in human perception have taken him well beyond the scientific domain and into the fields of education, the arts and business. He explained that everything we do is a reflex. His advice: Don’t shift; expand.

The next greatest innovation is how to be in conflict. The best ideas do not make sense. And he thinks playing is crucial; it celebrates uncertainty, encourages diversity, makes you open to different possibilities, and makes us cooperative, intrinsically motivated and intentional (

Bites, snacks & meals

Last year, YouTube introduced us to bumpers (bumper ads); yesterday, Noel Paasch, global creative director, explained how a group of bumpers — a flock — work even better, as well as the importance of tuning into your audience if you want them to tune into you. Plus the basics of successfully creating videos: tight framing, bright and high contrast colours, and large-type copy.

YouTube worked with 12 agencies to retell the greatest stories (Rapunzel, Three little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood,). They may be seen at


Spotify, the Swedish company, has given new opportunities to singers, introduced us all to new artists, has gotten listeners to pay for music again, has over 170m music fans in 65 countries, and is a powerful canvas for brands. Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO, received the award of Media Brand of the Year on behalf of its 3 000 employees.


Inspiring awards of the evening were:


  • Black Supermarket, Marcel for Carrefour
  • Clown Scary Night, LOLA MullenLowe for Burger King

Brand Experience & Activation

  • Save our Species, BETC for Lacoste
  • Today at Apple (Grand Prix)

Creatives eCommerce

  • A/R Jordan, R/GA Portland for Nike Air Jordan
  • Xbox Design Lab, McCann London for Xbox Microsoft


  • Hope, Sra. Rushmore for Red Cross


  • Breaking Ballet, TBWA\Hunt Lascaris for Joburg Ballet


  • David Bowie is here, Spotify NY
  • Kay-Z Smile, Smuggler NY (Grand Prix)
  • Welcome Home, TBWA\Media Arts Lab LA for Apple HomePod

Cannes Lions: See you tomorrow

Johanna McDowell also contributed to this report.


César VacchianoCésar Vacchiano (@cvacchiano‏) is president and CEO of SCOPEN, an independent research company headquartered in Spain. Trained in economics and business with postgraduate degrees in American universities, he is an international speaker and contributor to various publications, specialist in image studies and positioning agencies, advertisers and media. César has been at SCOPEN since 1993 and today is the company’s top executive worldwide.

“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.

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