Cannes Lions was life-changing. My agency chose me to be apart of the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective, which was started by Adrienne Smith. She wanted to see more young faces of color at Cannes Lions. Adrienne literally built the program from 5 scholars to 25 scholars in 1 year and created Inkwell Beach. That’s huge, like someone starting a T-shirt hustle out their trunk then being sold worldwide in less than a year. That’s crazy growth and I’m forever grateful to Adrienne for her perseverance, optimism, and pep talks. She empowered each Diversity Collective scholar with these words, “Don’t just talk about it, be about it.”
Speaking of the other scholars and ambassadors, they were all so smart, educated, and qualified. I was so happy to have connected with new Black, Hispanic, and Asian advertising professionals. My eyes were opened up to the endless possibilities of success and tangible examples to look up to. My CC:DC experience was popping to make it plain. Everyone had their own sense of style, was very intelligent, and aware of the changes that need to be made to make this world better. CC:DC made me hopeful that the race issues in advertising will be disrupted and that we are the seeds to breed that change.
Lost Bag Drama
I left my hubby in KC to go to Cannes, France on a Friday afternoon and after 3 plane rides and about 13 hours, I made it. However, one of my bags was left in Paris. Y’all, my makeup was in that bag. Luckily, one of the creatives from my agency was with me and knew what to do. Within a few minutes, Air France was able to locate my bag. This lead to them reimbursing me for the clothes I bought while on vacation. Once we left the airport, my car dropped me off at my Villa. The view from my room was breathtaking. I woke up to an ocean view and wildlife all around me. It was so refreshing to be tucked away from the busyness of life.
Let me start by saying, I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first trip out of the country. When I got to the front desk, I ran into 2 CC:DC scholars who were nice enough to walk with me to my room which was a short hike from the front desk down 2 pretty steep hills. When we got to my door, there was a maintenance man there and my door didn’t lock. Sis, I was a little freaked out but figured I’d better go get some refreshments for the week instead of worrying. All of that changed, when night fell and my door still didn’t lock.
So I did what any wife would do, I called my husband. Lol I was frantic and in search of answers. He couldn’t fix the door, but his prayer and reminders that God wouldn’t let anything happened to me helped me sleep like a baby.
Cannes Young Lions
I participated in the Cannes Young Lions Program while attending Cannes. I spent the entire week soaking up wisdom from global CEOs. They spoke about the changes that needed to take place to make advertising better, ways to cause disruption, and the responsibility on us as young scholars to make better work. I left the academy feeling empowered. My small group was full of professionals from literally all over the world. I didn’t have a world view until Cannes. Let that sink in. Travel is such a beautiful thing.
I’m a soul food type of girl, but France had some of the freshest fish that I have ever tasted. The seafood was so good, like sop up the extra sauce with a piece of bread good. I really enjoyed the abundance of fresh fruit and fresh fruit juice. I must admit that my favorite treat was enjoying ice cream on the beach in between meetings and seminars. There’s something really magical about enjoying dessert in the middle of the day in the middle of thousands of people. Ice cream reminded me a lot of home. I’m going to give Cannes a 8/10 out of food simply because there wasn’t a whole lot of protein and there was absolutely no bacon.
I enjoyed Cannes because it stretched me in a lot of ways and the views were beautiful. Sometimes it’s hard to step away from everyday tasks to enjoy the roses, so week long getaways like Cannes Lions are perfect. I learned to ask hard questions of leadership, to read more, and to not life so seriously. Advertising is a fun and always changing industry, so it only makes sense to go with the flow. I want to enjoy the breaths that God gives me while they last and I pray that you do the same.
If you’re ever given the opportunity to travel outside the country, do it. If you ever get frustrated because it’s hot, you miss your husband, and you fell down a flight of concrete stairs, go to the party anyway. Your life is worth living. Go for it!
Ps. It has been awhile since my last blog posts. Follow along with my crazy, busy life on Instagram @thejasminediane. Peace.