Rankin CEO Richard Pinder: My Top Tips for Cannes

Top Tips for Cannes
Cannes is a place that has special meaning for me. I have been to the Lions Festival there most of the last 25 years. I also celebrated being a part of the leadership of Leo Burnett Worldwide when it was the most awarded agency network there (and still privately owned). I even ended up living there (and starting a family and a company) during and after my time heading Publicis Worldwide.

But these days, the sheer scale of what long time leader of Cannes Lions, Phil Thomas and his team have created is what impresses more than anything. That scale has allowed a proper space for entertainment ideas or gaming ideas or any strong communications platform to be as ‘big’ or even bigger than the tv and print formats of yore.

I am certain that the themes of the recent past will continue. Globally understandable and culturally relevant, technologically savvy, purposeful (if not Purpose Full) and demonstrably impactful ideas will continue to win out.

To that end I asked the Rankin Creative Department to give their read on the work catching their eye that fits the bill. After some viewing and debate these were the top three:

Levis: Greatest Story Ever Told
Droga 5 New York

Levis has matured magnificently as a brand and as an advertiser since over a decade ago I was sitting with then new CEO Chip Bergh in his San Francisco office discussing what he had in mind to bring Levis back to glory. We wrote the Live In Levis line with his team and he started them on a path of being comfortable with their role at the centre of the every day stories we all have, not trying to be the coolest new brand on the block. This series does a great job of celebrating Levis’ role at the heart of everyday culture.

Apple: The Greatest
In house

Apple has, in the same timeframe and from that same region of the world, morphed from challenger to unchallengeable leader and increasingly takes that role more and more seriously by presenting us important messages for our time. What I love about this work is that it is ‘ableist’ in that all the features they superbly show aiding and abetting those less able, are features I too now want to go out and try. A great example of a powerful message that is also highly proximate to everyone.

Tuvalu: The First Digital Nation
The Monkeys and Collider

And Tuvalu is managing to communicate something that is crucial for them and their culture whilst at the same time reminding us that a world that talks Net Zero, needs to deliver Net Zero. Otherwise, instead of Tuvalu alone, we will be seeing many countries and regions suffering a similar existential threat.

LGBTQ+ Switchboard: The Call
Rankin Creative

If our team had a fourth to pick from the many Cannes entrants, they’d probably self interestedly suggest a gong for The Call which is a 14’ film shot by the burgeoning Entertainment group at Rankin Creative for the rebranded LGBTQ+ Switchboard. Poignant and powerful, it is a lovely example of what you can do with passion, craft and not a lot of money!

Richard Pinder is CEO of Rankin. He is the former CEO of Crispin Porter & Bogusky in London, COO of Publicis Groupe, and president of Leo Burnett EMEA.

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