Cannes Lions 2014: Our favourite quotes from the festival

Our web and social media editor Rhia Chohan brings us highlights from Cannes.

Last week was all go as Sue and I flew over to the French Riviera to cover the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for Lürzer’s Archive. Held a few weeks after the Cannes Film Festival, it’s the ad industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

The awards are just a part of it, as the week is jam-packed with workshops, talks and seminars headlined by the biggest names in creativity – from Google to National Geographic to pop culture icons like Spike Jonze and Kanye West. The most popular event is the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase.

Across all social platforms, we tried to cover as many seminars as we could to make it possible for followers of Archive who weren’t at the festival to still experience it.

Live tweeting and frequently posting images on Instagram with the #CannesLions hashtag meant we could be part of the conversation as well as a source of information. Our numbers shot up, as did levels of interaction.

I’ll leave you with some of our favourite comments that we gathered over the week:

“If we don't create something that has an emotional connection, what's the f***ing point?”

David Droga founded Droga5 in New York in 2006 and is one of the most awarded individuals in the history of Cannes Lions. He took the stage with Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s John Hegarty to nail the real issues facing the industry today. Let’s hope their mums weren’t in the audience - they were pretty sweary!

“This is the first time Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter are on stage together.”

The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, decided to beat everyone else to it by cracking the joke when he arrived on stage with Ralph Fiennes. During the interview, BAFTA-winning actor Fiennes attacked homophobia in Russia and opened up to Rusbridger about the conflicting issue of privacy.

“You’re like a crack-addicted lab monkey just pushing the little button for another hit of something that feels good.”

Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were in conversation with creator of Veep and The Thick of It, Armando Iannucci. Benioff’s remarks explained why they prefer to keep social media out of the creative process, despite a desire to engage with fans: “At the end of the day you end up spending time on that when you should be spending time on your actual job.”

Iannucci, on the other hand, is an active Twitter user, but cautioned: “I use Twitter to be funny but I don’t invite suggestions on what to do on Veep.”

“You can't resuscitate a stinking pile of yak turd - and god knows you've tried.”

Oscar-winning actor as well as musician and director, Jared Leto, was met by cheers and whoops as he was frank with the audience about ads and the internet:  "Advertising can't save the internet, the world and certainly not your brand. First of all, you have to make something great.”

I wasn’t swooning at his unkempt facial hair and luscious locks. Not one bit.

"You can have extraordinarily difficult problems to solve, but that complexity shouldn't be evident in the solution." 

In a session hosted by VICE's Shane Smith about the power of (RED) to halt the spread of HIV, Bono was up and down and rockstar-sweary, explaining how when negotiating with Steve Jobs he nearly told him to stick his phone "up his ass."

Jonathan Ive, Apple's Senior VP of Design, was typically more measured in his comments, talking calmly and succinctly about how simplicity makes for beautiful design.

"We are the creatives with teeth. We know ideas are more important than our personal wellbeing."

I could have left you with Kanyisms such as this and this, but Kanye West was really well behaved and let people finish talking in this seminar with Translation CEO Steve Stoute and Andreessen Horowitz co-founder, Ben Horowitz. So we’ll give him a break.

The conversation touched upon Samsung, Apple, hip hop as a brand and how millennials helped vote in Obama.