I have to admit that, as a first-timer to Cannes – the city and the festival – I found myself a bit overwhelmed at various points. The scenery, the people, the imagery, the work being featured, and the events – they all scream for your attention.
So I welcome a subtle shift in tone as we approach the end of the week, and the festival rallies around today’s theme of creativity in social business. I think a day to focus on the greater good will do the soul good. At last year’s festival, Bill Clinton left attendees with the message that communications can indeed effect positive change in the world – in fact, his quote is boldly displayed on a wall within the Palais: “The communicators will have a profound influence on how the next 20 years turn out… think about how to do it and do it as well as you can.”
Today marks the launch of a program called Creative for Good. Introduced by the World Economic Forum (WEF), in collaboration with the Ad Council and Ketchum, Creative for Good is an online resource for case studies of effective public education campaigns. The platform brings together over 60 campaigns from around the world on social issues such as education, health and environment, with the objective of helping smaller NGOs and organizations create their own public service campaigns. (You can read more about it in this article from the New York Times.) But the initiative only can be successful if it continues to grow through the regular contributions of cases.
This makes the Cannes International Festival of Creativity the perfect place to launch Creative for Good. Today, representatives from the Ad Council, Procter & Gamble, Publicis Kaplan Thaler and Ketchum are issuing a call to action asking the creative community to consider how their work can support the greater good – starting by doing and then sharing the knowledge through this idea bank.
As the glitz and excitement of Cannes fades into memory in the coming weeks and we turn our attention back to the demands of the day, I hope that the creative community can hang onto a belief that our work truly can contribute to improving the state of the world. I, for one, believe it can.