Painting Pictures With Words

If there was one word on everyone’s lips in Cannes last week, it was “story.” But scratch below the surface and you’ll find the richer ground upon which great stories are built.

I asked some of Ketchum’s Cannes delegates if they could sum up the main themes of the festival in a single word; following is a list of selected responses. They begin to tell a story about what stood out at Cannes, but compelling content can’t rely on words alone – it’s how you interpret those words, and what you do with them, that truly bring them to life.



There’s one important word missing, of course: Creativity. You may not see it, but it’s there – it’s the invisible string holding all of these words together, just as it ties together the elements of a great story.

And that, my friends, is what creativity is all about. Here’s to the stories we’ll all be building until next year’s festival…

[Illustrations: Jeff Lewonczyk]

Petra Sammer is Partner and Chief Creative Officer, Germany, where she promotes brand storytelling and delivers award-winning campaigns for the likes of Burger King, Bosch, BMW, Kodak, IBM, Mattel, Merck, Pixar, Starbucks and Sennheiser. Stating “we [as individuals and global brands] are all journalists now,” Petra employs a 5-step model for turning brands into storytellers to help them “break through” and connect with their customers. Based in Munich, Petra is a Cannes PR Lions jury member, and recently served on the Eurobest jury. @petrasammer