My Cannes in Cairns 2024 Experience with AANA

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has long been the ultimate pilgrimage for advertising professionals. For us less fortunate, it was a humbling experience being able to attend B&T’s Cannes in Cairns this year.

AANA participated and showed support as Josh Faulks, AANA CEO not only moderated a panel of CMOs on “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Top Marketers Cut to The Chase” but also participated in a thought-provoking debate, titled: Young Guns Versus Old Guard: Who Adds More Value to Our Industry? The debate ended in a tie, but the audience clearly leaned towards one side. AANA also hosted a morning networking walk focusing on building community and sharing ideas.

During the three-day conference, everyone from the global to local creative community presented their ideas and perspective, resulting in engaging discussions on the big issues for our industry and the trends to come. They ran the gamut from the creative to the technical, including innovative ways of telling stories, how to thrive in the world after the third- party cookie has been outlawed, and much more.

One of my favourite sessions was Breaking Barriers: The Power of Inclusive Storytelling in Australian Media. It focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion in marketing and media, emphasizing how critical it is to have content that reflects the richness of Australian society and engages audiences from all backgrounds. The panel also discussed specific strategies for making content accessible to people with disabilities, such as using audio descriptions and closed captioning. The industry has a long way to go in this space and we will have more to say about this soon.

One of the significant highlights of Cannes in Cairns was the opportunity to witness the Australian creativity in its glory. B&T’s program that was very much focused on Australian work, highlighting some of the best campaigns and the people who created them. It was a great showcase of the innovation and quality of our local industry.

So, while Cannes in Cairns offered presentations and panel discussions, it went far beyond that. The conference was a fantastic opportunity to connect with industry peers and friends, fostering a strong and vibrant community. Now, at AANA, we are excited to partner with these new connections as we embark on this exciting growth journey.


Mehra Jehangir

Director of Member Engagement & Events