Creative Connection

June 30, 2017 /Inspiration /

Cannes Inspirations: Bert Hagendoorn’s adventures at Cannes Lions

Bert Hagendoorn, specialist advisor for leading digital, design and advertising agencies in Amsterdam, shares his impressions of the Cannes Lions festival with this blog’s readers.

How was Cannes Lions?
I has been a rollercoaster week actually. We’ve worked hard on the Embassy of Dutch Creativity, with a schedule from Monday up to Thursday – involving almost 20 speakers, 65 agencies and partners like Adobe, 5 industry organisations and more than 300 international guests.

This was the third edition of Embassy of Dutch Creativity. How were you feeling beforehand?
We felt this one was going to be much better because of the new location, but did not know what it would be like exactly. When we arrived and saw the completely branded beach club representing the Dutch in the best possible way, our expectations were exceeded. We had a great week and attracted a big international crowd.

Describe the atmosphere at Cannes Lions. What was it like being surrounded by so many wonderfully creative people?
One word: exciting. It is quite a unique week where so many brands, organisations, agencies and creatives from all over the world come together. Depending on what you want to get out of it, it is an efficient opportunity to make new contacts, be inspired and meet so many creative heads in one place.

What were your highlights and stand-out experiences from Cannes Lions?
The success of the Embassy: many brands and agencies stated they also want to join us next year, and other countries stated they saw what we did as an example. On the awards side: in numbers the Dutch were doing better than last year, in relative weight is was less overall. But I think the Dutch should be proud at MediaMonks winning big (‘Enter Sandbox’ for Audi), and their JongeHonden team winning Gold in Cyber at the Young Lions.

The Making of “Enter Sandbox” by Audi from POL on Vimeo.


A lot of the award-winning campaigns have a social theme. Do you see this as a trend?
Indeed, there is shift going on towards more purpose-focused projects. I am sure this is not a trend, but that it’s here to stay because it makes work more meaningful. There is also a lot going on about diversity and I think that is a great thing: also, the creative industry should change and offer more equality.

What do commercial brands and traditional, not social themed campaigns need in your opinion to be award-winning campaigns?
I see brands being successful if they listen and find out what people are already talking about – when they tap into that, make it authentic and use whatever most relevant channels are for their audience. But because of my role, I am also a strong believer in the power of design and digital craftsmanship 🙂


Bert Hagendoorn is specialist advisor and works for leading digital, design and advertising agencies in Amsterdam. Previously, he worked for the marketing department at Adobe in Amsterdam and was the chairman of the Dutch Adobe User Group. Next to his current job, he is founder of Dutch Digital Design, co-initiator of events like Digital Dinner Amsterdam and the creative trade mission ‘Embassy of Dutch Creativity’ during Cannes Lions.

Header picture was made by Sabrina Naouri

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