An infamous no-show from most of the technology and marketing industries’ biggest annual gatherings, Apple looks like breaking its usual policy this year.

Execs from the company will take to the stage at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this coming June, despite typically not attending.

“We’ve got Angela Ahrendts and Tor Myhren,” says festival content director Charlotte Williams in this video interview with Beet.TV. “Angela looks after all the retail stores for Apple and of course Tor is vice president of brand.

“They’ll be on stage to talk about how they’re reinventing retail and we’re really excited about that because it’s the first time they’ve come to Cannes to talk specifically about Apple and the work they do. We’ve had Apple there before Jony Ive a few years ago, but this is much more of a business conversation they’ll be bringing.”

For Williams, Apple’s appearance is just one of the ways she is rebooting Cannes Lions this year.

Williams and her colleagues have split the festival up in to four “tracks” – reach, impact, experience, innovation. She explains the aim is to help attendees “decipher” the Lions:  “It means there’s a bit more rigor involved,” she says.”

That rigor extends to a more foot-forward approach to sourcing speakers and their presentations.

Whilst the festival still takes speaker submissions, Williams says: “This year we’ve been more proactive  in looking out for and reaching out to speakers who we want. We’re curating some of our own content this year.”

Fresh topics are likely to include the role of brands in creativity in an increasingly politicized and polarized world, plus new technology like blockchain.

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