ORLANDO – After a few years in which the advertising business seemed to get consumed by numbers and efficiency, is creativity returning the fold?

If the agenda for next year’s upcoming Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is anything to go by, it certainly is.

In a new addition to the advertising festival’s agenda, CLX (“Connect. Learn. Explore”), a new mini-event within the overall programme, will add a series of curated discussion sessions, helping brands to think like entertainment companies.

And co-organizer MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan is looking for entertainment companies to come in and help.

“We’re looking for an interesting group of foundational partners, somewhere in the range of eight or ten foundational partners, which will come from all sides of the industry, says Kassan in this video interview with Beet.TV.

In February 2017, Cannes Lions’ organizer, London-based Ascential, a B2B media company, announced it would acquire MediaLink, which has more than 120 people in multiple US offices, with each company remaining independent.

The new CLX strand is one of the first visible fruits of the tie-up. Invite-only for two out of four days, it seeks to help brands “get up close and personal with some of the world’s most inspiring and sought after entertainment experts” and “learn how the world’s most popular content gets made”.

Cannes Lions takes place in June 2019.

This interview was produced at the ANA Masters in Marketing ’18 conference in Orlando.