It has been the go-to gathering for the advertising industry for 69 years. Now, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity attracts movers and shakers in media, technology and much more besides.

With the 2023 festival about to kick off on Cannes’ famous Croisette, June 19 to 23, what are the conversations people from the advanced TV business expect to be having?

In The Road to Cannes 2023 – Making TV Advertising Relevant Across Screens, Platforms and Cultures, a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by FreeWheel, we have been hearing views lately on just that. With Cannes 2023 now just days away, here is a selection of them…

Getting creative

Donna Speciale, President, Sales & Marketing, TelevisaUnivision

For Speciale, Cannes is about the creativity that comes from connecting.

“What I like about going to Cannes is just really kind of getting out of the day, same old, same old and just start brainstorming and talking about innovation and creative things,” she says.

“I see a lot of clients there and marketers that I don’t get to see all the time. They bring creative teams with them that we don’t get to kind of be in the room with, and we really just start talking about the possibilities… what can we do, how can we push the envelope? How do we break the status quo? In our space, you know, it’s ‘anything is possible’.”

Culture, Creativity & Connection: Univision’s Speciale On Cannes & The Hispanic Graph

Awards excitement

Adam Gerhart, Global CEO, Mindshare

The media agency boss is excited about a new award category designed for agencies.

Gerhart expects Cannes discussions to revolve around retail media and gaming. “I read a stat the other day that the number of gaming related entries is up 74% over the last couple of years,” he says.

“One of the things that I’m most excited about is there is a new category called Excellence in Media Craft that is only for media agencies to enter. It creates an opportunity to shine a light on the craft of media that maybe didn’t exist, at least at Cannes, to the extent that it did in some other award shows. I absolutely love that.”

Mindshare’s Gerhart Sees Swing From Pure Performance Ahead Of Cannes

Mind-blowing tech

Eric Levin, President and Chief Content Officer, Publicis Media

Top of mind for Levin is using tech to create engaging experiences.

“We still have a number of clients that come to us and say, ‘We’re aware that the demographic we target is ad-avoidant, they want nothing to do with what they see in traditional channels – what can we do with this tech in this playground that we know that they’re in already? Lead us down that path.”

Cannes, in recent years, has played host to tech companies and discussions that are helping drive advertising communications. Levin talks about “concepting”: “It’s, you know, what could we do that would be completely mind blowing and out of the ordinary?”

Artificial Intelligence Is Driving Debate About Ad Creative: Publicis Media’s Eric Levin


Mike Law, CEO, Carat US

Agency boss Law relishes seeing examples of creativity that take professionals out of their ‘bubbles’.

“It’s a great opportunity to spend time with clients and partners and everybody’s very focused, on agendas and driving things forward – not preset agendas, but ‘how can we make each other better?’,” Law says.

“All of us, especially on the media side, have to force ourselves to go do that and be inspired by that work and spend some time like looking at the amazingly talented people in that space. More than ever media and creative need to work together.”

Carat’s Law Sees Optimism Amid Disruption On The Road To Cannes

The Power of News

Rob Klippel, SVP, Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy, Spectrum Reach

Klippel is taking to Cannes three themes and a key message.

He expects to be talking about programmatic, addressability and data. He also expects to be talking about Spectrum Reach’s Xumo joint venture with Comcast.

“Today, news and sports are areas that still have highly engaged live viewing,” Klippel says. “So we’ve invested heavily in news. We have  news across 60 plus percent of our markets. In addition, we’ve launched Spectrum News Plus, a streaming service, so that makes it available to all of our markets. We’ve rolled that into our programmatic offering.”

Celebrating ads with great minds

Sharb Farjami, North America CEO, Wavemaker

The introduction of the exclusive media agency category at Cannes excites Farjami.

“I think that’s a great thing. I think that will provide an opportunity to see more great media thinking and work,” he says.

With more people attending Cannes this year, Farjami believes it’s the biggest opportunity the industry has had in the last three years to see great work, talk to great minds, and learn from global discussions and experiences. He expects this year’s festival to be better-attended, after returning last year following a COVID-19 hiatus.

Branding and Performance Marketing Work Hand-in-Hand: Wavemaker’s Sharb Farjami

Future-spotting from the riviera

Katy Loria, Chief Revenue Officer, FreeWheel

Loria is looking forward to her first Cannes with FreeWheel, having joined in July 2022.

“Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that Cannes is a festival,” she says. “It’s the celebration of the best creative globally – the best ads and the most impactful messaging.

“So, what I’m excited about is to have that and the south of France be the backdrop while we meet with clients, potential clients, whether we’re celebrating wins or tackling issues, or just kind of pondering the future. It’s a pretty special place to get to do that.”

Experience Is Everything: FreeWheel’s Loria On Delighting Streaming TV Viewers

You’re watching “The Road to Cannes 2023 – Making TV Advertising Relevant Across Screens, Platforms and Cultures,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by FreeWheel. For more videos from this series, please visit this page. For more information on FreeWheel’s activations at Cannes Lions 2023, please visit