The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, the largest global advertising showcase of the year, is an incredible opportunity to bring Spotify to life for our partners. Our headquarters, Spotify Beach, is once again right on the Croisette — a space to inspire and excite marketers about the possibilities of audio and what’s next.
Our brand partners can join us at the Spotify Beach for meetings in rooms themed after two of the consumer marketing campaigns we hope to be shortlisted for: Black History is Happening Now and Cosmic Playlists. We spoke with Brian Benedik, VP, Global Head of Advertising Sales, and Jess Park, Global Director, Business Marketing, to get their take on Spotify’s ever-growing presence at the festival.
Why does it make sense for a company like Spotify to have a presence at Cannes?
Brian: Cannes Lions is really the Super Bowl for global marketers. It’s a tremendous honor to be nominated for awards, not to mention win them. Additionally, Spotify is a global advertising platform. Cannes tends to be that middle-of-the-year centerpiece—a table-setter for Q3 and Q4—where brands, advertising agencies, vendors, and ad-tech partners can get together to set the stage for the back half of the year. So Cannes is the place for us to entertain, meet, and ultimately close business with many of our partners around the world.
Jess: We show up to showcase Spotify as the best space to connect brands to our rich ecosystem of fans and creators. Plus, creativity is at the heart of the festival and serves as a natural place for us to underscore our connection to the creative community and inspire marketers to look ahead to what’s next.
What has Spotify’s Cannes journey been like?
Brian: We started attending Cannes back in 2012. We had just launched in the U.S. a year prior, and we were only in a handful of countries. Although we were “global,” Spotify didn’t really have a global presence back then. We were just trying to get on the board—get people to notice us, both on the client side and on the marketing side. Then, as we grew our leadership and our partnerships, we grew our Cannes presence, too.
Jess: When we first went, we didn’t even have a home base in the city. Three years ago, we established our own beach space, and we hosted a few small concerts. Last year, we made a major shift, launching our headquarters, the Spotify Beach on the Croisette. When people walked onto that beach, they were blown away to see how far we had come in such a short amount of time. We took ourselves to another level and last year’s success validated our decision to bring Spotify Beach back this year.
What’s your favorite Cannes memory?
Brian: Last year, in 2018, when The Killers performed at our Spotify Beach, that was just amazing. Looking out at the crowd, the energy that The Killers bring—selfishly, I also got to meet them backstage and then introduce them—but that was just a magical night for me and I’m sure for everyone who got to hear them.
Why should people stop by the Spotify Beach this year?
Jess: I’m really proud of the programming we have this year. On Tuesday we have a panel in partnership with the Idea Initiative under the banner of “Cannes in Color,” where we’re focused on lessons from Latin America. We’re bringing together a dynamic panel featuring Carla Hassan, Chief Brand Officer at Citi; Ashley Frangie and Lety Sahagún, the hosts behind the Spotify Original podcast Se Regalan Dudas, the most popular original podcast in Mexico; and others who are creating spaces for Latin American creatives.
During the week, we’re inviting Cannes attendees to attend a session based on Culture Next, our Global Trends Report. We’ll be diving into Gen Z and Millennial-focused trends we identified from the report, Hannah Bronfman, DJ, Author, and Founder of HBFIT”, and Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley, the podcast hosts of Dope Labs, a winner of last year’s Sound Up Bootcamp program.
And on Tuesday, our Chief Content Officer, Dawn Ostroff, will be on the Terrace Stage with multi-Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter Camila Cabello.
We also have a podcast studio—as we head into Cannes, audio is at the center of our story. This year, the way we work with creators has definitely expanded, and that’s something that’s top of mind for us at Cannes.
We’re taking the best of what we’re learning and sharing it with those who couldn’t travel to Cannes with us. Stream the second season of our Spotify original podcast: Culture: Now Streaming, published live from our podcast studio at the Croisette.