Sophie Woods' Cannes Diary: Day Seven

1.IMG_0714.jpgSophie Woods is a producer for The OTTO Empire and is attending her first Cannes Lions, attending as a 'Young Lion' delegate. She reports exclusively for Campaign Brief.

Voice no longer exists, insides are in protest and trying to escape from body through rib cage, brain blown out by too much goodness.


Well friends, the final day of Cannes was as hectic as expected. Last night I went party hopping with young creatives from the UK, USA, Uruguay, Nigeria and Australia and ran totally amok in Cannes. So this morning was excruciating. I looked at the mass of wrist bands strewn across the floor and knew there was only one word to get me through the rest of the day: rally.
2.IMG_0717.jpgSo foetal position in the shower it was, then onwards to the festival. Today was about disruption: breaking the mould, shaking shit up, and steering away from linear thought processes. Or in my case, disruption to my general sanity and well-being but that's a different story. Whybin's GAYTMs were on show4.IMG_0718.jpg in TBWA's 'Conversation with today's most disruptive marketers' with Joyce Phillips the CEO from ANZ, so proud!

The final seminar of the festival featured the groundbreaking chef Heston Blumenthal in a mouth-watering and brain-warping conversation. The discussion centred around his motto 'question everything' and holding onto that child-like naivety while resisting traditional linear lines of education and reason. All the major discoveries in our time have relied on some asking 'why?' or 'how?' The way this man spoke about multi-sensory experiences in this beautifully intricate language was just so inspiring. He stressed the importance of making our world one of discovery rather than perfection to transform 'failure' into opportunities to learn.

heston. IMG_0635.jpgIf I'm going to talk about things I'll take home with me after this trip, Blumenthal's motto is one of them. Don't settle for the norm, push everything to the limit and if it's still not good enough then find another way. I've learnt that the best creatives in the world want to blow things out of the water and are the anti-complacency battlers. I've learnt that you need to trust your instincts and cancel the noise in your life in order to stay centred. 5,IMG_0713.jpgSpending so much time with the young creative teams from around the world has made me realise how much potential we all hold to make truly meaningful changes in our industries, and for the greater good. I'm inspired to learn and educate and share information, I have a stronger understanding of branding and the processes surrounding elements of it in film and music, and I have a desire to work harder with more people and make cool shit.

And then I go to the closing gala and I forget everything immediately. Thank god I've been writing things down.

3.IMG_0712.jpgFirst of all in the evening, my parents popped by! They were holidaying in the south of France with their friends, as you do, so came to Cannes for a night. I had the greatest time showing them the madness and they managed to leave proud rather than disappointed which is A+ in my books.

Then the night started with a Queen 'We Will Rock You' x Oasis 'Wonderwall' mashup on the dance floor of the Cannes Closing 6.IMG_0715.jpgGala, was followed by an extravagant fireworks show, and finished with Gutter Bar and a croque monsieur before phantoming out of there with an honourable adieu to Cannes 2015. When I ordered my croque monsieur the guys at the bar laughed, made a joke with each other, and suddenly there were about 100 plastic plates lined up on the bar like "har har oh shit here we bloody go". The closing party was less of a gala and more 8.IMG_0711.jpgof a mini festival/Euro disco/beach rave. I've never seen so many excited people totally in sync with each other in my life. Everyone was running on adrenalin and hope and a sense of immortality. God I feel like there should be help groups for everyone after we return to the real world this week.

For me, I'll be diving head first into my work, busting to get onto the next job with all of our amazing directors and 7.IMG_0716.jpgavoiding cheese and bread (at least for a day or two. Maybe just 24 hours. Depends what they serve on the plane. Maybe the cheese can stay).

A freaking HUGE congratulations to all of the Aussie and international winners this year, and to the young film team from DDB Melbourne who scored Silver in their competition, Jordy and Chris you bloody legends.

It's been a real pleasure to have come along for the ride with The OTTO Empire, and a massive thanks to my EPs Jojo and Bill for sending me here. Thanks Lynchy and Ricki for posting my ramblings and thanks Cannes for putting me through a rigorous physical and mental week-long bootcamp. I'm cooked.

Find Woods at

ps just got to Paris and realised I packed only one of my Nike sneakers which means the partner is still in Cannes along with my brain. Oh dear.

Leave a comment