The See It Be It program has been a staple of the Cannes Lions festival since 2014. Each year, the Cannes Lions selects 15 or so women (usually aspiring female creative directors who have never been to the festival before) to attend for a chance to network, meet with industry leaders and attend mentoring sessions throughout the week.
This year, See It Be It partnered with Spotify—the first major brand partnership for the program to date—to take the program to a new level.
“Spotify fully aligned with our goals to support women to reach their full potential and to do so by nurturing creativity and networking them to help them build powerful bonds. Spotify has been supporters and active participants in Cannes Lions for a number of years now, so we understand each other’s strengths and objectives, which makes collaborative decision making much easier,” Louise Benson, executive festival director of Cannes Lions and See It Be It executive lead, said.
Spotify’s vp, global head of partner solutions, Danielle Lee, and vp, brand and creative, Jackie Jantos, are taking an active role on the 2018 program, serving as mentors to several of the women on the ground in Cannes. This year the women are also receiving special guidance from the program’s ambassador, former R/GA vet and current director of user experience for Google, Chloe Gottlieb.
Last year, the program focused on the theme of confidence. This year, the 20 women (who come from companies that include Leo Burnett Beirut and Sydney, Refinery29, MullenLowe and more) are spending the week focusing on leadership. At the end of the week, the goal is that each of the 20 women will be equipped with all the necessary skills to be a leader in their respective companies.
“We are excited to share our lessons learned and also learn from them about what the challenges are for millennials and the younger generations that are coming behind us,” Lee explained. “The world is changing and if we are going to create products, services and messaging and marketing that are going to appeal to a diverse set of consumers, we need to have people at the table that represent those communities and those audiences.”
One of the big changes with Spotify on board as a sponsor is that instead of sending 15 women to the festival, the team was able to select 20 women to send. All 20 women are given delegate badges, flights and accommodations for the week.
Additionally, the partnership with Spotify is “giving us the chance to build the global outreach element of See It Be It,” Benson explained. “With our Cannes Lions SIBI alumni, we’ve done some brilliant events, many free to attend, in regions and markets around the world. These include Singapore, U.K., Pakistan, Bulgaria to name a few. With Spotify’s support we have many more events planned, so we can reach more people globally, in culturally relevant ways, and continue the journeys with our brilliant alumni.”