By Simon Dumenco

And so it begins.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity kicked off today in the south of France and, as always, Ad Age has an editorial team on the ground there—Ann-Christine Diaz, Alexandra Jardine, Alfred Maskeroni, I-Hsien Sherwood, Max Sternlicht, Lindsay Rittenhouse and George Slefo—to offer you exhaustive (and exhausting) coverage.

If you’re on the ground too (in which case, please say hi if you run into any of us), or if you just want/need to experience Cannes vicariously, the best place to start is with some of our preview coverage, including “The official Ad Age map of Cannes” (complete with a Gutter Bar alternative and our favorite iced-coffee spot) and “A Marketer’s Brief guide to Cannes.” The latter features members of the Ad Age team decoding, in podcast form, how the return of Publicis (after its Marcel-driven absence) could change the overall vibe of the festival and what Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad (already a 2019 Cannes winner—see below) suggests about the state of creativity.

But first, let’s ask the biggest (recurring, eternal) question about Cannes: Does it still matter? One Cannes veteran, Avi Dan, CEO of Avidan Strategies, tells Ad Age Editor Brian Braiker… basically yes. In fact, he says it “matters to clients more than it mattered 10 or 15 years ago. More clients tend to go. They tend to take people, including junior people, to Cannes. The overall objective is: Think of Cannes as a three-day, five-day class outing to discover creativity.”

Does Cannes still matter to you? If you’ve read this far, we’re guessing yes. So, onward with the first 2019 edition of Ad Age’s Cannes Nightcap…

Keeping score at home (or in Cannes)? Then bookmark “Cannes Lions 2019: Grand Prix winners,” our gallery of the brands and agencies making the big hauls. We’ll be updating it throughout the day, every day, this week.

Starting with… a major win for Nike: “Although Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick first made big waves on social media,” Ann-Christine Diaz reports that today it scored the top prize in the Outdoor category. “The Grand Prix-winning billboard from the campaign by Wieden & Kennedy Portland featured a black-and-white portrait of Kaepernick and the line ‘Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,’ mirroring Kaepernick and Nike’s now-famous tweet from last fall.” Keep reading here.

#Cannesdont: Speaking of Ann-Christine, she’s the first member of the Ad Age team to experience a de rigueur Cannes-related travel mishap. Her airline made her check her carry-on bag (because of overstuffed overhead bins) and then, of course, promptly sent it off to the wrong city. (The upside: Some of her wardrobe and toiletries got to experience a glamorous side trip to the City of Light.) If you’re in Cannes and need to vent about an unexpected indignity, tweet us @adage with the hashtag #cannesdont and we might quote you in one of this week’s Cannes Nightcaps.

Light show: “Instagram unveiled a colorful, light-bending installation” at Cannes today, <a class="colorbox" …read more

Via:: Ad Age B to B