Iconic Festival Launches “3 Days in Cannes” – Insights from Our Visit

Jun 12

Iconic Festival Launches “3 Days in Cannes” – Insights from Our Visit

We recently attended the Cannes Film Festival, and share one of our takeaways… a new promotion called “3 Days in Cannes”.

For the first time this year, the organizer invited 1,500 film lovers between the ages of 18 – 28 from around the world to apply for a free pass to attend the last three days of the Cannes Film Festival (airfare and lodging were not included).

3 Days in Cannes was a high-level marketing initiative in order to encourage more young adults to attend, a point made clear by its prominent mention in the global press conference announcing the Official Selection, the highly anticipated list of films that were chosen to be screened at the Festival.

This traditional annual meeting with the press was led by both the president and director of the Cannes Film Festival, and the president spoke passionately about the new initiative and the huge response they received within the first day of accepting applications.

Admission to the Cannes Film Festival is limited to film industry professionals and journalists.  Every participant must be granted an accreditation to take part in the event.  So this promotion offered a unique opportunity… free access to one of the most high-profile events in the world, with the traditional accreditation rules waived.

The uniqueness of this promotion was also magnified by its scale.  We can’t recall the last time we saw a promotion offering 1,500 free tickets to a major international event.

The organizer offered the 3 Days in Cannes participants a robust content package that certainly gave them a great taste of the Cannes experience, including…

– A dedicated program of screenings.

– The same access rights to Official Selection screenings as film industry badge-holders, including screenings in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.  This 2,300+ seat theater features the famous red carpet and world premieres that receive the most media attention during the Festival. Tickets to these screenings are among the most high demand at the Festival.

– Admission to the Palais des Festivals, the main venue for the Festival, which is home to the Cannes Film Market, the b2b component of the Festival.

Young adults that wanted to apply for the 3 Days in Cannes program were asked to submit a “letter of motivation” which describes their “passion for cinema” through a program-specific user interface on the registration portal.

Successfully engaging the young adult audience is about more than just spinning some copy on your website, emails or ads differently.  It is about a genuine, target-specific and integrated strategy such as the organizer used for 3 Days in Cannes.  This global marketing initiative leveraged branding, promotion, pricing, registration, content and scale to target this segment.

3 Days in Cannes provided young adults who would not otherwise have been able to attend this event a unique opportunity, and at the same time it introduced the Festival to a future generation of potential attendees – a win-win!

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