Expect More Celebs Than Ever as Cannes Lions Expands Its Entertainment Focus

Gwyneth Paltrow, Mindy Kaling and John Cena will headline

Hollywood A-listers always draw the biggest crowds at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and this year's event will be even more celebrity packed as the festival adds a new category of entertainment-based programming.

Celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Channing Tatum and Mindy Kaling will join the speaker roster alongside some of Madison Avenue's biggest names, including DDB North America CEO Wendy Clark and R/GA founder Bob Greenberg.

"When we put together our content program, we look to give people inspirational learning that you can't find anywhere else," said Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas in a statement. "Importantly, we keep creativity at the heart, designing it to cross all touch points of creativity while offering insights into some of the most creative minds in the world."

Some highlights for this year include a conversation between actress and Goop founder/CCO Gwyneth Paltrow and BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur; a session from VICELAND co-president Spike Jonze on reaching young audiences; and a presentation from director Oliver Stone.

This year marks the first year of the Lions Entertainment program, which was created to focus on and reward "talented entertainers who have the power to connect directly with consumers." As part of that new program the festival stacked the lineup with big-name entertainers, including a conversation between WWE star and actor John Cena (no stranger to the ad business) and WWE chief strategy officer and TV personality Stephanie McMahon

There will also be sessions from magician David Copperfield on what brands can learn from the art of illusion and from Mindy Kaling on how her show, The Mindy Project, has connected with audiences on Hulu.

Top advertising industry execs will, of course, make appearances as well, with sessions from DDB's Clark speaking on "Managing the Present and Investing in the Future," Barton F. Graf founder Gerry Graf on "Anyone Can Have An Idea. Few Have THE Idea," and FCB global CCO Susan Credle on "The Art of (Brand) Seduction."

The full schedule for the festival, held June 18-25, 2016, and list of speakers is now available online.

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