Brief: Highlight Google’s role as an open, strategic and creative partner to the advertising community by creating an environment at the Cannes Lions Festival which inspires and encourages visitors to try out Google’s latest innovations via fun, engaging product demonstrations.

Our audience insight: “I want to do more than just watch speakers in the Palais – I want to get involved, to learn a new skill and be inspired by technology. I’m looking for an altogether more involving experience at Cannes Lions.”

Sandbox_2Activation: The Google Creative Sandbox, an immersive experience built to inspire and involve all who entered.

Straddling two beaches and with a footprint double that of the previous year, the Sandbox was free to enter for all Lions delegates all week. We worked with renowned graphic artist Anthony Burrill to create the space’s distinctive look and feel, using his trademark style of bold symbols and graphic type to inspire visitors to get involved in all the activities taking place: playful (yet useful) demos, free yoga, inspiring talks and coded smoothie making.

Sandbox_Motion_1Demonstrating Technology Creatively: Google+ Motion

Goal: Showcase Google+’s Motion feature, which turns a series of photos into a GIF-style stop-motion animation

Activation: We created an Anthony Burrill-designed seascape environment featuring a series of moveable props. Guests could shift them around and pose with them to create their own Motion which was sent directly to them to share online. They could also take postcard-style photos of themselves away as physical gifts.

Sandbox_BWC_1Demonstrating Technology Creatively: Build With Chrome

Goal: Showcase Google’s new ‘Build With Chrome’ app

Activation: Guests used the app to create their own 3D designs. As they did, we had a team of builders physically replicating each one from LEGO.

Sandbox_Glass_1Demonstrating Technology Creatively: Glass

Goal: Demonstrate the unique features of Glass, along with the range of different frame options by Ray Ban, Oakley and other designer brands

Activation: A stylish gallery space where guests could try out Glass and have their photo taken modelling their favourite frame by a professional photographer. Each photo was printed for guests to take away with them.

Sandbox_Bar Coder_1Demonstrating Technology Creatively: Bar Coder

Goal: Highlight Google Coder, Google’s web-based coding application designed to work alongside a Raspberry Pi.

Activation: Knowing that a large portion of this audience would be new to the nuts and bolts of coding, we invited visitors to the bar to ‘code’ their own cocktails and juices by writing different sequences of code to create their own drink.

Sandbox_LT_1Also On The Beach…

Daily lightning talks took place featuring speakers from creative organisations such as TED, AKQA and Ogilvy & Mather. As well as enjoying creative product demos, visitors to the Sandbox could create their own Bristle Bots and design t-shirts to take away. We also had live music sessions in the YouTube staging area during the evenings.

Sandbox_Dinner_1The Executive Dinner

On the Wednesday evening, we held a private dinner for a selection of Google’s most valued global clients, catered for by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin and featuring live music from Emeli Sande.

Sandbox_Party_1The Party

And on the Thursday night our now-famous Google party took place. 1,500 guests packed into the Sandbox to party the night away with Goldierocks on the decks and a live performance by Rudimental.

Sandbox_1Did it work?

  • 8,343 people visited the Creative Sandbox – an average of 1,669 per day over 50% more visitors than the previous year
  • 1,111 delegates attended the daily lightning talks, an increase of 58% on 2013’s attendees
  • A total of 1,836 product demos took place, including 470 demonstrations of Glass
  • The Sandbox had a Twitter reach of 641,623, and the amount of impressions exceeded 2.2m

Sandbox_3What they tweeted:

@Migratemagazine: If you are at Cannes – make sure you go to the Google beach hang out. Truly inspiring spaces! @Cannes_Lions

@HorizonMediaInc: @google has created quite the beach party! All of Cannes is trickling in! #CannesLions

@Weirdnesss: Sooooo in love with Google Sandbox<3  #Cannes2014

@Matthias_Reichl: @google #beach is amazing :) free drinks! Awesome weather and very comfortable seat options ;) #canneslions #cannes

@chblack19: Google Sandbox is an awesome place to be #GoogleCannes

@michelleytlock: THE GOOGLE SANDBOX IS AWESOME. Currently in line waiting to create a tshirt #googlecannes #canneslions

@Adman_Tucker (President, Ogilvy & Mather NY): Beautiful user experience @google Cannes party. @ogilvy #ogilvycannes

@evaza (Head of Brand & Communications, Vodafone Netherlands): really nice, very inspiring space #GoogleCannes


Sandbox_6What they wrote:

“…an incredible brand experience earning endorsers left, right and centre.” mUmbrella

“This place is very close to heaven, I’m sure of it. It’s right on the beach, with smoothies, cocktails, a place to design your own t-shirt, an area where you can check out Google Glass, a big screen that plays the World Cup and more. It’s a wonderful place to relax and meet people.”  Marilyn Anne in Cannes (

“Not only have [Google] a slot on the Speaker Podium, but they also have without doubt the best external exhibit too, the Creative Sandbox, which helps Google interact with delegates on a more intimate basis.” More About Advertising

“A constant hub of activity and creativity…” Press Kitchen

Sandbox_4What Google said:

“Cannes is without doubt our most important business event in the calendar – globally – and Flourish are the perfect partner for us on this.  Your creativity, understanding of our brand, dedication and sheer hard work goes far beyond our already high expectations. You are all superstars.” Marketing Director, Google EMEA

“You all took this to a new level of awesome this year. It was flawless. Thank you all very much.” Marketing Director, Creative Partnerships, Google EMEA

“It was possibly the best week in my working career and it was you guys that made it happen. You are amazing to work with, every time I thought I should just remind you of something it was already covered. Thank you again, it was the best event ever.” Event Producer, Google EMEA