The World's Most Prestigious Ad Contest Can Cost Up To $US200,000 Per Person To Enter

Imagine spending upwards of $US200,000 on a trip to France. For some agencies, this sum is a necessary expense for single person to attend and maybe win an award at the annual Cannes Lions advertising festival.

The weeklong festival brings together creative and advertising professionals from over 90 countries for seven days of seminars, networking events, and of course, the awards. The Cannes Lions are the most prestigious awards in all of advertising — careers are made or broken at them.

Last year Unilever’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign for Dove executed by Ogilvy & Mather Brasil São Paulo won the agency two Gold Lions and extensive media attention. The agency also won the title of Agency of the Year, a huge honour in the advertising industry.

While entry fees for an individual ad range anywhere form $US680 to $US1,830, depending on which of the 18 categories the submission falls under, Advertising Age reports that one agency spent $US85,000 to prepare its entries for the festival. Some media agencies spend $US16,000 to $US84,000 on a single entry.

The cost for one delegate to attend events including workshops, screenings, award ceremonies, and speakers including U2’s Bono and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg, costs around $US10,000. And these costs don’t cover the price of celebrating in style with yacht rentals (approximately $US13,000) and lavish beach parties.

Delegates can even pay an extra $US600 for entrance to The Cannes Clubhouse, a place, “where delegates can relax, network or just take a break between seminars and screenings,” according to the festival’s website.

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