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May 12th, 2022 | by Mathieu Gayet

“With the Cannes experience on Fortnite, we open the festival to a new connected generation” - Adrien Torres (Brut)

For its 75th anniversary, the Cannes Film Festival renews its media partners, and starts a collaboration with a new French duo: France Télévisions and Brut. The air and the web complement each other perfectly, the world cinema event has obviously wished to innovate, change its habits to break its traditional image. It is by bringing itself up to date that Cannes will offer a digital and alternative version on Fortnite during the ten days of real festivities. A proposal from Brut, which we discussed with Adrien Torres, its Brand Strategist Lead.

Brut x Cannes x Fortnite

Adrien Torres - We have been monitoring the trends of virtual worlds, NFTs, for about a year. Our first mission is to identify the impact of these innovative technologies, to test them to better explain them to our audience - always with our specific vocabulary and editorial approach. We have done some tests around blockchain, interviews or meetings on Horizon (Meta), a vertical called Br3t on our media dedicated to these topics... The partnership with the Cannes festival was a perfect opportunity - and a very real context - to propose something around these universes on a larger scale.

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A. T. - Until now, the Cannes Film Festival has been a very exclusive event, reserved for those who are on the Croisette. As a partner, we want to open the doors, to offer a more pop culture view of what it represents. We really want to reconnect with a younger generation, 12-25 years old, to take them with us into the world of the festival. To do this, we had to democratize the approach, not be satisfied with a 3-minute summary at the end of each day. The virtual universes have imposed themselves as the digital bridges with the new generations (and at the global level), a real sounding board.

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A. T. - With these ideas, Fortnite has quickly established itself. It's one of the most popular, most followed, most stable platforms. In this category of metaverse, we needed a platform with strong gaming possibilities, to be able to interact with each user. Fortnite is a gaming and creative tool above all. We worked with the specialized French studio Vysena, and of course with the teams of Epic Games, owner of the platform. We built the experience in less than 3 months, from conception to online, without forgetting an adapted communication campaign.

Offer an event that is faithful to the form, not to the content

A. T. - The Cannes festival team was quickly convinced, but also the city of Cannes! Indeed, we had to reproduce the close environment: the Palace (and its steps!), some buildings, etc. It is a choice to propose a virtual universe similar to the real one, but we still needed some authorizations from the architects. We always work with a certain creative and editorial requirement, and this is even more true if we really want to immerse Fortnite users.

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A. T. - In the entertainment world, video games are now considered a major art form. And platforms like Fortnite or Roblox attract hundreds of millions of users. There is a common challenge around our device, whether it is for Epic to work with a major cultural player, or the Cannes Film Festival to go on innovative proposals, to convince a new generation to go to the cinema. All we do is propose a renewed encounter. For all that, we are not copying any of the festival's habits; it is an independent card and dedicated activities, totally independent. You can certainly experience the walk up the stairs, but we built the environment for Fortnite users, not just for moviegoers.

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Immerse users in a virtual Cannes

A. T. - Producing an alternative and virtual event on Fortnite means inviting users to discover the world of the festival - but not copying the content. Cannes in virtual is to offer the excitement of a festival, a complementary look to better understand what such a global event is. We propose a real immersion! When we designed the map with Epic, we had a long discussion about the mistakes not to make: wanting to align everything with the brand's codes, getting the wrong target, etc. Here, we're integrating a video game universe where we have to understand who we're talking to and how to make the experience exciting.

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A. T. - Cannes on Fortnite is a roleplay map, open, with elements to unlock, a real sandbox of activities using the full potential of the platform, with rewards etc. It was a real collaborative work with Vysena to define this. The priority was to make it fun and easy to discover. To manage this ten-day experience, the Vysena and Brut teams are fully mobilized. For Brut, it's about pushing innovation in the media, and offering our know-how in the editorial management of creators, of an event to propose a unique event. The tools already existed internally; we hope to continue these virtual explorations in the future.

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