Brand Marketers Academy

The Brand Marketers Academy is a certificate programme for daring brand disruptors who want to unlock the power of creativity for themselves and their brands.

The search is on for the 30 young marketers who will learn first-hand from the world’s greatest brands and industry leaders.
Expect classroom sessions and workshops. Learn first-hand from CMOs, Chief Strategy Officers, Creative Directors, and be inspired by award-winning creativity.

The Academy is sponsored by Dentsu Aegis Media

"The Academy was a game changer for me, you MUST apply! Students get to meet and be inspired by the best of the best in the global marketing industry."

Shelby Olivier

Associate Brand Manager, Transformers, Hasbro, Inc.

Discover the secrets behind building brand legacies and creating compelling campaigns.

This year’s key themes are:

  • Purpose led brand strategy
  • Agency-Client Relationships
  • Creative Leadership
  • The future of brand building

Who is it for?

  • Brand / client-side marketers in roles such as brand and marketing managers, digital marketers, marketing directors, social media managers, campaign directors, global digital marketing managers, campaign co-ordinators and communications consultants.
  • Marketers 30 years of age and under
  • Attendees are typically in their second full-time role in the industry
  • Fluent English speakers - all classes take place in English and require discussion and collaboration

Course leaders

Douwe Bergsma Academy Dean

Chief Marketing Officer, Piedmont Healthcare

Douwe Bergsma is Chief Marketing Officer at Piedmont Healthcare, a multi-billion-dollar not-for-profit purpose-driven organisation that leads transformation of healthcare in the US. This followed a 9-year break-through run as CMO at Georgia-Pacific and a successful 19-year career at Procter & Gamble in Europe and North America.

He helps to drive industry growth as a member of the major CMO organisations, the ANA Board Directors and as a strong early supporter of #SeeHer, the initiative that aims to portray women accurately in the media.

Throughout his career he has been recognised as a thought-leader through many publications, invitations to present at major events like Cannes Lions, ANA’s Masters of Marketing and the White House (2016), and through a range of awards, including Cannes Lions, Effies, Halos, Webbies, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, four national CMO Awards and the induction into the Shopper Marketing Hall of Fame.

He is honored and excited to succeed marketing legends Suzanne Tosolini and Jim Stengel as the Dean of the Brand Marketers Academy at Cannes Lions.

Kerry Elsdon Academy Tutor

VP Global Digital Marketing, Mastercard
A passionate marketer with 10+ years in the industry, striving to demystify “digital” marketing to drive innovative and creative thinking to deliver outstanding results. Kerry joined Mastercard five years ago where she has taken on three varied roles within marketing. Prior to this, Kerry worked agency side for global brands including Mastercard, Microsoft and Burberry, to help elevate their digital marketing efforts.

Previous Speakers

Ben Curtis

Global Brand Director
Mangum, Unilever

Julia Goldin

Global CMO
LEGO Group

Fernando Machado

Burger King

Dana Anderson


Vikram Bhaskaran

Global Head of Vertical Strategy and Marketing

Ann Lewness


Ben Jones

Global Creative
Google Unskippable Labs

Tor Myhren

VP Marketing & Communications

"Sessions provide intimate exposure to some of the greatest marketing and agency minds in the industry!"

Christine Weiss

Associate Brand Manager, SC Johnson

Apply for the 2022 Brand Marketers Academy

To join the 2022 class, you will need to apply and be accepted. Every applicant is reviewed by the Academy leadership team and LIONS and there are 30 places available.

Before applying, please ensure you have the funding approved to attend the 2022 Festival. All applications received and approved by February 10 2022 are eligible for the early bird discount which is €2,095 +TVA. Applications received after this date, the fee rises to €2,515 +TVA.

To complete your application, select the Brand Marketers Academy pass and proceed to your Cannes Lions account to fill out all the required information.

We ask three questions of all applicants:

  • What do you think is the most creative brand in the world and why? (1000 words max)
  • A 2 minute video telling us who you are and why you deserve a space in the Academy. Please record in English. 2 minutes maximum.
  • A character reference (500 words max). The reference can be written by your employer, your company's talent officer, a senior executive of your company or a previous Brand Marketers Academy graduate.

If you are successful, you will be contacted directly and then have 2 weeks to confirm and pay for your ticket.

Each academy pass includes full week access to the Brand Marketers Academy and of course access to the 2022 Festival including content, networking events, the Cannes Lions fringe and the closing party.

Alumni Feature

Mindy Perlmutter

Then: Assistant Brand Manager, Unilever Canada (2012)
Now: Global Brand Engagement Manager, Love Beauty and Planet, Unilever (2019)

"Attending the Academy solidified for me that 'good work' can always be better. That the 'goosebump' test is a true validator of brilliant and emotionally resonant work. And that compelling stories transcend any language or geographical boundaries. Even 7 years later have continued to pull inspiration from Cannes Lions – whether it be creative inspiration for our team now or simply the confidence to always push for more and not settling for 'good'".