The Seven Best Tech Quotes From Kanye West's Cannes Lions Talk Today

By Kat Hannaford on at

The advertising industry has decamped to sunny Cannes for the week, with a number of high-profile presenters preaching to the already-converted. Dispensing advice to the ad men alongside David Hasselhoff, Sarah Jessica Parker and Spike Jonze was Kanye West, who in typical form had a lot to say without really saying anything at all...

Tech companies need to connect with culture:

"There would have been no Beats deal without the Samsung deal. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture. The reason I said I didn't like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1. I can't work with anyone but Jay Z, because he's No. 1...Samsung is not quite Apple, but it showed that Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre would be able to connect with the No. 1 influencers."

Apple's Beats acquisition can rival Samsung's cultural influence:

"Apple was so profound at making great products in great design language. And yet they found themselves culturally susceptible to another brand whose products weren't necessarily as great at that time. Samsung used culture as a way to get into the conversation. And that's why the Apple/Beats deal makes sense. Whatever Samsung is doing culturally, Apple has the 800-pound gorilla in Beats and Jimmy and Dre."

Kanye fancies himself as a Jobsian-style visionary:

"Steve Jobs, as everyone knows, was my biggest influence. Just seeing the way he fought to make things easier for people. After he passed, I made it my life's mission to do what he did inside of that company."

He wants to redesign Instagram, and the internet:

"The world as a whole is fucking ugly. The Internet as a whole is fucking ugly, too. But I'm not in the construction business. I said to Kevin [Systrom], why don't you let us redo Instagram? Now, you know, Instagram is nice. It's nice looking. I'm not knocking it. But just in general, everyone spends all of their time looking at their screens or their phones. And just as a simple task, we could clean that up."

Kanye thinks the coloured iPhone 5Cs were too obvious:

"Colour is a big branding tool. But it can be the lowest hanging fruit. The colour[ed] iPhones -- Steve wouldn't do that!"

On tech companies recruiting celebrity shills:

“It’s ridiculous to give any celebrity a creative director role for anything. There are only three guys – Ryan Leslie, Will.I.am and me – who could do it, because we care about it so much.”

On smartphones:

“The fall of BlackBerry and rise of Apple is a win for creativity.”

[Campaign Live, AdWeek and Mobile Marketing Magazine]

Image Credit: @llambs05