Arianna Huffington misses Cannes Lions because of ‘brand new hip’

CANNES — Arianna Huffington’s “brand new hip” was to blame for her missing her presentation at Cannes Lions — but she still managed to dish out invaluable advice to attendees of the festival, such as being “mindful” while putting on your deodorant.

The self-proclaimed sleep guru and founder and Chief Executive Officer of female-centric wellness Thrive Global was supposed to be on hand to talk about her company’s inscrutable partnership with Procter & Gamble on Monday. Instead, she was holed up in her Los Angeles mansion recovering from hip surgery.

That left Huffington’s underlings to explain what the quasi-new age partnership with the corporate consumer goods behemoth was all about.

It isn’t exactly clear but the deal involves a lot of buzzwords like “being mindful,” “showing gratitude,” and spouting “daily mantras.” And one should do those things while performing mundane tasks like brushing your teeth or washing your hair, but just make sure you’re using P&G products like Crest and Pantene, a talking head from Thrive said.

She explained that the practice of being mindful while “putting on your deodorant,” (preferably P&G brand Secret deodorant) would give way to “habit stacking.”

“The fastest way to create habit formation is through habit stacking,” said Thrive global chief business officer Ashley Mills.

For those who not acquainted with Thrive, the company was spawned from Huffington’s personal story about hitting her head on a dresser after collapsing from exhaustion and sleep deprivation in 2007. Since then, living stress-free and sleeping more has become Huffington’s life mission via Thrive.

But even the perennially upbeat Gayle King, who moderated the panel, seemed confused and tried to dance around the absurdity of the partnership, but she only seemed to add to it.

“Anybody in here wear Spanx?” King said to laughter. “One day I was pulling them up and I slipped and fell and I was very lucky that I didn’t hit my head on a dresser. I thought, ‘Could you imagine if I hit my head on a dresser?’ They’d find me unconscious with my Spanx down to my knees, laying on the ground, thinking, ‘What was she doing?’”

The co-host of “CBS This Morning” turned to P&G CEO Marc Pritchard and said, “Marc, think of the imagery of me with my Spanx pulled down.”

As the session wound down, King got cued to play a one-minute video of Huffington, herself, who explained the ethos of the deal.

“Hi everyone. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be with you today, as I’m in Los Angeles with a brand new hip, after hip replacement surgery, and [I was] not allowed to fly yet,” the exec said, before turning to the partnership.

“Good brands are habits for their consumers … and P&G brands … are daily habits for 5 billion consumers,” she said. “When you are brushing your teeth with Crest, think of three things you are grateful for. When you put on your Secret deodorant, identify your top priority for the day and make a plan to crash it. When you are washing your hair with Pantene, recite your shower mantra.”

Huffington said those positive thoughts would “make people feel better” and reduce stress.

Shortly after the video stopped playing, a less confused King offered:

“Clearly we did that ass backwards. We should have started [this panel] with that.”

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