PHOTOS: Here’s what a ride on Snapchat’s bright yellow Ferris wheel in Cannes was like

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Snapchat’s Ferris wheel.
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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

If you happen to be in Cannes this week, you’ll see a colourful new addition to the French seaside town.

It’s Snapchat’s giant, yellow Ferris wheel.

Snapchat put up the ride this week as part of the Cannes Lions advertising festival, which draws thousands of advertisers and agencies every year. It’s one of the most important events on the ad industry’s calendar, with Facebook, Twitter, and Google paying huge amounts of money to create a presence there.

But Snapchat has outdone its rivals with its eye-catching addition to the conference, which sits outside the normally drab Palais des Festivals, and is one of the first things conference attendees will see.

The ride is open to the public during the festival, so naturally I had a go.


This is Cannes, a seaside town in France mostly famous for its annual film festival. There are conferences all year round.

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Flickr/ fr.zil

The Cannes Lions conference takes place in June, and is one of the most important events in the ad industry’s calendar.

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Richard Bord/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

That’s why Snapchat has (probably) spent a lot of money putting up this fun, bright yellow Ferris wheel right next to the conference entrance.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

It’s incredibly yellow. There are bright lights on the wheel’s spokes and, of course, the bright yellow Snapchat ghost logo right in the middle.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

The ride is open to anyone, but if you want to go on the wheel, you have to go through a metal detector first. Security is very tight at Cannes right now.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

There’s a mysterious Snapcode on the side of the entry booth…

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

I get through security and join a growing queue. It’s still early in the festival, so there aren’t many people yet. And a few of them look like normal tourists!

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

It’s almost 30 degrees in Cannes, but Snapchat had branded umbrellas on hand to keep queuing wheel-goers dry if necessary.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

After a few minutes, I get to climb into one of the swinging cubicles as it goes past. There’s someone on hand to make sure I’m safe.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

Ferris wheels move slowly, so for a while all I can really see is the conference centre and the other cubicles.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

Eventually, we get to the top — and the sunset view over Cannes’ beaches is pretty cool.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

We go around twice, but there isn’t much to see except that view at the top. I open Snapchat to take a selfie — and it turns out that Snapcode earlier was for a custom Lens.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

After two rotations on the Ferris wheel, it’s time to get off. As you leave the wheel, Snapchat representatives hand you a branded yellow lollipop — they’re lemon-flavoured and incredibly sweet.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

As it gets darker, the Snapchat wheel begins to light up. It’s open until midnight through the festival so people can get nighttime views if they want.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider

As you leave, there’s also a vending machine that will sell you Snapchat’s Spectacles smart glasses for £129.99. This is one of the first machines in Europe.

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider UK

I take a look back at the wheel as it gets darker — it looks pretty cool!

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Shona Ghosh/Business Insider