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Brand experience and marketing trends from Cannes Lions 2014



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From gold lamé to vin rosé, Cannes is a special place indeed.

It’s home to the world’s largest and most revered awards festival for the best creative work in Film, Creative Effectiveness, and more.

The week’s content includes seminars, forums and workshops presented by creative leadership from around the world — both from inside and outside the marketing industry.

We learned of brand experience examples such as the Google Creative Sandbox and the Ipsos Ladies Lounge provided insight and inspiration in a relaxed environment.

Oh — and of course — there was legendary partying in true industry style.

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Brand experience and marketing trends from Cannes Lions 2014

  1. 1. The Big C’s Collective Themes from the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity June 2014
  2. 2. Cannes. From gold lamé to vin rosé, Cannes is a special place indeed. It’s home to the world’s largest and most revered awards festival for the best creative work in Film, Film Craft, Media, Press, Outdoor, Cyber, Promo/Activation, Direct, Design, Radio, Mobile, Branded Content/Entertainment, PR, Creative Effectiveness, Integrated and Titanium. The week’s content includes seminars, forums and workshops presented by creative leadership from around the world — both from inside and outside the marketing industry. Brand experiences such as the Google Creative Sandbox and the Ipsos Ladies Lounge provided insight and inspiration in a relaxed environment. Oh — and of course — there was legendary partying in true industry style.
  3. 3. Count.
  4. 4. Celebrities. Just a few of the personalities featured in Cannes sessions...
  5. 5. Champs. Just a few of the big winners at Cannes...
  6. 6. Cool. Winner of the Innovation Lion and a pretty cool tactic.
  7. 7. Creativity. First and foremost Cannes is a true celebration of Creativity — and this year was no exception. From thought-provoking sessions to show-stopping shortlists; from longtime legends to the new leaders of today; it seemed that for everyone, in one way or another, Creativity does indeed start with “C.” A number of common themes emerged in this year’s Cannes content in the pursuit of Creativity — in award-winning work and festival talks alike — on the Big C’s that are breaking through the clutter in today’s evolving marketing world.
  8. 8. It’s not a story anymore, it’s a conversation. – Chuck Porter, Crispin Porter Bogulsky Conversation. Marketing is no longer push; this is equally a pull environment — a balance between creation and curation that is perpetuated through conversation with our audience. Sir John Hegarty, BBH, declared “Global advertising does not work” today. In an age when consumers have all the information on product attributes at our fingertips — they want to understand a brand’s values and determine if they align with their own. People want to hear a brand’s story and be invited to join in it. They want to be entertained and engaged through a complete brand experience that ultimately enables and fosters their lifestyles. In the wake of this evolution, there has never been a more exciting time for creativity than right now, said Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building officer for P&G. Media fragmentation may have killed the golden age of advertising but it has given birth to a golden age of ideas — where we can work with an ever- evolving and expanding creative canvas of marketing opportunity. People engage with brands “not because they have to watch [ads] but because they are truly drawn in. Ideas have to earn their way in,” Pritchard said. “The job of our work is to start the conversation.”
  9. 9. Conversation. If brands are to engage in conversation that is inherently talkable and interesting, they need to exhibit some key human behaviors... Get real. In the give and take of conversation, brands need to be honest and transparent to earn trust and engagement. Today there is an intersection between news, entertainment and marketing that is unprecedented. To be anything other than forthcoming and authentic is to be at best ignored and at worst disdained. Show your flaws. Being real and honest means you’re going to expose shortcomings and/or mistakes; but this imperfection is what not only makes brands believable as partners in conversation, it makes your story more intriguing and believable, inspiring consumers to fight on your behalf. Live in the moment. Rather than presenting a static persona, brands need to be a living, breathing, evolving organism. You must be able to prototype ideas in the marketplace, allowing consumers to join in the creative process and get a little skin in the game. You’ll move faster and be more inclusive in the process. True character. Brands should have more than just a positioning. They should have a distinguishing personality and a recognizable point of view, making it clear to consumers what they value — whether compassionate or clever, refined or rebellious — enabling people to see themselves in your brand.
  10. 10. 1 Cause. In the year of the inaugural Lionheart awarded to Bono for the (RED) campaign, ideas that used creative power for good were recognized more than ever. These efforts in cause marketing go well beyond charity sponsorship with an emphasis on “doing” versus “giving.” Brands are demonstrating real help. As Bono told the Cannes crowd, he’s not interested in philanthropy for (RED), he’s interested in creative brains and their ideas. “It really is about heat and noise... This is the most important room for (RED) to be in. You’re heat-seeking missiles.” The world wants to create more comfort zones. – David Lubars, BBDO Celebrating What Matters. In his presentation “Nice is the New Black,” Lubars acknowledged, “Decent people need something decent to hang onto.” The Honey Maid “This is Wholesome” campaign by Droga5 was just one example of recognizing what’s important to people in this changing world and allowing consumers to evolve and direct the evolution of a living multi- dimensional campaign.
  11. 11. Cause. The success of these varied creative ideas proves that taking a stand on behalf of others can be the best way to show the people who matter most to you just what you’re made of. 2Raising Awareness. Powerful conversation-starting programs shined a light on perceptions of women. The illuminating Pantene #ShineStrong campaign drew attention to how often women feel compelled to say “I’m sorry.” Titanium Lion winner The Autocomplete Truth delivered a shocking truth of degradation demonstrated via the most common Google searches. 3Helping Others. Many creative examples went beyond sharing ideas to taking action. Project Daniel, brought to us by Intel and Not Impossible Labs, told the real story of technology for the sake of humanity — taking a 3D printer into the heart of war-torn Sudan to give a wounded teen boy a life- saving 3D-printed prosthetic arm, while teaching a community to use the technology moving forward and help the many injured in their village. 4Helping Others Help Others. Connecting people with different needs to help each other fulfill those needs is a beautiful thing for a brand to do. CNA Inglés Definitivo, an online English school, won a Gold Lion with FCB Brasil for Speaking Exchange — an idea that connects its students “who want to practice English with those who just want someone to talk to” — connecting students with retirement communities in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. 5Catching Criminals. This year’s Grand Prix for Good winner took the idea of cause to a whole new level. Sweetie, the brainchild of Netherlands- based LENZ agency on behalf of advocacy group Terre des Hommes, used a computer-generated young girl to not only raise awareness of the crime of Webcam Child Sex Tourism, but the work lead to more than 1000 arrests globally of predators whose names were turned over to Interpol.
  12. 12. On the other hand, sometimes to stand out, you have to stand for something completely different. Like pure, unadulterated commercialism. Winning big at Cannes including a Titanium and Integrated Grand Prix, was Adam&EveDDB taking a very different approach from all the cause-focused work. “Sorry I Spent It On Myself” celebrated unabashed selfishness for retailer Harvey Nichols. After all, we are in the business of selling things. – Prasoon Joshi, McCann Worldgroup Contradiction.
  13. 13. Innovation isn’t about doing something first, it’s about doing it right for people… Plan for emotional reaction, not for media. – Will Sansom, Contagious Connection. Technology has to be in the service of great ideas — it is not the great idea in and of itself. But it’s so easy to get dazzled by the magic of technology and lose sight of the meaning it desperately needs in order to make an impact. Eddie Moretti, creative head of new media magnate VICE, warns against getting “platform fever” or becoming so enamored with technology that we lose our focus on the story we’re trying to tell, the conversation we’re trying to have.
  14. 14. Connection. Jack Morton’s own Head of Digital Leesa Wytock said, “We love the technology that we don’t even know we’re using.” It’s the invisible, unobtrusive technological connections that purposefully facilitate our relationships with brands. In fact, technology today has shortened the distance in time and space between brands and audiences, creating personal connections that enable the type of emotional exchange that a person might have with a friend. In Japan, the Coca-Cola coffee brand “Georgia” and Dentsu managed to do just that — to become a friend to its consumers — making an emotional, human connection between an audience and a brand through technology. Futurist Jason Silva suggests we must embrace technology as the “7th kingdom of life”; it not only sprouts from us, it is us. And with that in mind, as the world becomes more indistinguishably digital vs. analogue, Wytock posed the legitimate questions — Are there digital ideas anymore or just ideas? Do we really still need digital agencies? Or is the agency of the future the Human Agency?
  15. 15. Cultivation. The next generation of creative marketers are more often than not in an education system structured to create workers for a 19th century industrial economy, not the ideas economy of now and the future. And it’s not just about effective marketing. Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson warned us that our culture will fade unless we value problem-solving creativity. We need to foster a culture of curiosity — in our agencies, in our brands, in our communities and in the world. This is exactly the issue Sommer + Sommer addressed in their ‘How to Foster Creativity in 21st Century Education?’ workshop. Along with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, the German creative agency asked Cannes greatest minds (as well as more than 100 other creatives and futurists in 35 countries) to inspire an innovative framework for 21st century schooling which will be published as the Classroom Thinktank. Creative thinking starts in the schoolroom, and if we want our industry to thrive we need to actively participate in the future of education. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker discussed how the Arts Program she helped pilot teaches children in high-risk schools that they have value. That they have a voice that is worthy of being heard. The results have been life-changing for these kids — not just in creative efforts but with strikingly positive aptitude and behavioral results. We are all born creative. We just got it educated out of us. – Tham Khai Meng, Ogilvy & Mather
  16. 16. Cultivation. Brands are getting in on the action and not just at the school level. Recognizing that in this changing world of endless opportunity we’re all students forever, companies such as Unilever and Samsung have built programs to support innovators and artisans with the power of their brands. Samsung’s Maestros Academy pairs master artisans with up and coming young craftspeople realize their ideas. Unilever’s The Foundry is a collaborative space that connects innovative startup companies with mentor Unilever brands to support each other with an exchange of ideas and experiences.
  17. 17. Attention is the new limited resource. – Jason Silva, Futurist Conclusion. Creativity is more important than ever. It’s changing business models in our industry and beyond. Creatives have a seat at the table, we’re core to the business. We are seeking rewarding work. Using data to complement instinct. Making stuff fast, failing often, learning and re-iterating in real time. We ‘re finding ways to make complicated information simple. Inevitable even. We know that people seek solutions, not brands. That is the world we live and work in today. CPB’s Porter warns that creatives shouldn’t worry too much about the future, quoting Thomas Carlyle that “our main business is not to see dimly what lies ahead, but to what is at hand.” But with the world changing at an exponential pace, the future is what is at hand. As creative leaders we have to pull the present into what Silva calls the “Adjacent Possible” to meet the future today. With that in mind, we can’t wait to see what Creativity looks like at Cannes 2015. After all, while the awards are the big story, the critical conversation at Cannes is not about competing with each other. We’re competing against mediocrity.
  18. 18. The Big Challenge. As we look ahead to future opportunities, how can we leverage the Big C’s to build breakthrough creative brand experiences? EVERY DAY For each upcoming proposal, we’ll to take on the challenge of leveraging one or more of the Big C’s to make ideas stronger, more engaging and empowering for our audiences. As part of creative reviews, we’ll go through a Big C Scorecard to determine how we’re doing against this Challenge. EVERY WAY Over the course of the next 12 months, we should submit an idea to a client that focuses on one of the Big C’s until we complete the full list — they can be for RFPs, proactive outreach or an existing program. By next summer, we should feel confident that we have developed sellable, breakthrough, beautifully executable ideas that can compete in these areas. Conversation. How does our idea allow the audience to contribute and evolve the experience into a collaboration? How does it make our brand more human? Cause. Will our idea resonate with the audience and give them something to believe in and share? Does it take action to support this belief? Contradiction. Do we have an idea that goes against the grain? How is it unexpected? How committed is it to being different and standing out? Connection. Does our idea use technology for technology’s sake? Does it make our brand more connected to the audience or does it get in the way? Does it feel inevitable or forced? Cultivation. What does our audience get out of the experience? What do they learn from our experience? How does the brand facilitate that learning?