One of the industry's biggest annual advertising events is almost upon us. In order to celebrate the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2014, ClickZ speaks to a few industry leaders who give their thoughts on what to expect.
Lizzie Widhelm, vice president of digital, Pandora
Cannes Lions has evolved into a celebration of creativity beyond agency walls. This year, we will see more recognition that technology brands and platforms are serving and leading brands to immerse consumers in dynamic experiences.
Take for example, Pandora’s Toyota Sessions, in which we brought together emerging artists and a well-known brand to create an opportunity that allowed Toyota to interact with Pandora’s listeners at home or on the go, as well as on the stage. As consumers continue to access music and content on their phones, tablets, or on the road, the need for advertisers to reach consumers within a platform that has creative capabilities and reach will only increase.
Kathy Delaney, global chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and president of the Health & Wellness Jury at Lions Health
Today's modern health world is flooded with emerging technology that is changing the way consumers approach their health and wellness, and we as communicators must use creativity and originality to engage and influence them across channels.
This year, we’ll see innovative engagement via digital and mobile. With an 18 percent increase in the use of health or fitness smartphone apps, there is a desire from consumers to improve their health through mobile. Apple's new iOS 8 Healthbook and Healthkit is proof of this. Wellness has always led the way in understanding human behavior, and we'll see the best examples of strategic consumer insights in the entries.
Brands from Coke to Lululemon are leveraging wellness, and there will be no shortage of this in Cannes. But in this age of transparency, the winning campaigns will be authentic, organic, and genuinely match a brand's purpose.
Christian Hughes, president, Cutwater
Small is big. Clients and industry folk want to work with like-minded entrepreneurs, not suits and big agencies. As a result the emerging smaller but dynamic agencies are where big innovation is happening and they will be rife in Cannes.
I think we will also see an increased focus on content, not advertising. Both brands and creatives have become content creators. Advertisers want to become their own channels, and a third of many client budgets are spent on developing their own content. In this world, digital media players like Facebook, YouTube, and Google now outrank and have greater influence than traditional media players.
Tech meets creative. It’s also interesting to see so many tech companies that are starting to attend Cannes. The creative and tech communities are starting to coalesce and better understand how to work together in integrating storytelling with technology.
Chris Yeo, director, Earned Media at Saatchi & Saatchi LA
In addition to the significant role content and storytelling will play at Cannes this year, I suspect we’ll also see a steady stream of topics in the area of science-aided marketing — biometric feedback and wearables, and how these technologies will help inform more dynamic communications decisions based upon emotion. I’m also looking forward to seeing first-hand how others are making progress on the topic of brand benefits related to creating meaningful outcomes for the greater good through advertising.
While I’m a huge proponent of analytics and measurement, what I’m least looking forward to is hearing about how everyone needs "more big data." What would be better, and more helpful to the majority of us attending, is gaining smart insight into what all of this data has the ability to tell us. This will allow all of us to make more informed and real-time decisions and ensure customer interactions with brands are more of a welcomed experience rather than a nuisance.
Andy Saunders, senior vice president, Creative, Getty Images
Visual storytelling as a path to brand engagement will be a big topic of conversation at Cannes Lions this year. Through our global trends research we know that organizations are looking at how to create engaging stories that visually connect communities to the brand and its values in increasingly unique and amazing ways.
At this year’s festival, we’ll also be challenging delegates to give their own perspective on visual storytelling - to re-picture some universal concepts, such as beauty, romance, success, and in turn explore how we can let go of some of our visual stereotypes.
In all the years that we have been sponsoring the Young Lions competition, competitors never fail to produce work that is inspirational in terms of the ahead-of-the-curve thinking. I’m sure this year will be no exception!
Ben Jones, chief technology officer, AKQA
Innovation, disruption, and transformation are the words throughout 2013-2014, so expect Cannes to be no different. But, it will be the diversity that will surprise, together with the huge strides in the usefulness and relevance of advertising.
Advertising re-invented. The reason? Art and code coming closer together than ever before to make things which endure in peoples lives rather than transient campaigns. Combined with brands becoming more brave and creativity is going wild.
I’m also looking forward to celebrating the talent, especially the young talent in this year's Future Lions competition. I was lucky enough to be involved and the ideas and entries this year were mind-blowing. So young. So talented.
And the obvious question is always, who is playing at the Google, Microsoft, and Spotify parties! Same old, same old!
Daniel Bonner, chief creative officer, Razorfish
Without a doubt I expect to see technology playing an increasingly pivotal role with a new generation of connected products, objects and media.
Previously, the most celebrated examples of this work has been prolific in sports marketing, but I am sure there will be a greater variety of examples in a number of different sectors as the real world Web or "Internet of things" becomes a reality.
As sensor technology develops rapidly, becoming smaller, cost-effective, and widely adopted - predictions foresee us living among more than 25 billion connected real world objects - more inventive brands and business will begin to lead the way, and it’s at Cannes where these companies typically emerge.
I also expect to see a continuing trend of creativity being applied to the problems we face in our societies and communities all over the world; using creativity as a force for good by improving our wellbeing, having a positive impact on our society and playing a meaningful role in people’s lives.
Melanie White is the Editor of ClickZ, where she has worked since July 2012. White has been with Incisive Media (ClickZ's parent company) since 2009 where she was Deputy Editor/ US Editor for one of the financial risk management titles, International Custody and Fund Administration (later Custody Risk).
In addition, White worked on FX Week where she was a Senior Reporter. She has also worked and contributed to a number of other titles, including The Accountant, International Accounting Bulletin, the New York Post, Independent Magazine (UK), as well as the broadcast title Sunday Live with Adam Boulton at Sky News.
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