With less than one week left till one of the most exciting advertising events of the year, ClickZ speaks to a few industry leaders who give their thoughts on what to expect from Cannes Lions 2013. They also suggest what some of the biggest topics of conversation might be.
Chuck Brymer, president and chief executive, DDB Worldwide:
Mobile is the driving force behind taking brand engagement with consumers to a whole new level. This topic will be leading conversations during this year’s Festival. As mobile is our new normal, advertisers, technologies, and service providers are working in tandem to make it easier for this engagement to occur. And, it’ll be interesting to hear about the most successful partnerships. I would expect us to see a leap forward in the integration of desired content.
Paul Gunning, chief executive, Tribal Worldwide:
I expect the mobile discussion to be feverish. With the second year of the Mobile Lion and increased focus on mobile as an advertising medium, the interest level is high and exciting. I also expect the continued discussion of big data effect on big ideas to continue. The notion of a big idea is broadening as the measure impact is now being attributed to success.
Michael Mclaren, president, MRM:
There is a wide range of issues on which I am looking forward to hearing; different perspectives and the latest thinking. Most importantly, I want to hear about how brands and clients are planning to get closer to their consumers – and how agencies plan to help them. I look forward to hearing about how brands are embracing the voice of the consumer in their own messaging and engagements. I am also looking forward to hearing about the new art of brand storytelling in a digital world – I am interesting in hearing who has a strong point of view on how this is going to unfold in the year ahead.
Andrew Bailey, chairman, Proximity, North America:
What I’ve learnt from Cannes is to expect the unexpected. That way I’m surprised and not disappointed. At Proximity our mission is to “make brands more valuable to people and people more valuable to brands,” so I’ll be focusing my attention on the work coming out of the new Innovation Lions, the latest developments in mobile, and how brands are using these technologies and data to better their relationships with the consumer.
Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising & Online:
At the Cannes Festival people will be asking what the next technology or platform will be, and even how to leverage the latest ones. However, our focus goes beyond specific technologies, trends, or tactics. Microsoft is focused on exploring and creating experiences that matter to people, regardless of channel or device. For instance, at the Microsoft Lounge, delegates will have an opportunity to explore how consumers are interacting with devices and how advertisers can use this knowledge to better connect with consumers. The lounge will take delegates on a journey through a consumer’s day – on the go, at work, and at home; from the functionality of Windows 8, across a range of devices, to home entertainment provided through Xbox.
Consumers today are constantly plugged into the digital world and often on multiple devices. The way to reach these audiences is not by bombarding them with advertising. People are learning to avoid ads or ignore them completely, leading to ad blindness. This year at Cannes, we will be talking about how to (re)engage people with advertising experiences that are relevant, beautiful, and useful. That takes putting the consumer first – which is what we are doing across Microsoft and will be showcasing at Cannes through our news announcements and conversations.
Dianne Wilkins, chief executive, Critical Mass:
This year is the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Lions and I expect it to be a grand celebration of going beyond advertising. In recent years, Cannes has shown us exemplary ideas where technologies and platforms can let us reach and engage with customers across devices, channels, and borders, such as last year’s much awarded Nike+ FuelBand. A few years ago, Nike+ FuelBand would have defied our categorization of advertising. And that’s what I love about Cannes: it’s a celebration of the ideas that inspire and go beyond advertising.
Beyond the awards, I look forward to great conversations with some of the smartest minds across advertising, marketing, technology, and far beyond. And, I make it a priority to attend seminars and showcases from audacious thinkers and creators in advertising and beyond – like Astro Teller from Google X, who is speaking about “moonshots,” the concept of the audacious goals that fundamentally change the world. To me, that’s what Cannes is all about: going beyond advertising and challenging the industry to think bigger, challenge expectations, and try harder.
Wesley ter Haar, founder and chief operating officer, MediaMonks:
The panels and presentations will be filled with (big) data, and how agencies and brands are looking to add value beyond “traditional” advertising, and that moniker now includes digital. Trending topics are products and platforms and finding ways to extend value past campaign periods. Social is a part of that, but the holy and heady grail seems to be product development of some kind. The beaches and bars buzz is going to be about the great (and not so great) advertising ideas that are vying for Lions. The highlights (hopefully) are combinations of both: great advertising ideas that move beyond “the campaign” and have a lasting impact on company and consumer.
Darren (Daz) McColl, vice president of global brand strategy, SapientNitro:
Expect to see even more of a mashup between creative expression and tech functionality with it being the 60th year of the Festival – it’s the start of new “innovation” awards.
To that end, SapientNitro will be introducing our “storyscaping” model at this year’s Cannes. This is where storytelling and physical experiences are brought together through systems thinking. By this, we mean to ensure that consumers can connect with the brand’s story at any time in any channel, and that our application of “systems thinking” enables the consumer to effectively connect at multiple touch points and still be inspired by the story – to still build shared values and experience as they participate with the story.
Other trends to watch for are new technology product development as a form of brand engagement, and mass social content disruption by brands to gain attention within the current cluttered social media platforms.