Cannes Lions 2021: Day 2


Rethinking Brand for the rise of eCommerce

By Annunziata Passarello, Client Service Director Digital, MediaCom Switzerland and eCommerce EMEA Lead, Blink Consulting.

Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, Head of Planning Martin Weigel discussed whether brand strength does still matter in eCommerce. The short answer is – yes, it does. It counts as much, if not more than before, in the days of just bricks and mortar stores.

Consumers usually start their search for a product with some knowledge of what they want to buy, and even if this may happen subconsciously, it has an impact. It is a big opportunity for brands if they manage to be salient or have strong mental availability.

People are more likely to switch to a known brand than to an unknown challenger. Besides, they are more likely to react to a brand with a stronger reputation. According to research from Airbnb, 90% of the leads remain, even if you switch off performance measures. Brand strength is the driver behind it.

A strong brand is an essential sales driver, no matter if it is online or offline. Both upper and lower funnel seems to deliver a better return for a strong brand – so investing in the brand will payback.

The key takeaway is to balance brand and activation, and that saving on brand investment is probably not farsighted. Depending on the channel, even pull-out strategies can be considered. Reducing investment in brand activation in favour of brand building activities may well be worth considering.

Google Presents: The Year that Changed Everything

By Gavin Reeder, Global Account Director

Panel: Lorraine Twohill, CMO Google, Reggie Butler, founder and CEO, Peformance Paradigm

2020 was a year of seismic shifts. A year that saw a once in a lifetime global pandemic and a once in a lifetime civil rights movement, triggered by the killing of George Floyd.

It was a year when advertisers had to stop and reassess. Lorraine Twohill, Google’s CMO, shares three elements she believes are key to affecting change in any organisation.

  • Leadership needs to be accountable for D&I.
  • The wider team needs to represent the brand’s customer base.
  • The work needs to be relatable. If you do those first two things, there’s a real chance of creating work that challenges the status quo.

When this happens, the campaigns created are based on a universal truth. A great example of this is a campaign from Google that highlights the incredible contribution African Americans have made to history.

One of Google’s staff used search data to identify a truth that wasn’t even known to the African American community; that there are so many points in history for which an African American is the most searched answer.

They uncovered a truth that they would never have known, nor would they have been able to share with the world, had it not been for someone from the community in the team who had the perspective to do it. And that’s the power of having a diverse team.

Twohill also explained that Google audits around 20K of their creative assets every year, and from this, it knows it still has much work to do. In Google’s ads, women are on average ten years younger than men. Black men are often portrayed as sportsmen or musicians, not fathers, and disabled people are too often seen with carers.

To address this, Google has created All In: An Inclusive Marketing Toolkit. It is asking its agencies to come on this journey with them, and Google recognises that it has a responsibility to educate and inspire its partners to adopt its D&I values.

Twohill believes that D&I has to be open to all and not seen as something companies can use to gain a competitive advantage. That’s why Google’s Inclusive Marketing tool kit is open source and available to everyone. Everyone is invited to help make change happen.

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