If you want three takeaways from this year’s Cannes Lions, they were Agility, Attention and Authenticity. Achieving that triple A rating, however, is not as easy as it sounds.
The first A requires a clear sense of what’s working now and what’s on the cusp of working: a sense of how the landscape is changing, as well as a strategy to respond. Too many brands still work off last year’s model without a plan for the future.
The second A requires a message that resonates: one that cuts through the ad block wall and creates a sense of excitement and engagement across your target community. The winners at this year’s Cannes Lions certainly did that, but too many campaigns that we see on a day-to-day fail to achieve an A for Attention.
The final A requires that a brand’s purpose shine through in a credible way. The power is with the audience now and if the message isn’t authentic, it will be discarded – there are too many other choices.
There was a lot of talk this year in and around the Palais about technology, but much of the discourse was around the role of the human hand in making the best use of new tools and platforms. If recent Cannes festivals were a celebration of the power of data, the focus this year was around the limits of data. Technology and data do not solve every marketing or business challenge; people do.
A good barometer for seeing where our industry is going – and where technology is taking it – is the Cannes Titanium Lions. We encourage you to look at the many entries and the winners. Over the last few years, for example, the Titanium Lions have celebrated Nike+ Fuelband, Dove Real Beauty ketches and Harvey Nichols’ Sorry I Spent It On Myself.
One of last year’s winners was Domino’s Emoji Ordering (just as emojis were starting to take off with consumers) and this year’s #OptOutside campaign from REI led a revolt against Black Friday mania that reminded the public that we are humans first and shoppers second. Here is what the experts, entrepreneurs and award-winners had to say from both the main stage and the MediaCom suite.