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Our 5 trends from Cannes Lions 2019

The 66th Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is over. But the trends and learnings identified in the south of France are going to be relevant for the next 12 months and beyond.

Thanks to a jam-packed agenda featuring the biggest names in marketing and beyond, there were plenty of opportunities to rethink practice, process and approach.

Complementing the main festival programming, MediaCom remained in its home at the historic Martinez Hotel, hosting a specially curated program of intimate fireside chats and panel sessions.

We can distill our learnings from the week into five key trends:

1. We’re entering a golden age of audio (and multisensory experiences)
Innovation is always hot at Cannes. This year, that conversation focused on the importance of multisensory experiences. In a world saturated with connected devices and screens, the power of touch, smell, and sound can cut through the clutter.

2. Creativity + Data = Growth
Data is everywhere. Every time we click online, turn on our phone, or make a transaction, we leave a data footprint. But while brands are getting better at using this data, they are also recognizing that it is useless without the right creative approach. Data provides the context and information we need to make an informed decision, but creativity – the human response to how we can apply this data in the real world – is what makes campaigns cut through.

3. Human connections are the most powerful
The ‘rediscovery’ of creativity represents a marked shift away from the obsession with data for data’s sake. The smartest brands know they are not just talking to faceless ‘consumers’. As Sublime COO Andrew Buckman explained in the MediaCom Suite, “people can identify and go on a journey in adverts that use real people”.

4. Brands are becoming activists (with mixed results)
In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about the importance of purpose. But in 2019, brands are being encouraged to take real action, and for good reason. According to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, 91% of millennials would switch brands for one which champions a cause. What’s more, 64% of global consumers say they choose brands because of their stand on social issues. The trouble is, not all brands are getting it right.

5. The industry is getting its house in order
This year, brands became more vocal in their efforts to change the industry itself for the better. Transparency and brand safety were obvious topics for debate. P&G’s Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard, a long-term campaigner for both, was once again vociferous in his demands. P&G’s ‘Transparency 1.0’ drive has been focused on getting Facebook and Google to accept MRC accredited third-party verification on viewability, audience reach and anti-fraud measures.

To find out more about these trends, see the work that demonstrates their power, and uncover insights that will keep you thinking into the future, download the full report.

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