Cannes Lions 2016: Creativity, Technology, Data and Beaches


Cannes Lions 2016

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2016 convenes next week. And the watchwords at this year’s global event for marketers and advertisers include a new definition of creativity, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence-powered messaging and chatbots, purpose and citizenship, content and communities, and physical world experiences and products. Not to mention Snapchat, Snapchat, Snapchat.

“As interactions between marketers and consumers become more seamless, instantaneous and frequent, consumer expectations of originality, authenticity and accountability increase exponentially,” notes a report for Cannes prepared innovation partner management platform KITE.

Highlights of the KITE report include:

  • Major players like Disney, Comcast, Bertelsmann and Time Warner are investing millions in VR.
  • The artificial intelligence-powered messaging space that allows third parties to build and deploy chatbots is predicted to facilitate 40 percent of mobile interactions by 2020 as “smart agents” proliferate, according to Gartner.
  • Brands should pursue hot areas of technology, such as the Internet of Things, because they make business sense, not chase shiny (technology) objects because they’re in vogue.

“With both technology and consumer behaviors rapidly changing, marketers should feel empowered to seek and try out emerging tech that can creatively engage, delight and satisfy current and potential consumers,” notes KITE. “Piloting a technology with the right startup and using learnings to iterate on and perhaps scale the solution—a very startup-y approach—might well lead to your next big win.

Or as Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt presciently wrote decades ago, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

Data will be front and center at Cannes: “Data is arguably the most disruptive force in digital advertising today,” reports Adweek. “Consumers are more empowered than ever before, with access to information and data literally at their fingertips. That means brands have to think about putting a new combination of data, content experiences and technology to work.”

As for campaigns, Burger King and Y&R’s McWhopper offer to McDonald’s for Peace One Day is a pre-festival favorite tipped to sweep the awards, according to Adweek, while Leo Burnett’s 29th annual Cannes Predictions list includes six themes —

  • Inventions (DB’s Brewtroleum biofuel, If Insurance’s “Slow Down GPS,” Samsung’s “BrainBAND” anti-concussion campaign)
  • Earned media (Cointreau’s #NotComingSoon 100-year movie, Netflix’s #FU2016 fail presidential campaign for House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood)
  • Creative media partnerships with Silicon Valley (The Art Institute of Chicago’s “Van Gogh BnBinstallation with Airbnb recreating the artist’s famed bedroom)
  • Personalization (Beats by Dre’s #StraightOutta campaign for Straight Outta Compton)
  • Authentic truth (REI’s #OptOutside Black Friday alternative)
  • Storytelling by animation (“Justino,” “ShottaSoCo,” “Paper,” “Shoplifters”)

Tech is invading the Croisette this year as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Spotify have week-long activations along the French Riviera following Google’s previous lead—and YouTube will turn the whole space red.

“The Cannes beaches were once reserved primarily for ad agencies and holding companies during the Lions,” notes Adweek.  “As more information about the festival emerges, it will be intriguing to see which old-school companies join the Silicon Valley powerhouses on the scene.”


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