By: Michael Scher
Lessons learned from this year’s Cannes Festival
As some of you are aware, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has just wrapped, the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications. Beyond all of the hoopla, parties, red carpet events and celebrity sightings, it’s predominantly a communications platform where the most prestigious marketers and advertising professionals from around the world gather to share and build a home of great ideas. Ideas that spark innovation, creativity and most importantly, reshape the future of our business moving forward.
Among all of the great insight shared, here are some key lessons that will transform the course of communications in how we work and operate:
- “Dare to be different. You have to push past your comfort zone in order to really create change,” said Evan Spiegel, CEO of SnapChat. He sees his company as “really trying to understand the world through people’s eyes.”
- The importance of rebuilding. Have power to silence your doubters and have emotional intensity to back it up.
- As marketers, it’s our job to lead by compassion. “People make brands. If people are compassionate, brands will be compassionate in return. We can lead each other to be a more compassionate, more empathic place. We can help change behavior. We can all learn from our mistakes and be more resilient. And we can, together, make a society where the sometimes distancing effect of technology doesn’t remove our fundamental humanity,” said Monica Lewinsky on her panel on Public Shaming.
- Explorations of technology, data, artificial intelligence, and collaboration, these were all common themes at this year’s event and panels. Pharrell Williams, Artist and Music Producer Extraordinaire, shared his insights on baking intention into the creative process and endeavors as the secret ingredient to one’s success. “In music, millennials know that you don’t really mean it when they can’t hear the intention – and that raises the stakes; it’s like when you see a film that looks good and has all the right actors, but there’s no intention there.” In essence, understand the goal of the objective of a campaign and/ or project, and fuel significance and meaning behind it. Consumers will trust your intentions if they’re authentic and if they’re not, you’ll be overlooked quickly.
- To Lead through Inspiration. “The importance of brands has not changed. Nor has the importance of ideas. The nature of leadership is also unchanged. In order to lead oneself, you need to have a dream, the passion to pursue it, the persistence to see it through, and the creativity to do it all over again. Leading others–, a learned skill, not a bestowed title—depends on sharing your vision and values while helping others grow and keeping them inspired, said Keith Reinhard, Advertising legend.
- Social Media to Become More Transactional. Rather than solely focus on traditional social media factors such as engagement, awareness and building an active community, marketers will elevate their communications to be more transactional; a place for consumers to shop and click.
- Data and Creativity Intersect. Despite what some may think, data and analytics are being used to encourage creativity. With new emerging platforms on the rise, marketers are using data to uncover insights about their target audience where they can connect with their consumers in unthinkable ways.
- The Everyday Will Become the New Normal. One-off events that drive massive traffic and eventually tail off are being described as a ‘lighting strike’ by industry elites. For instance, the Oreo moment where the brand capitalized in real time the Super Bowl blackout event, generating major buzz online. Unfortunately, more brands are following lead, but are only gaining short term value. Therefore, the focus should be on more everyday events and occurrences to build more common connections and relevancy with their audiences.
What inspired you from this year’s Cannes Lions festival? If you were a brand, what brand would you be? As always, if you like what you read, be social and share.